Using your Veteran's Benefits at UCR

Our VASCO (VA certifying official) has military-specific knowledge and experience to clearly explain and help you apply for Veteran's benefits, plus a variety of grants and scholarships.

Follow these simple steps and UCR will begin creating a funding package customized to your eligibility:

 Federal Education Benefits

Activate your benefits with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE).




Veterans who are first-time applicants at UCR must submit a copy of their DD214.

State Education Benefits

If applicable, apply for a Cal Vet Fee Waiver through your County VA office


Submit your approved Cal Vet Fee Waiver through  the Annual UCR Cal Vet Waiver Certification Request Form to have your waiver applied to your student account.

Additional Resources

  • VA/TA Certification Timeline + Account Protection  Dual Certifications
    VA/TA Certification Timeline + Account Protection 
    Dual Certifications

    University of California, Riverside submits an initial enrollment certification with $0.00 in the tuition and fees to the VA. After the drop-add period, the tuition and fees are certified by amending the term to add the tuition and fees amount. This is called dual certification. If the amended (tuition and fees only) certification is submitted within the time limits explained above, this will meet the two (2) certification requirement.

    Dual Certification Cycle

    $0.00 Certification

    Completed 30-120 days prior to Start of Instructions

    Final Certification

    Completed after Add/Drop


    Credits are refunded after Final Certification

    Questions regarding BAH/Stipends contact:
    VA Education Hotline 1(888)442-4551

    Account Protection

    A protection is applied to the VA/CalVet Beneficiaries student account once the VA Benefit Request Form -  – for Cal Vet Fee Waiver recipients. The ‘protection’ prevents a VA/CalVet Beneficiary from accruing additional fees or getting dropped from courses due to nonpayment.

    Enrollment Changes

    If a student makes changes to their enrollment during the drop-add period or within the first 30 days of the term, the school should follow current guidance to report changes to VA. The submission of a change to an enrollment period if reported after the drop-add period will suffice as the second certification and meet the two (2) certification requirement when received within established the time limit.

    Retroactive Certifications

    When schools are submitting enrollment certifications for terms that are already completed, the two (2) certification requirements remain. An amended certification should be submitted the next day to maximize automation, as described for “unchanged” certifications above.

    VACA Exemption/Yellow Ribbon Program

    The "Yellow Ribbon Program" is a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) initiative designed to help eligible veterans cover the cost of higher education at participating institutions when the Post-9/11 GI Bill® doesn't cover all of their tuition and fees. The program allows schools to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed the maximum amount payable under the GI Bill®. However, the relevance of the Yellow Ribbon Program may be diminished due to the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act (VACA) regarding in-state tuition.
    Here are some key reasons why the Yellow Ribbon Program may be less relevant considering VACA and in-state tuition:
    In-State Tuition Protections: VACA has provisions that require public colleges and universities to offer in-state tuition rates to all veterans and their dependents who are eligible for GI Bill® benefits, regardless of their state residency. This ensures that veterans are not subject to out-of-state tuition fees, making higher education more affordable for them.
    Reduced Need for Excess Tuition Coverage: With in-state tuition protections in place, veterans and their dependents are less likely to face significant gaps between the GI Bill® benefits and their tuition expenses. As a result, there is reduced need for additional financial support, such as that provided by the Yellow Ribbon Program.
    Broader Eligibility: In-state tuition protections are not limited to specific institutions or programs; they apply to all public colleges and universities. This means that veterans have a wider range of educational institutions to choose from without the fear of incurring high out-of-state tuition costs.
    Simplified Financial Assistance: The Yellow Ribbon Program involves a voluntary agreement between individual schools and the VA, which may vary from one institution to another. VACA, on the other hand, provides a standardized framework for in-state tuition eligibility, making it more straightforward for veterans to understand their entitlements.
    Cost Savings for Veterans: By ensuring that veterans receive in-state tuition rates, VACA can significantly reduce the financial burden on veterans pursuing higher education. This reduces the necessity for veterans to seek supplementary assistance through programs like Yellow Ribbon.
    Learn more:

  • VA Ch33: Post 9/11 GI Bill®

    VA Ch33: Post 9/11 GI Bill®

    Tuition and Fees

    Tuition and fees are paid directly to the school on behalf of the student when the school’s enrollment certification is processed. Tuition and fees are prorated by the student’s benefit level.

    Monthly Housing Allowance

    The housing allowance is prorated by the student’s length of service percentage (e.g. length of service determines benefit level) and the student’s rate of pursuit (RoP). The MHA paid is based upon the Department of Defense’s Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an “E-5 with dependents” and the zip code of the campus or training location where the student physically attends the majority of their courses. More information on monthly housing allowance benefits can be found on the GI Bill® website.

    Active Duty

    MHA is paid directly to the student at the beginning of each month for the previous month. MHA will only be paid while the student is not on active duty (e.g. MHA payments will stop immediately on the day a member enters on active duty or will begin the day after when a member is released from duty when enrolled and otherwise eligible).
    For students affected by Colmery section 501 of PL 115-48 (First used chapter 33 on or after January 1, 2018) will receive the capped Department of Defense (DoD) rate based on the physical campus location where he or she is taking the majority of their credit hours. 

    Rate of Pursuit and the Monthly Housing Allowance

    Rate of pursuit (RoP) applies specifically to chapter 33. It differs from training time, which is used for all other chapters. Schools certify actual credit. VA calculates RoP by dividing the number of credit (or credit hour equivalents) being pursued by the number of credits considered to be full-time by the school. The resulting percentage is the student’s RoP. 

    • Examples: If full-time is12 credits, then RoP:
    • 6 credits (or credit equivalents) is 50% (6 ¸ 12 = 50%)
    • 7 credits (or credit equivalents) is 58% (7 ¸ 12 = 58%) 

    The MHA is paid if the student’s RoP is more than 50%. Rate of pursuit determines whether a student receives or doesn’t receive the housing allowance. If pursuit is more than 50% the student receives the housing allowance. If the RoP is 50% or less, then the student doesn’t receive the housing allowance. (Active-duty personnel receiving chapter 33 benefits or spouses of active duty personnel receiving Transfer of Entitlement (ToE) benefits are not eligible for the housing allowance). 

    Monthly Verification of Enrollment (PL 116-315, section 1010)

    Section 1010 has required all recipients of chapter 33 monthly housing allowances to verify their enrollment status each month. VA has determined the first phase of this verification will affect students enrolled at a NCD facility. Other chapter 33 students will be required to participate in this process by December 2021.
    Verifications must be received through a text messaging solution known as Twilio. Students enrolled in a program which begins on or after August 1, 2021 will either receive an option to opt into the text messaging process to verify their attendance monthly OR they will be required to contact the 1-888-442-4551 toll free number monthly to verify.

    Greater details regarding this monthly verification process is available on the website
    Schools cannot verify for students. The student must verify they continue to be enrolled by stating “yes” or if not enrolled as stated, should respond as “no” and the VCEs will contact the schools to determine where and when the change occurred.
    This monthly verification process is ONLY for chapter 33 students. This differs from the monthly certification process non-chapter 33 students are required to provide to release their monthly stipend.
    Chapter 33 students must respond monthly to verify their enrollment. However, their MHA payments will continue to be released until two consecutive months have elapsed without any verification from the student. Additional guidance regarding when a student has failed to validate for two consecutive months will be released prior to September 30, 2021.

    Books and Supplies Stipend

    The books and supplies stipend is a lump sum payment (each quarter, semester or term attended) paid directly to the student when the school’s enrollment certification is processed. The stipend is prorated by the student’s length of service percentage. The books and supplies stipend pays $41.67 per credit certified, up to 24 credits for the academic year (08/01/YY-07/31/YY). The start date of an enrollment period determines the academic year to which the enrollment period belongs. The maximum stipend is $1,000 per academic year.

    Rounding Out

    Historically, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Education Service (EDU) has allowed the practice of “rounding out” in which VA allows a school to certify courses for payment which are not a part of the beneficiary’s approved program of education to increase a beneficiary’s training time or rate of pursuit. Rounding out is only allowed during the beneficiary’s final academic term. By authorizing payment for these extra courses (courses which are potentially completely unrelated to the beneficiary’s program of study or vocational objective) non-Chapter 33 students are eligible for up to full-time benefit payments and Chapter 33 students can receive the maximum allowable housing allowance (MHA) during this final term. This procedure can be done only once per program.
    Effective August 1, 2021, VA EDU amended its policy for “rounding out” to specify that any additional class(es) taken during the last term for the purpose of increasing training time or rate of pursuit up to full-time, while not required for the specific beneficiary to graduate, are included within the program, and could count toward an enrolled individual’s graduation requirements. Such classes must be specified by name in the approved program curriculum, and not have been already successfully completed.

    On December 21, 2021, PL117-76 or "REMOTE ACT" was signed into law. Section 4 of the REMOTE Act not only codifies EDU’s authority to continue our current rounding out policy but also adds authority under paragraph 3(B)(ii) to allow for classes that are not offered in the program of education if that student has already taken every course offered in the program.
    Effective July 5, 2022, based on the REMOTE ACT, VA’s policy is that a student may round out during their last term with any additional class(es) that are included within the student’s program of education even though not required for the specific beneficiary to graduate. Such classes must be specified by name in the approved program curriculum, and not have been already completed.
    A student may round out with classes that are not offered as part of their program of education with any class offered by the educational institution only under the following circumstances: 

    • The student has taken (or is enrolled in) every class offered as part of their program.
    • The remaining course options in the student’s program are not offered during the student’s final term.
    • This policy also reiterates the following: 
    • A VA student can “round out” a schedule with additional courses to bring his/her course load up to a full-time schedule in his/her last term only. 
    • “Rounding out” is available to any student whose training time or rate of pursuit is less than full-time. 
    • A student may only round out once per program.
    Concurrent Enrollment 

    A student may take courses at more than one school that apply to his or her degree. The school that will grant the degree is the student’s “primary” school. All other schools are “secondary” schools. 
    VA can pay benefits for courses taken at secondary schools. If the student is only enrolled at the secondary school (supplemental enrollment), VA will pay for the credits taken at the secondary school. If the student is enrolled at the primary school and the secondary school at the same time (concurrent enrollment), VA will pay for the combined credit, taking overlapping enrollment dates into account. 

    STEM Scholarship

    Edith Nourse Rogers Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) Scholarship 
    Effective August 1, 2019, VA launched the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship. It is a provision of the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act (Forever GI Bill®) that gives extra benefits to students training in the high-demand fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Obtaining a degree in these areas may require more training than other fields. This provision aims to help cover that difference and give additional incentive for students who choose the careers our society needs most. 
    The STEM Scholarship will provide up to nine months of additional Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits (to a maximum of $30,000) to qualifying Veterans and Fry Scholars seeking an undergraduate STEM degree or who have earned a STEM degree and are seeking a teaching certification.
    Who is eligible for the Rogers STEM Scholarship?
    Student must be enrolled in an undergraduate STEM degree or an undergraduate dual degree that includes at least one STEM program requiring at least 120 semester (or 180 quarter) credit hours for completion or

    • Hold a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field and accepted or enrolled in a Teaching Certification program. or
    • Hold a bachelor’s or graduate degree in a STEM field and enrolled in a covered clinical training program; and
    • Must have completed at least 60 semester hours or 90 quarter credit hours toward the STEM degree and;
    • Must have or will exhaust their Post-9/11 GI Bill® entitlement within six months based on their current enrollment(s) 

    More factors to know:

    • Priority will be given to individuals who are entitled to 100% of Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits and to those who require the most credit hours.
    • Chapter 33 private school academic year maximum rates apply to the STEM scholarship program.
    • The Yellow Ribbon Program is not available with STEM. Schools may apply Yellow Ribbon funding, but VA can't match it.
    • These additional benefits can't be transferred to dependents.
    • Fry Scholars are eligible to apply for the Rogers STEM Scholarship. 

    What fields of study qualify for the Rogers STEM Scholarship?
    Students must be enrolled in or have earned a degree in one of the following areas listed on this site: 

    • Please complete the VA BENEFIT REQUEST FORM (VBRF)  and attach your Certificate of Eligibility (New UCR First Year/Transfers).
  • VA Ch35: Dependents Education Assistance
    VA Ch35: Dependents Education Assistance 

    Educational Assistance paid to dependents of Veterans who have a service-connected permanent and total disability or died as a result of service connection. Persons who may be eligible are: 

    • A child (between ages 18 and 26, with some exceptions) of a Veteran who is permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition; or who died in service; or who died of a service-connected disability; or who died while evaluated as having total and permanent service-connected disability; or who is listed as a POW or MIA
    • The surviving spouse of a Veteran who died of a service-connected disability, or died in service, or died while evaluated as having total and permanent disability resulting from a service-connected disability. Surviving spouses, whose benefits stopped when they remarried can receive DEA benefits again if their remarriage ends by death, divorce, or they cease to live with the person to whom they presented themselves in public as married.
    • A spouse of a Veteran or serviceperson who has a total and permanent disability resulting from a service-connected disability; or who is listed as a POW or MIA
    • The spouse or child of a Service member who is hospitalized or receiving outpatient treatment for a service-connected permanent and total disability and is likely to be discharged for that disability.
    • A child, spouse, or surviving spouse may be eligible for special restorative training where needed to overcome or lessen the effects of a physical or mental disability for the purpose of enabling an eligible person to pursue a special vocational program or other appropriate goal. 

    Find more information on our Dependents Educational Assistance webpage.

  • VA Ch31: Veterans Readiness and Employment program 
    VA Ch31: Veterans Readiness and Employment program 

    A Veteran may be eligible for Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) benefits if he or she: 

    • Has received, or will receive, a discharge that is other than dishonorable
    • Has a service-connected disability rating of at least 10%, or a memorandum rating of 20% or more from the VA
    • Applies for Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Vet Success services 

    The basic period of eligibility in which VR&E’s Vet Success services may be used is 12 years from the latter of: 

    • The date of separation from active military service, or
    • The date the Veteran was first notified by VA of a service-connected disability rating. 

    For additional information about VR&E contact the Regional Office in the state of the Veteran (RPOs do not process VR&E claims). 
    Effective August 1, 2011. An individual eligible for chapter 33 who is receiving benefits under chapter 31 may elect to receive the applicable chapter 33 Monthly Housing Allowance in lieu of the monthly subsistence allowance. Students should contact their Vocational Rehabilitation counselors for additional information.

  • VA Ch30/1606

    VA Ch30/1606: 

    Chapter 1606 is an educational program for members who are actively participating in the Selected Reserve. Selected Reserve components include the Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard, and Air National Guard. The Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security (Coast Guard) determine who’s eligible for chapter 1606. The Department of Veterans Affairs administers the program and pays benefits.

    Basic eligibility requires a 6-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve and satisfactory participation in required Selected Reserve training. chapter 1606 benefits are paid monthly directly to the reservist. Find more information on our rates webpage  
    Chapter 1606 Kickers: An additional amount, called a kicker, may be added to the benefit of some chapter 1606 students. The possible monthly kicker levels are $100, $200, and $350. A chapter 1606 kicker may be a part of the original enlistment contract or part of a re-enlistment contract.

  • Tuition Assistance 
    Tuition Assistance 

    Tuition Assistance (TA) is a Department of Defense (DoD) program. VA does not administer TA. TA rules vary by branch of service and can even vary between components within the branches depending on whether the Service member is Active duty, Reserve, or National Guard. 
    If a student receives education benefits from VA and receives TA benefits from the military, duplication of benefits may be an issue. The issue might involve VA regulations, DoD regulations, military branch specific regulations or all three since VA, DoD, and the military branches all have regulations about receiving VA benefits and TA at the same time. Potential duplication issues are outlined below.

  • Tutorial Assistance

    Tutorial Assistance

    Chapter 30, 32, 33, 35, and 1606 
    Tutorial assistance may be paid to students under chapters 30, 33, 35 and 1606. Tutorial assistance helps the student pay for necessary tutoring and is a supplement to the student's regular education benefit. 
    VA may pay tutorial assistance to a student receiving education benefits. 
    The monthly rate may not exceed the cost of tutoring or $100. The maximum amount payable is $1,200 per student per benefit program. There is no entitlement charge for the first $600 under Chapter 30 and 1606. There is no entitlement charge under Chapter 33 or 35. 
    The student, tutor, and certifying official must complete an Application and Enrollment Certification for Individualized Tutorial Assistance (VA Form 22-1990t). The application may be submitted at the end of each month or combination of months. The application must be signed and dated on or after the date of the last tutoring session certified. VA can pay for tutorial assistance during the one-year period before the date VA receives the application.
    All the following criteria must be met for a student to be eligible for tutorial assistance.

    • The student must be in a post-secondary program ½-time or more. For chapter 33, rate of pursuit must be “at least 50%.”
    • The student must have a deficiency in a course that is part of his or her approved program.
    • The student must be enrolled in the course during the quarter, semester, or term in which the tutoring is received for the course. Tutoring may not occur between quarters or semesters. 
  • Cal Vet Fee Waiver
    Cal Vet Fee Waiver

    The College Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents benefit waives mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at any State of California Community College, California State University, or University of California campus. This program does not cover the expense of books, parking or room and board. There are four plans under which dependents of Veterans may be eligible.

    All applicants must meet California residency requirements as per the school’s requirements.

    If eligibility criteria are met, use of the College Waiver for Veterans Dependents may be applied to state-support programs in the CCC, CSU, and UC systems.  Some academic programs at these institutions that are considered self-supported, commonly referred to as extension courses or extended education are not required to apply the College Fee Waiver because these courses, degrees, and certificates are neither funded by the state nor are they system-wide programs. Veterans’ dependents using this waiver should research their academic programs thoroughly before applying to the college or university. 
    Education Code, Section 66025.3 does not provide the authority to grant College Fee Waiver benefits retroactively. However, an exception exists relating to applications received under the provisions of Military and Veterans Code Section 890.3(a)(1).  The law permits retroactive fee waiver benefits when an application is denied solely due to the fact that the Veteran has a claim pending with the USDVA for service-connected disability or death benefits, but the claim has yet to be awarded, and in the future the USDVA adjudicates a service-connected rating. The Veteran or student must have applied for the College Fee Waiver during each academic year in which they are seeking the benefit; the application will be denied due to no service-connected disability.  Once the Veteran has been awarded service-connected disability rating, bring the VA notification letter and denial letter(s) back to the CVSO for review.
    If you are a child of a Veteran, you must attach Verification of Dependency.  Acceptable verifications include, but are not limited to, a Birth Certificate, Adoption Records or Marriage Certificate.  Those seeking status as an Adopted Child or as a Stepchild must have entered such status prior to the child's 23rd Birthday. 

    How to Apply
    Please use the College Fee Waiver Calculator to verify eligibility.
    To apply download an application (PDF) then go to your local CalVet Veteran Services CVSO Locations.  For more information, you can also contact the admissions office or the Veterans Affairs office of any California college system campus.

    For eligibility information, please review the information for each Plan, shown above. In accordance with California Education Code 66025.3(c), the income limit for otherwise eligible students under Plan B for the school academic year 2021-22 is $13,465. Income limit for the upcoming academic year 2022-23 is $14,097.
    ​To obtain complete eligibility requirements or assistance in applying for these benefits, please contact your local CalVet Veteran Services CVSO Locations .  Note: This program does not cover expenses such as books, housing, and parking.

  • Feedback Form
    Feedback Form

    Share your thoughts, comments, concerns or compliments with us through the UCR VA/CalVet Survey  

VASCO Office Hours/Virtual Appointments

Office Hours
Weekly In-Person Support at the Veteran’s Resource Center (125 Costo Hall): 

• Tuesday 1-5PM
• Thursdays 9-12PM

Virtual Appointment
Use the following link to set a virtual appointment to speak with the VASCO Team.

Make an appointment