Frequently Asked Questions


  • You must be certified for three quarter time or more to be eligible for VA Work-Study.

How much does VA work-study pay?

  • Current California minimum wage.

How do I apply?

  • Please submit VA Form 22-8691 and your resume via email to
  • VA Form 22-8691 and more information about VA work study can be found HERE.
  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.

HyFlex courses will be certified as distance (online).

  • This is because the in person element of the course is not required; it is an option. 

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.

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 (Chapter 31 and Chapter 31 recipients will NOT receive MHA if they are less than half-time status)

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. Your VR&E counselor can explain further the limitations.

Certifications are NOT automatically sent to the VA every term. 

  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 through the VA. However, they still need to submit an online enrollment certification request with their CalVet Fee Waiver Award Letter attached.


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

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.

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 Veteran Readiness & Employment through the Oakland Regional Office.

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.


  • 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 Professional and Global Education (formerly CEL).
  • If you attend orientation during your first semester, you will be allowed to register for full-time enrollment instead of only 16 units.


  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.

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

This includes grades of:

  • F
  • I

You cannot earn a NC or receive a W or WU grade because these grades do not affect your GPA and do not earn you credit towards graduation. More information on another FAQ.

The VA does not pay SF State the housing allowance.

  • The monthly housing allowance is paid directly to the you, the student.
  • It is up to the student to pay the SF State Housing Office.

It depends.

  • Tuition and mandatory fees can be covered by the CalVet Fee Waiver unless the courses are taken through the College of Professional & Global Education (formerly the College of Extended Learning (CEL).

    • College of Professional & Global Education is not a state-supported program, they cannot accept the CalVet Fee Waiver.


  • 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 Professional and Global Education (formerly CEL), you may still be eligible for your VA benefits.

Reach out to CPaGE 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.

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.


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. 


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

Undergraduate Students: Undergraduate Advising Center

Graduate Students: Grad Studies Advising

VA Student Veteran Health Program:

Artur Akkerman, LCSW, CDMHRS (they/them)

SF State Counseling and Psychological Services:

  • 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 205.
  • Email: | Phone: 415-338-2208

If you receive a "NC", "W" or "WU", you may owe the VA repayment if it affects your enrollment status.

  • For Example: The W, WU, or NC changes your enrollment from full-time to three quarter time.
  • Any changes may affect Chapter 33 recipients due to the book stipend.
  • Repayment to the VA could be in the form of a MHA debt and/or tuition and fees debt. 
  • Effective dates for "NC", "W", and "WU":
    • For "NC", the effective date is the last date of the term.
    • For "W", the effective date will be the date of withdrawal. 
    • For "WUs", the effective date will be the last date of attendance reported by your instructor. 

SF State Abroad Website

While VA Benefits may be used (in some capacity) for most of the study abroad programs coordinated by SFSU and the CSU Chancellor’s Office, the veterans services staff would like to encourage you to look beyond using VA benefits as your single source of funding.  The financial aid office has scholarships and other types of aid that can help supplement your experience abroad!


NOTE: VA education benefits cannot be used for foreign exchange programs.


Mandatory Pre-Study Abroad Meeting for VA Benefit Recipients

If you are a Veteran, military dependent, or military spouse using VA education benefits (Ch. 1606, 30, 31, 33, 35 etc.) and you are thinking about studying abroad, you MUST connect with an SF State School Certifying Official (SCO) before finalizing your study abroad plans.


You can schedule an appointment by emailing or calling us at and 415-338-2336.  


Studying Abroad & Federal VA Education Benefits 

When looking for programs, students should look for either of the following: 

  • Faculty-led programs (SF State courses taught by SF State faculty) 
  • Or, SF State Abroad Programs  at VA-approved institutions that have their own VA School Certifying Official 
    • VA-approved institutions can be found HERE
    • In this situation, the School Certifying Official at the study abroad institution would be certifying your courses with a Parent School Letter from SF State’s Veterans Services. 

What will the VA cover: 

  • Tuition and fees for courses required by your degree program 

What will the VA NOT cover: 

  • Extra fees associated with travel and studying abroad 
  • Tuition and fees for courses that are not required as part of your degree at SF State 

BAH Rates for Chapter 33: 

  • Faculty-led programs are certified as resident units and BAH will be based on the San Francisco State University rate found here.   
  • Other study abroad programs will also be certified as resident units but the BAH will be based on the current rate for foreign schools


Studying Abroad & CalVet Fee Waiver 

When considering studying abroad while utilizing the CalVet Fee Waiver, students should look for either of the following program types: 

  • A program coordinated through the SF State Office of International Programs or through the CSU Chancellor’s Office that charge state tuition 
  • A program from another California public institution that charges state tuition 

What will the CalVet Fee Waiver will cover: 

  • State tuition 

What will the CalVet Fee Waiver will NOT cover: 

  • Additional fees 
  • Travel costs 
  • Courses taken through the College of Professional and Global Education (formerly College of Extended Learning)