Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Apply for admissions at SF State
  2. Once the application is received and processed, a request for transcripts from previous schools attended, military release records (DD-214), and military transcripts will be emailed.
    • IMPORTANT: If not completed, apply for your VA Educational Benefits.
    • After applying, a Certificate of Eligibility or Notice of Basic Eligibility will be sent. You will submit this Certification or Notice online through your Student Center's Veterans Benefit portal.
  3. If transferring benefits from another school, you will need to:
  4. File either VA form 22-1995 (Veterans) or 22-5495 (dependents) with our office.
    • VA Forms can be located and downloaded from the VA's Form Finder site.
  5. Accept your Admissions Offer (AAO) online and register for orientation.

DO NOT forget or delay to submit your documents through your Student Center's Veterans Benefit portal so you can register for classes and defer payment of tuition until your VA benefits are processed.

  • SF State grants college credit for military experience.
    • Suppose you have served at least one year of active duty service. In that case, you can receive 6 units of elective credit and fulfill the Lifelong Learning Development (LLD) GE requirement.
  • You will also be given first-day priority registration starting your second semester whether or not you receive VA educational benefits and while you remain a matriculated or continuing student.
    • Does not include registration through the College of Extended Learning (CEL).
  • If you attend orientation during your first semester, you will be allowed to register for full-time enrollment instead of only 16 units.


Under Chapter 33, you can be reimbursed for specific national exams needed for admissions.

These include:

  • SAT
  • ACT
  • GMAT
  • LSAT

If a test is not listed, reach out to          

You must either apply to another institution or consider taking classes through SF State's Open University program to complete admission requirements.

The VA determines eligibility whether you are a veteran or dependent. 

  • You can contact the VA directly at (888) 442-4551 for any federal benefits questions.
  • Or you can contact your local VA County Service Office for possible Fee Waiver eligibility as a dependent of a disabled or deceased veteran.

All federal benefits will pay a monthly stipend depending on how many classes are certifiable by SF State's Veterans Services.

  • Full - Time
  • Three Quarter Time
  • Half - Time
  • Quarter Time or Less Than Half Time

Go to for current payout rates and descriptions of all available educational benefits. For example, the California Veterans Administration Fee Waiver covers in-state tuition. Still, it does not cover any local university fees. See the website for a current breakdown of state and local tuition and fees. In addition, chapter 33 (Post 9-11) and Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehab) pay additional benefits:

  • Chapter 33 includes a housing and book stipend paid to the student and in-state tuition paid directly to SF State. The amount varies on the student's eligibility, which can range from 40%-100% depending on the amount of service and type of discharge.
  • Chapter 31 includes tuition payments (not limited to in-state tuition) and a supplies stipend that can cover books, computers, and other needed supplies. Again, your Vocational Rehab case manager can explain further the limitations.


BUT, if you do not receive other financial aid or do not want to wait for a refund of tuition fees, you should submit your veteran education benefit certification online each semester so that you may be eligible to register without paying tuition upfront.

  • Full payment of tuition is due on the deferment date regardless of the reason.
  • Note, Chapter 33 recipients at less than 100% eligibility must pay the difference by the deferment deadline, regardless of when VA payment is received.

Certification is not done automatically every semester.

  1. You must submit your veteran education benefits certification online after you finish registering for classes each semester.
  2. After reviewing your enrollment, we may need you to justify or get approval for classes that do not meet your major's standard university requirements or general education requirements.
  3. After reviewing your enrollment, we will send the VA an enrollment certification for that semester to receive your benefits.
    • Note: College Fee Waiver recipients do not need to be certified.

You can be eligible with a General Discharge.

Contact the VA directly at (888) 442-4551 to find out if you can apply for benefits.

VA educational benefits applied to tuition and fees may affect the amount of FAFSA financial aid you can receive.

Contact the Financial Aid Office to see how your particular benefit will affect your FAFSA award.

The VA takes approximately FOUR WEEKS to process a claim.

  • If you have not received either notice or payment from the VA after four weeks, you can verify with SF State's Veterans Services to see if there was an issue processing your certification,
  • Or, contact the VA directly at (888) 442 -4551 to verify if payment has been processed.

The VA pays the monthly amount during the time you are in class only.

  • Most semesters begin at the end of the month and end by the third week of the month. That is why you are seeing smaller payments during this time.
  • You may also receive a smaller payment or see a stoppage of payments if your benefits run out.
    • Please contact the VA to verify if your benefits have run out.

It is advisable that you do not depend on your VA payments for important expenditures such as rent.

  • There are many ways that a delay in payment can occur that is beyond your control and beyond our office’s ability to intervene.
  • Be sure to plan your finances well in advance and do not rely solely on your educational benefits as guaranteed monthly income.

You should contact VA to make sure there is no mistake in your records.

  • If your benefits have run out, and you still owe tuition, you can apply for an emergency loan through the Bursar’s Office, or talk to financial aid about other options.
  • If you have at least a 20% service-related disability, you may try to qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation through the Oakland Regional Office.

You may be receiving a refund in error.

For clarification, please reach out to the Bursar’s Office

  • Phone: (415) 338-1281

VA will process back pay for up to a year or more depending on your benefits and when you became eligible for your benefits.

You can contact to find out if back pay is possible.

The VA will reimburse Chapter 33 recipients for the graduation application up to the percentage they are eligible.

  • After applying for graduation E-Mail to have your graduation fees paid by your benefits.
  • This does not include cap and gown rental.


The VA will pay for any certificate program as long as it is listed as an approved program on the WEAMS website.


The VA will pay for any program listed as an approved program for SF State on the WEAMS website.

Please contact the major department you are inquiring for approval prior to applying for a second major. 

The VA will pay for a failed grade that affects your GPA.

This includes grades of:

  • F
  • WU
  • I

You cannot earn a NC or receive a W grade because these grades do not affect your GPA and do not earn you credit towards graduation.

You may owe the VA repayment if it affects your enrollment status.

  • For Example: The W or NC changes your enrollment from full-time to three quarter time
  • Any changes may affect Chapter 33 recipients due to the book stipend.

The VA does not pay SF State the housing allowance.

  • The housing allowance and book stipend under Chapter 33 are paid directly to the you, the student.
  • It is up to the student to pay the SF State Housing Office.


  • However, make sure the classes are not offered through the College of Extended Learning (CEL).
  • CEL is not a state-supported program, they cannot accept the College Fee Waiver.

You must pay the full balance of your tuition and fees before the deadline listed on the deferment.

  • This is regardless of any delays caused by the VA.
  • In some cases, the late fee was charged for another reason.
  • For clarification, please reach out to the Bursar’s Office.
    • Phone: (415) 338-1281


  • You must furnish a Parent School Letter provided by your home school’s certifying official to the secondary school’s certifying official.
  • The Parent School Letter will confirm that the classes taken at the secondary school will count towards the degree program taken at the home school.

If you have been disqualified and must take classes through the College of Extended Learning, you may still be eligible for your VA benefits.

Reach out to CEL for further advising.

Chapter 30 and Chapter 1606 recipients can:

  • Check online through the WAVES system
  • Call the (888) 442-4551 helpline

For all other benefits:

  • Call (888) 442-4551 helpline
  • Log into ebenefits.


  1. You will need to furnish your military orders to SF State Veterans Services.
    • You will be granted a military leave of absence until your return.
  2. You will be withdrawn from all your classes and any refunds due to you will be given.

Please contact our office after you receive your orders for further advising.

Students who are activated for compulsory military service will receive a full refund of mandatory fees, including nonresident tuition (no refund administrative fee withheld).

You must submit a copy of your military orders to the Veteran’s Services Center and must also complete the SF State Leave of Absence form.

Work with the Veterans Services Coordinator concerning your enrollment and grades.

  • You may, depending upon when you must leave, earn credit in your courses.
  • If not, you will be automatically withdrawn from all of your classes with no academic penalty.


Students who are called to active duty and given a leave of absence may return as a continuing student without re-applying.

The Undergraduate Advising Center became the advising home base for first-year freshmen and undeclared students. These students now have an assigned academic advisor in the

At the same time, we transitioned all advising for students in their second through senior year with declared majors to the college-based resource centers.

Counseling and Psychological services are available for all students.

  • Many of the counselors are experienced with PTSD and TBI, as well as sexual trauma.
  • Go to for more information, or visit them in SSB 208.


  • We like to hire a mixture of veterans and dependents and are contacted by other agencies when they have openings.
  • You must be certified for three quarter time or more to be eligible for VA Work-Study.

VA Work-Study pays the current California minimum wage.