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Massachusetts Maritime Academy - Veterans Resources Financial Aid - Veterans Resources

VETERAN RESOURCES
As a veteran, you may be eligible for both state and federal education benefits. The following information has been provided by the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services:
APPLICATION PROCESS
To begin the application process for federal veteran educational benefits, veterans and dependents of veterans are encouraged to visit the GI Bill Website. Students must submit a Certificate of Eligibility to the Financial Aid Office and complete the Veterans Benefits Request Form every semester.
To begin the application process for National Guard tuition and fee waivers, Massachusetts guard members are encouraged to visit the Massachusetts National Guard Website . Students must submit a Certificate of Eligibility to the Financial Aid Office each semester.
To begin the application process for the categorical tuition waiver, veterans, who are Massachusetts residents pursuing an undergraduate degree at MMA are encouraged to visit the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance Website. Students must complete the attached form (every semester) and submit a copy of your DD214 to the Financial Aid Office.
 
STATE BENEFITS
o   Who is eligible for tuition waivers at MMA?
o   MMA offers a ‘categorical tuition waiver’ as well as a ½ fee waiver to all veterans and active duty service-members who are permanent and legal residents of Massachusetts. This waiver can be used for any undergraduate credit-based course, provided the student is officially enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at MMA. This waiver covers full tuition and ½ fees.
o   Students must submit a copy of their form DD214 to the financial aid office to receive this benefit.
 
o   I’m a member of the Massachusetts National Guard. What educational assistance programs are available to me?
o   If you are an actively-drilling soldier or airman of the Massachusetts National Guard, and are officially enrolled in a degree program at MMA, you are eligible for a 100% tuition and fee waiver. 
o   The waiver covers mandatory tuition and fees for undergraduates (does not cover deposit, seabag, books, room and board expenses).  It covers approximately 81% of the total cost of the program for Graduate Students (does not cover food, lodging and books).
o   Student must submit a Certificate of Eligibility to the MMA Financial Aid Office each semester. This certificate is issued by the Military Division of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
o   To apply for these benefits and for more information, visit Massachusetts National Guard Website or contact the Massachusetts Army National Guard Education Services Office at (888) 301-3103 x 6753.
National Guard Reservists may also qualify for the Montgomery GI Bill (see below) through the Chapter 1606 or 1607 program.
 
o   What is the Welcome Home Bill Bonus Payment?
o   The Welcome Home Veterans Bonus is a tax-free cash payment available to eligible United States service members activated since September 11, 2001. The Massachusetts State Treasurer’s Office, Veteran’s Bonus Division administers this benefit. To find out if you are eligible and how to apply, visit the State Treasurer’s website. Questions regarding this bonus should be directed to the Veterans’ Bonus Division at (617) 367-9333 x539 or by email at veteransbonus@tre.state.ma.us.
 
FEDERAL BENEFITS

o   What is the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)?
o   The Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008 amends Title 38, United States Code to include a new Chapter 33. This new chapter provides increased benefits for veterans pursuing an approved education program at an approved degree-granting institution. Both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs at MMA are approved programs.
o   To be eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you must have received an honorable discharge; and served at least 90 aggregate days on or after September 11, 2001; or been discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 continuous days.
o   Based upon your length of service, you are entitled to receive a percentage of the following:
o   The cost of tuition (in-state rate) and fees (to be paid to MMA)
o   A monthly housing allowance equal to the Department of Defense (DoD) E-5 with dependents based on the zip code at MMA (02532) to be paid directly to you. Room and board charges with MMA are not paid directly to the school, therefore, the student is responsible for paying these charges up front.
o   A book stipend of up to $1000 per academic year (to be paid directly to you)
o   Students are responsible for settling any outstanding charges not covered by this benefit with the Business Office prior to the start of each semester.
o   Students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs at MMA are eligible for Chapter 33 benefits.
o   For more information visit www.gibill.va.gov or call (888) 442-4551
 
o   As a graduate student, how much of the costs for the MSFM and MSEM Programs are actually covered by Chapter 33?
o   Approximately 81% of your total charges are paid directly to MMA. The student will receive a book and housing allowance directly so the food/lodging/books portions of your charges are not paid directly to MMA. 
 
o   How is the Post-9/11 GI Bill Different?
o   The Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) includes several other provisions that make it more flexible than Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill) in meeting the needs of today’s service-members. Other items included in the Post-9/11 GI Bill are:
o   Eligibility timeframe is extended from 10 to 15 years
o   There is no $1200 contribution required to participate in the benefit
o   Veteran has the provision to transfer the benefit to spouse or dependents
o   Veterans who are currently using GI Bill benefits and those who have paid into Chapter 30 may also qualify for Chapter 33. The decision to opt into Chapter 33 is irrevocable. Because the Post-9/11 GI Bill can only be used at a degree-granting institution and there are many tiers of eligibility, you are strongly encouraged to discuss your benefits under each chapter before electing into the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
o   To speak with a VA representative about electing to use Chapter 33 call (888) 442-4551.
 
o   How do I transfer my Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to my dependents?
o   If you have served in the Armed Forces for at least six years you may transfer your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to your spouse. After ten years of service, you may also transfer these benefits to your children. If you transfer benefits you may be required to serve up to an additional four years. The transfer must be approved by the Department of Defense before you separate from active duty or the Guard/Reserves. Follow these steps to transfer benefits:
o   Ensure that your dependent is enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) and obtain an approved Transfer of Education Benefits (TEB) for your dependent. For more information, visit the TEB website.
o   Once the TEB is approved, your dependent must apply to the VA for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. For more information, visit www.gibill.va.gov. Before the dependent can use benefits, he or she must be officially enrolled in a degree program at MMA.
o   Dependent children must exhaust the benefit by the age of 26.
 
o   Can GI Bill benefits be combined with other educational assistance?
o   Yes. Need-based financial aid, student loans and scholarships as well as tuition and/or fee waivers can be combined with your GI Bill. Students should contact the Financial Aid Office for application requirements and deadlines.
o   What is the Montgomery GI Bill?
o   The Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30 of Title 38, U.S. Code) can be used to pay for school and /or training if you elected to contribute a portion of your military pay toward the GI Bill Program. Whether you are a qualified member of the Selected Reserve, an activated Reservist or active duty personnel will determine which GI Bill program you are entitled to use.
o   Chapter 30 – Active Duty
o   Chapter 35 – for dependents of veterans killed or 100% disabled while serving
o   Chapter 1606 – for reserve members – pre-deployment
o   Chapter 1607 – for reserve members – post-deployment
o   Students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs at MMA are eligible for Chapter benefits.
o   These chapters do not provide tuition and fee payments to the school; the student receives a monthly benefit directly from the VA. Students are responsible for settling their bill with MMA prior to the start of each semester.
o   Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following your release from active duty. Those who served after September 11, 2001 may be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill (see next question).
o   For federal GI Bill benefit eligibility, application and payment information, visit the GI Bill website or call (888) 442.4551.
Student must submit a Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE) to the financial aid office.  The NOBE can be obtained through your reserve unit.
o   Students must verify their enrollment with the VA on a monthly basis. To verify your enrollment electronically visit www.gibill.va.gov/wave

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR MILITARY FAMILIES

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o   There are a number of military organizations that offer scholarships to military family members. This link provides a list of those resources.

last updated 8-18-2014 by ckedski@maritime.edu