VA and Military

Veteran Friendly College

WGU was honored among the “Top Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities” for six consecutive years by Military Advanced Education Magazine.

GI Bill® Benefits

Western Governors University offers online degree programs approved for Veterans Administration (VA) education benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill. Reserve and National Guard members may be entitled to education benefits under the GI Bill for Reserve and Guard Members. Eligibility for benefits and the amounts available depend upon the veteran’s period of military service, years of services, and other factors.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Because WGU’s tuition rates are quite modest, veterans will generally be eligible for benefits that more than cover the full cost of tuition, fees, and books.

After you are admitted to WGU, your Enrollment Counselor can direct you to WGU’s VA department for specific instructions on completing the necessary paperwork.

Tuition Assistance

The competency-based degree programs at WGU are approved for Tuition Assistance for active-duty, reserve, and National Guard service members. This approval was granted after a rigorous review by the Department of Defense that affirms the substantive quality of WGU programs and the comparability of WGU’s competency units to traditional credits.

Military personnel may apply for Tuition Assistance through their base education office or other standard methods. (Click here if you are a base education officer.) A WGU Enrollment Counselor or the WGU VA department can help explain the process.

Learn more about how WGU serves the military student through Tuition Assistance.

All programs at WGU are approved for education benefits by the Department of Veteran Affairs.

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Questions & Answers

Click a question, see the answer to the right.

Will I qualify for full-time or ¾-time VA benefits?

The GI Bill is very generous for WGU students. As a WGU student, you may choose to qualify for either full-time, 3/4-time, or half-time benefits in an undergraduate program. (Half-time benefits are considered to be 12 competency units, a standard full-time load for undergraduate students at WGU.) You can vary your attendance time from term to term. Graduate students will always qualify for full-time benefits when enrolled in the minimum requirement of 8 competency units.

Can I also get financial aid?

Because any veterans’ benefits paid under any law administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is not considered income, it should not be reported on your application for financial aid as such. Submitting a FAFSA is necessary to know whether you qualify for a Pell Grant and/or student loans. Students utilizing Military Tuition Assistance funds must indicate this on their FAFSA as an additional resource toward their tuition cost which may affect the amount of their award. Click here to learn more about or apply for financial aid.

How quickly can I get my VA money?

After you have started your degree program and developed your personalized Degree Plan, the VA department at WGU will certify your program of study to the VA. This is done by the third week of the first month of each term. You should receive your first benefit payment within 5-8 weeks after a certification is submitted each term. You should then regularly receive a monthly payment after the last day of each month and your verification of attendance (if applicable). But first, you must apply to WGU and be admitted. And you will need to have received notice of your VA education benefit eligibility. WGU’s VA department can help you complete the necessary steps for attendance certification.

Will I get credit for my military experience?

WGU does not award traditional “credits” directly for military experience, but an incoming student may have certain requirements waived when the military experience has been ACE-reviewed and applied directly to the WGU degree program. WGU can also waive requirements based upon DANTES and CLEP exams that match with WGU program requirements and meet minimum grading standards. A transcript review is required to determine exactly what can be waived. More importantly, everything you’ve learned that’s relevant to your degree program can potentially help you accelerate your degree. Talk to an Enrollment Counselor to get a detailed explanation. If you have served in any branch of the military you should be able to obtain a military transcript—WGU’s VA department can direct you to the online resources to request it.

How do my Post 9/11 education benefits work at WGU?

Post 9/11 (CH 33) benefits are paid differently than older chapters. Based on your entitlement—which is factored from your length of qualifying active-duty service—a percentage of your tuition and fees will be sent directly to the school. 100 percent entitlement will cover your tuition and fees completely each term you have remaining entitlement. You will also receive a monthly stipend sent directly to you if you are not on active duty or the spouse of an active-duty service member utilizing a transfer of entitlement. This payment is 50 percent of the amount paid to a student attending an on-campus school, multiplied by your rate of pursuit. In an undergraduate program, 18 CU’s is considered 100 percent pursuit, but you do not have to enroll in 18 CU’s to get the benefit. 12-17 CU’s will be paid at the corresponding lesser percentage. In a graduate program, 8 CU’s is considered 100 percent pursuit. You will also receive a book stipend once each term up to the capped amount for your entitlement.