Apply for Education Benefits

Federal, state, and institutional student financial aid programs are available to cover your cost of attendance. Completing the FAFSA is the first step in determining your eligibility for most financial aid programs. For more information on the application process click here.

The information below will walk you through the steps of applying for and utilizing Federal or State Veteran benefit programs. For a detailed timeline of benefits processing please see Important Dates & Announcements in the Veteran Menu.

STEP 1: Apply for Benefits

Federal and state veterans educational programs are available for active duty service members and veterans of the U.S. Armed Services, and, in some cases, the dependents of service members. Resources received through most federal veterans educational programs don’t affect financial aid eligibility. Click here for detailed application steps.

The following links provide additional information on these programs and the processes that must be followed to utilize these benefits:

Federal Veterans Programs
State of Illinois Veterans Programs

STEP 2: Submit Letter of Eligibility

Once your application for VA Education Benefits has been processed the VA will provide you with a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). A copy of the COE must be provided to our office.

If applying for the Illinois Veterans Grant (IVG), Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant, or MIA/POW, once the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) has processed your application you will be provided with a Letter of Eligibility. A copy of the Letter of Eligibility must be provided to our office.

These documents may be submitted to our office using the online Document Upload.

STEP 3: Submit VECR

Each term you must submit the electronic Veteran’s Enrollment Certification Request (VECR) for Veterans Services to certify your enrollment to the Department of Veterans Affairs for your Federal Veteran’s Education Benefits. The VECR is available online here. Students need to wait at least 24 hours after registering to complete the VECR form, this allows the system to update overnight with your enrollment.

Also, if you receive either the Active Duty or Selected Reserve Montgomery GI Bill® you must verify your enrollment monthly to receive payments. Students using Chapter 33 benefits will begin this process after August 1st, 2021.

The VECR is not required at this time for State of Illinois Veterans programs. However, you must notify our office if you have elected to use benefits by submitting your Letter of Eligibility and/or emailing osfaveterans@illinois.edu.

Concurrent Enrollment/Parent Letters

If you are taking courses at another institution you may have your enrollment certified at both schools for VA educational benefits. The VA will pay for the combined credits taken at both schools at the same time (concurrent enrollment), but will take overlapping enrollment dates into account.

To initiate this process, you must notify our office by emailing osfaveterans@illinois.edu. You will be provided a Parent Letter Request form, which must be completed by your academic advisor, and returned to our office. At that point, we will notify the SCO at the Guest Institution to certify your enrollment. Please note that courses at the Guest Institution must count toward your degree at the Parent Institution (UIUC).

Military Tuition Assistance (TA)

If an eligible Service member decides to use TA, educational institutions will enroll him or her only after the TA is approved by the individual’s Service. Service members will be solely responsible for all tuition costs without this prior approval.

This requirement does not prohibit an educational institution from pre-registering a Service member in a course in order to secure a slot in the course. If a school enrolls the Service member before the appropriate Service approves Military TA, then the Service member could be responsible for the tuition.

All Military TA must be requested and approved prior to the start date of the course. The Military TA is approved on a course-by-course basis and only for the specific course(s) and class dates that a Service member requests. If a military student “self-identifies” their eligibility and the Service has not approved the funding, then the Service member will be solely responsible for all tuition costs, not the Service.

For assistance with Military TA you must contact University Bursar Sponsor Billing. Their office can be reached at 312-585-9174 or by email at bursarsponsorbilling@uillinois.edu.

Withdrawing From the University for Activation or Deployment

If you withdraw from the university, you must follow established official withdrawal procedures. More detailed information on the withdrawal process, and impact to benefits can be found here.