Live VRAP GI Bill Q&A Event

May 30, 2012 | Terry Howell

GI Bill experts from the House Committee on Veterans Affairs staff will be available for a live Question and Answer session this Friday.

The Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP GI Bill) is designed to provide retraining and education assistance for unemployed veterans who are no longer eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill or Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. VRAP offers up to 12 months of education benefits worth as much as $17,600 ($1473 a month). 

The Department of Veterans Affairs began accepting applications for VRAP on May 15.   The VA reports that approximately 11,000, eligible veterans have applied.

If you or someone you know may be eligible for this new benefit, you should attend this live blog Q&A event on Friday, June 1, 2012,at 1:00 pm Eastern Time (10:00 am Pacific). GI Bill experts from the House Committee on Veterans Affairs staff will be available for a live Question and Answer session.

Learn the “who, what, when, where, and why” of the VRAP GI Bill — Join us for the “Live Blog” event featured here on the Military Advantage website on Friday June 1.

About Terry Howell

Before becoming the Managing Editor for, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.


  1. Shari Tarvin says:

    I applied for VRAP on May 15th and am wondering if there will be any notification on whether or not my application was accepted? Sitting here waiting is killing me because if I was not accepted, I will have to un-enroll myself from the school as I am unable to afford the monthly payment. Any information on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    • tdhowell says:

      Be sure you tune in for the LIVE Blog event and get your questions answered.

    • How is it that you got to apply for VRAP in May when they aren't taking applications until July? Perhaps you applied to ch. 33 or some other program?

      • Where did you get that misinformation? According to the VA website, you can't use the VRAP benefits BEFORE 1 July, however, the website stated that applications for the program would be accepted starting 15 May – which is what I did.

      • They started taking applications May 15th, but the benefit itself can't be used before July 1st. I applied May 14th at 10 pm and just got my approval letter in the mail on Saturday. HOWEVER, my school was NOT approved because the quarter starts June 18th. IDK if they will cover fall quarter or if I will have to withdraw and re-apply. Still working on the details but at least I (personally) am approved. Praise God! I can use it.

        • You may want to see if you school has a payment plan, mine does, I know its too bad we cant get advance payment!!

    • jennifer says:

      I just received my letter stating the certificate of eligibility on 6/11. But you still can apply for financial aid to pay for your classes. The stipend will not be paid out(from what I understand) until August. You have to attend school in july and you get the payment the next month. If possible maybe you could take out a loan from the school and pay it back immediately once the VRAP money comes in. Just a suggestion. Hope it helps!!

  2. fodwalker says:

    I was unable to access the application form 22-1990R on e-benefits Dept of Veterans Affairs GI Bill site. What a cluster duck. So I go's to the VA Regional Office in St. Paul, MN. I ask for help and they tell me I have to sign up for Voch Rehab. I tell them I want a VRAP form and do not qualify for Voch Rehab because I am not 30% service-connected. The miss employee looks at me like I don't have a clue of what I'm talking about. I ask to use their computer lab to find the form on VONAPP and the page comes up unavailable. No one working at the VA education benefits office has heard of VRAP! 2 days later I get a letter from them saying "so sorry charlie…you no good for Voch-Rehab"!

    • Michael from GA says:

      Fodwalker: I think the Decatur office is running this show, I'd get on the phone with them and tell them to get the DUCK out of your records and straighten things out! LOL quack quack

    • Sara Lynn says:

      There is no form available – it has to be done on line. I have run into some of the same problems with people not knowing anything about VRAP. I'm a Vocational Specialist with HVSEP and I am the only one attempting to get a Veteran qualified. Also, it looks like the Veteran will have to pay upfront. That sucks – they are unemployed but expected to have the money to pay upfront???

  3. Walter D Porter says:

    Where do I do to put my application for VRAP?

    • Go to the VA website and look for the online application program called VONAPP. Fill out the 22-1990R application (be sure to get the CORRECT application, as they look similar) and hit the "submit" button. Takes about 15 minutes. That's what I did when I submitted my application ( prefilled out) 12 seconds after midnight on the 15th of May!

    • you need to contact your local voc rehab office. if you are in houston, the number is 713 383 1985

    • contact your local voc rehab office. if you are in houston, the number is 713 383 1985.

  4. Don M - NY Vet Rep says:

    If I become employed while still in my training, does this disqualify me from continuing in the program?

    • Michael from GA says:

      That's not listed anywhere in the rules that I saw and wouldn't make any sense anyway. The state DOL certifies your unemployement status on ONE date, that's it, for qualification. The VA people I talked to didn't know the answer, either. I plan on getting a VAWSP or WS or part time job.

    • Sara Lynn says:

      Yes it does disqualify you according to the recent web Q&A event.

    • Does not disqualify you. Only need to be unemployed at time of application.

      • I talked with someone from VA ED today and she said yes you can work after you get your award letter, just have to be unemployed at the time you are applying and can use anywhere in the U.S. and on-line as well as long they are both VA approved. Maybe typing too much but I hope it helps.

    • No but you needed to be unemployed the date that you first applied and started the program…you can find a job while in the program and still receive in the Q&A it states that the VA don't want people extending their unemployment just for benefits…its a means of last resort to help vets find a job by retraining and placement assistance with the DOL

  5. Don M. NY Vet Rep says:

    Is there an alternate form of payment if I don't have a personal checking account access due to assets being frozen? Could I use a relatives account?

  6. Don M NY Vet Rep says:

    If I am enrolled in a VA program such as CWT or IT which I receive minimum pay, would I qualify or would I have to quit the program to be eligible for VRAP

    • Jeanne Ryan says:

      From what I've read regarding this program …. you can not qualify if you are any other VA educational program.

    • YOU can still qualify for this program as compensated work therapy (CWT) does not count againt anything it is a cash job ….it is not taxed so therefore there will be no reporting agency. Check with your CWT case manager and I'm certain he or she will say the same.

      • It doesn't matter if it is taxed or not. What matters is, who is paying for the CWT? VA educational benefits programs of any other type are not allowed with VRAP.

        • Lance Davidson says:

          When I say CWT (Compensated Work Therapy) I'm referring to work you do for cash at the VA hospital while you are some type of recovery or mental health program, this is not an educational type of benefit so therefore you will be able to qualify for VRAP as it is not a permanent job at the hospital but rather a "theraputic" type job for your mental and emotional well being so that you can one to re-enter the work force…VRAP will be a blessing to these these CWT patient/workers

          • Sara Lynn says:

            I work under CWT as a Vocational Specialist with HVSEP and CWT/Transitional Work is a therapeutic program and it is not considered a wage – instead it is a medical stipend therefore it would not interfere with VRAP. You can be in CWT/TW and qualify for VRAP. I know this is true as I checked with Central Office. Hope this helps. Sara Lynn

  7. Don M NY Vet Rep says:

    Can I enroll in an online training course?

    • Michael from GA says:

      That's a broad category, Don, all my classes at gtc this semester will be online, but I may run into a hybrid or brick class depending on the subject. You should check to make sure the "institution" is qualified for VA reimbursement (even though that's not what you're getting). Do a little digging!

    • Yes, you can use vrap for schools tha toffer programs exclusive online; Iam going to attend Iowa Central Community College online for Networking in IT; they do accept vrap; they are regionally accredited, and for vets, the tuition is 250/credit; they are not-for-profit!

      Cleveland institute of Electronics(CIE) also particpates in vrap. They are correspondance. They have postings for vrap particpation at their website.they are nationally accredited.

      • Cleveland Institute is considered a "half time" school so you only get half of the VRAP payout. I talked to their financial aid officer.

        • This is what they SAY but vets are NOT getting certified or paid for VRAP through CIE. I trusted them and enrolled and nothing….. NOT happy.

    • Bob Ginn says:

      Just a quick FYI, Cleveland Institute is correspondence. Therefore, VA will only pay half of the monthly amount.


      • So that means if I am going to school fulltime online but the training class only cost 4000.00 the VA will only pay me that amount?

        • dave edwards says:

          Check out WIA (workforce investment act) thru employment services. i DID an orientation last week, they said they would pay up to 7000 dollars for the listed (on their list) programs. I am in default of student loan and i do not qualify, if you are not in default you can use WIA

        • This program is a STIPEND, a stipend is a monthly payment to help you survive while attending school. Supposedly it will pay you $1,473 for up to 12 months, as long as you are a full time student.

          The payment comes to you (hence, the direct deposit information they required on the application). You can use this money for food, pay your utilities, buy weed, it doesn't matter. BUT, the debt you incur for your chosen course of study is YOUR responsibility.

      • Don McCarty Jr says:

        on vrap , payment is all or none. it seems with going to cie you will end up with nothing , been enrolled from the start of vrap and have yet to collect a dime.

    • Cleveland Institute of Electronics (a distance learning school) have associate degrees that are eligible for VRAP funding. Here is their link:

  8. mutt622 says:

    If I am working 1 day a week, am I still eligable for the program?

    • Gerald D. Wilson Jr says:

      When I exhaust my Post 911 GI Bill Benefits, can I enroll into the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program?

      • according to their flier, if you have an honorable… and have exhausted the ch 33, you should be eligible.

  9. Gerald D. Wilson Jr says:

    When does the VRAP opportunity expire?

    • Two years after your acceptance into the program, after that, kiss it goodbye. Also, if your going to apply, make sure you give yourself the time you need to complete the program of choice.

  10. Pamela Lewis says:

    If I am self-employed and make less than $6000 a year, will I still be eligible

    • Sara Lynn says:

      If you have any income from employment you would not qualify. You have to be unemployed throughout the program. Sorry. If you were to do the application – once you got to the employment question, if you put in yes it automatically takes you to the DOL website. Hope this helps.

    • no you must be unemployed and they do verify it with your state DOL that your on UE at the time of your application and the start of the program…as it's to help unemployed vets find a job by retraining in high demanded fields

  11. Can we get advance payment to pay for school up front because we are unemployed?

    • that would be nice as books do cost so much, even the cheapest laptop, still runs a nice sum of money. my college charges for parking stickers, college Id card w photo and sticker for each semester. Additional paper, required testing pads, they all cost money.. Buss fares cost unless you can get a students pass..all those hidden costs.

    • the only chapter that you cannot receive advanced pay on is ch 33 (currently). you need to contact the school you want to attend at least 6 to 8 weeks before the term begins.

      • So you are saying we can get Advance Payment for Veteran's Retraining Assistance Program. If so that would be great so i can pay tuition, books, etc. Since I am currently unemployed.

        • I spoke with VA Certifying Official at my school and she said that we can not get Advance Payment for this program. Yet another Road Block!!

          • VA says we can get advance payment if school will process. Mine will not.

          • Michael from GA says:

            that's a nice bureaucratic dodge, I'd just get a student loan and pay it off while in school. Just thinking out loud.

  12. Michael from GA says:

    I've been approved for VRAP and accepted into a program with a two-semester minimum program. If I test or cert out of a few classes, it leaves me with a big gap in the second semester (9 credits). Looking at the jobs this training feeds into, they all require coursework that's not "core" to this program, but my school offers this; who works out these problems? Suggestions?

    • I would suggest that you take 3 hrs of electives to fill in the gaps so that you will still be eligible for VRAP. Maybe you can take something for fun that you don't necessarily need for your major :-)

    • This is similar to my problem. The required program says I"m only allowed to select two electives but I NEED four and without the four electives to choose from I will not be full time in the summer. And I am assuming I need to also take 12 hours in the summer which is gonna be a killer as it is.

      • Cheryl, the VA has different formula for classes taken in a compressed academic period which awards you more credit for a 3-credit class than you would receive in a normal semester. Check with a school certifying official or call 1-888-GIBILL-1 to find out how it will work for you.

      • My collecge considers 9 credits full time in the summer, so I am pretty sure most colleges require less credits in summer for full time status.

  13. R PortBannister says:

    I received the email saying "got it, thanks, we'll be in touch…" I called in to check… they had me listed as Title 31 – VOC REHAB, not VRAP and now I'm sitting on my behind waiting to hear – they send a letter that talks about "if we need further evidence or information" which sound ALL the world like VOC REHAB aqain!!!!! Meanwhile I've got my school counseling session coming up! What the hell?!?!?

    • Relax, I sent in a nice letter with all my questions lined up.
      Remember something here:
      Be polite and you'll get better attention.

      On the other end of the phone line, there are so many people taking our calls of concern, and providing advice. There are 99 thousand of us Veterans wanting to get in on this program.

      If you have a Veterans rep that you like working with at the local Job source office or the unemployment office, share with them you need some clarification: and you better have a yellow pad paper and a few sharp pencils.

      On your pad you will already have your questions written out. The Vet Reps are suppose to be there to help us figure things out.
      So write down the answers

      And if all he says is go to the website——then my friend–you better find another source of reliability. —they are supposed to be one up on this new program: at least my VA rep is.

      Also the Veterans office on your local campus is supposed to be up on this programs as well.
      when I applied, yes i did write down the name of my school, the certificate i wanted, added my bank account number and my routing number. I had all this written on a yellow tablet before I started. I didn't even attach my DD 214. It was not required.
      Yes, I was approved, right away
      I cannot start till September this year. I"m still waiting for my college to send me my password and acceptance papers.

      After this, I will then, take all my paperwork and make an appointment to see my Veteran person. I will remember to take my ID card with me.
      I will apply for classes, then the Veterans rep will send my paperwork back to the right people, who in turn, will look over my paperwork, and from then I should start seeing my college stipend start coming in.
      I will also remember to get a new college ID card for the semester / year i start school. and a parking sticker as well.

  14. svzurich says:

    I applied on the opening day, was told they'd be in touch if they need more information, and have yet to hear anything. My buddy in Georgia is already approved. We applied on the same day. WTH?

    • I hear ya! My application was prepared ahead of time and was accepted online exactly 12 seconds after midnight on 15 May. I called the VA one week ago today and got the same song & dance as you!

    • Michael from GA says:

      I'd call 'em in Decatur and see what's what. I was in the same siutaton as Steve Smith below (LOL I can't believe he beat me I was done at about 30 seconds after midnight), my "certificate" appeared on my doorstep about 10 days afterwards, dated 22 May.

    • svzurich says:

      I received an answer in the mail last week. I am not eligible with my program. I can live with that. With a bit of luck, I can take the last phase of summer classes at my school in 3 weeks.

  15. Can i use the vrap at a career college for an A.S. degree?

    • yes you can, from what I understand, some people already had some units completed before this and just needed some extra help, i was also advised that i can go for an AA, AS, Certificate or non-diploma course as long as it is a veterans approved community college, no private schools like Phoenix. There is a website attached to the Vonapp site that you can referenced approved schools with approved curriculum/skills that will help you get employment. I was also advised to have all your education done by 2014……..12 months

  16. Larry Reed says:

    Retirement age is 67 now. WHy were the veterans over 60 excluded? We still have bills and have to eat too!

  17. My husband was in the US Navy and he served 4 years as a "Nuke" . He was honorably discharged. He did not receive any educational benefits because at that time there were none available. He served from 1980-84, I believe. He has been going to school using Sallie Mae loans and grants. He has completed a Bachelors and a Masters degree, thus far, and is now working on a PhD in education at 3x the speed recommended in order to finish as soon as he can. He is unemployed at this time. The rest of our family is working whatever jobs we can find to support each other. Isn't there ANY program to help him finish his education? The only debt we have, and it is not small, will be our GSLs. Is there anything to help him? Why weren't there any educational benefits for his group? I would appreciate any help possible. We had hoped this new VRAP would be a blessing for our family but apparently he does not qualify. Thank you.

    • Tim Hartnett says:

      I would ask your husband if he declined the VEAP program during this time, as it was available but you had to put money payments towards it, which amounted to &1200 for the year. Many young soldiers, airman and sailors didn't want to pay this. He should be eligible for this VRAP as long as he hasn't reached 60 y/o. Have him check with the VA.

      • He isn't eligible for VRAP, because he isn't working on an undergraduate degree. VRAP is limited to junior college; not even 4-year university students can use VRAP.

    • do you live in Texas?

      • No; but I spent 24 years in the army. Have him check with his local VA Rep or call the VA Education Rep.

    • I joined the Navy as a Nuclear Propulsion Candidate in 1984. I came into the Navy on the tail end of the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP), a program that was open to service members who served between January 1, 1977, and June 30, 1985. If your husband had no educational benefits available at that time, it was only because he declined to contribute to the program.

      Even if your husband had taken advantage of VEAP, it was not a lot of money, even in 1984. I maxed out my contributions, which meant that I got back about $8200 from the program. As they say, "Don't spend it all in one place." The $330 a month or so maximum distribution helped stretch out how long it lasted, but I still only barely finished off an Associate of Applied Science degree with it, and I wasn't even using it the whole time.

      I've never been able to complete a Bachelor Degree, so I have little experience with financial aid for Ph.D. students. You are already using federal financial aid. Apparently, you know about state aid and grants. The VA does not have any programs for us beyond VEAP, until this VRAP came along. That's part of the reason that VRAP was created. As you apparently noticed, though, VRAP is only for undergraduate degrees and certificates.

      It sounds to me like your husband has done just fine getting his education. I hope he is able to find employment soon, and pay his debts.

    • The program is very clear. Your husband could enroll in a community college and work towards a certificate or AA program in one of the high demand jobs listed. No one pursuing a program at a 4 year college is eligible. So, anyone already with a Bachelor's or higher degree is eligible if they want to pursue a course of study at a community college and in a high demand field (see list of high demand jobs). He could also continue with Ph.D and enroll concurrently in community college for a certificate program and be eligible for VRAP. However, he chooses to pursue only his Ph.D., then he is ineligible.

  18. Charlie says:

    What about the vets over 60? VA has always been unfair, that is to those Vets whose GI bill stopped on them while they were in college when the GI Bill stopped in Dec 1989. We vets over 60 need training also. Most jobs (companies) that we qualify for needs our skills and knowledge, but require degrees. There is no age limitation on running for public office. So why is there an age limit on this program. We will not accept, nor buy the retirement age argument, becauseage is not a factor in recieving your just dues.

    • I would recommend calling your Senator or Congressman to complain and request that they extend this program to Vets over 60. Squeeky wheel gets the grease.

    • Charlie– I'm with you. Personally if you put in 20 or more years, your education benefits should be for life. In the past it was available for 10 years after you ETS'd; now I think it's 15 years. With Social Security going he way it is and the economy heading south, your IRA & 401K's go south with it. Working thru 70 y/o is not inconceivable. Therefore education benefits and assistance should go for life or until 70…

      • Michael from GA says:

        Good logic, I hereby nominate you for immediate accession into the VRAP Plans and Policies directorate. Is $75K enough? Thanks. You start Monday…(wink)

    • Apply any way. I will be 63 in August. I have been approved. There is no issue about age. These process was easy. Fred

      • Michael from GA says:

        Fred: Niiiiice. See you in class. Maybe somebody somewhere is getting smart…

      • fairydust says:

        Fred if what you are saying is true, than someone didn't look closely at your birthdate but when they do discover their mistake, you can bet they will be coming after you for the money they gave you in error.

    • Charlie, I joined the Navy in 1984. My total maximum educational benefit was $8200, which lasted me about 2 years in college. That's all those of us under VEAP were able to get, until now. I missed my most productive years in the labor force because I had no educational assistance, until now. That's what VRAP is intended to bandage. It's aimed directly at those of us who were under VEAP.

      • Michael from GA says:

        I converted the last half of my VEAP into MGIB with a top up. Now if the technical colleges were up to speed with the High Tech requirements that "employers are looking for", we could curtail some of those H1B non requirements.

      • wrightotcm says:

        your most productive years are behind you ? Come on now. I got my letter and am finishing up the school doc's. I barely made it since I'll be 60 this fall. I had to give you a hard time about the productive years. I was discharged in 1970, was a H.S. drop out (I do not recommend this route), I worked in the trades and then some supervisor roles, last year I worked (2010) I pulled down 93 K, as a manager, more than my VA Doctor. I call myself autodidact (self taught). I'm not bragging I've been very lucky, I'm not a positive thinker either, I'm saying don't limit your self , I'm starting over on the adventure and driving with the top down.

  19. Michael says:

    I am inrolled in school that will start July 23, when can I exspect a check in the bank. Also were does the money come from the VA, DOL or Dept. of Treasury. Social Security say I owe them money and if the money comes from Treeasury they will take it.

    • I don't believe that SS can take VA benefits. I think the DoL is funding this program, though, with the VA administering it.

      If you were approved, payment would be the end of the month after you began. So, for July, you would get a payment at the end of August.


      • fairydust says:

        The VRAP programs states that we will be paid the begining of each month, so if you start school in July you will get your money the first week of august.

    • I am pretty much sure that it is the VA that pays, and not the DOL; furthermore, the DOL is just there to help the veterans find employment after completion of the academic program.

  20. laceyap10 says:

    I started summer 1….just curious how long it takes to get a confirmation I applied on opening day (5-15)….The process is pretty straightforward barring not hearing a thing following submitting my application and the fact you are paying for everything upfront when resources (unemp) are already hyperextended.

    • I've seen several people (including myself) take about 3 weeks for approval. I started my application on opening day, but waited a few days before submitting it. I also want to be sure you are aware that VRAP does not pay for any education you receive prior to July 1; it pays only for that portion received after July 1, 2012.

    • I replied on opening day as well as received my letter on Mon(6/11)

  21. I am one of the fortunate to be approved. Can I qualify for the VA Student Work Study Program while under the VRAP? It would help financially.

    • Michael from GA says:

      I asked that same question, the VA doesn't even know, they're grasping at straws while they are chained at the hip to the USDOL, that must be fun. I'm sure the answer will come during somebody's lifetime (LOL)

  22. Pamela Lewis says:

    Check with the VA to see if you can work with the CWT while in school.

    I saw an educational rep last week and was informed that they will have a decision by sometime this week on my application…

  23. Are online schools that offer four year degrees approved? I am currently attending a 4 year university, but it is not accepted as it has to be a community college or trade school. The closest community college is over 100 miles away. I can't even find any trade schools. I want to get an accounting certificate or degree. Anyone know where I can look?

    • any private career colleges in your area? most are approved as long as they do not offer BS degrees

    • I don't believe so…don't think you can use it for a 4 year school and don't think you can use it for online classes…so I'd say no to both…its supposed to be in class two-year or trade schools…as its not meant to get you a degree but make you employable

    • That have recently changed; and this is the truth; Allied American University, which offers four-year degrees also participates in VRAP; Iowa Central Community College–not-for-profit, and regionally accreditted, 250/credit hour for vets, also particpates. That associates degree max has been changed!!!

      • Reggie, not to question what you have stated concering 4 year colleges. Is there anywhere where this has been stated by VA just for verification. I have found others posting this info also, but some of the schools mentioned did not participate. Is there a VRAP site that stays current with new or changed rules?


    • If you're interested in a trade school Cleveland Institute of Electronics (online school) has a few degree program eligible for VRAP.

  24. If I was approved for VRAP and used my benefits completely, then pursued a PELL GRANT to continue my education would the VRAP benefits (govt money) hinder the amount I would receive in a PELL GRANT (govt money) .

    • Dwight Hickory NC says:

      Darryl I was told by the college I am enrolled at that neither one effected the other

  25. David R says:

    how long does it take from the time a application is submitted to its approval.

  26. FellowVet says:

    I have been informed that any two-year school that also offers a baccalaureate program may not certify students enrolled in a one-year VRAP-eligible areas of study. There are a number of two-year public colleges and technical schools across the country that have been approved by their state college boards to add four-year baccalaureates to meet demand for specific bachelor degrees. Now these schools will have to turn away VRAP vets.

    • FellowVet says:

      Just a follow up. There are 19-20 states with these types of two year schools authorized to offer an applied baccalaureate. All of those states' schools will not be able to certify or train VRAP students.

      • I live in West (by God) Virginia, home of the state with the highest per capita veteran population and all of our community colleges have offered bachelor's degrees for over 10 years now.

        Who thinks up these rules that favor dinosaur institutions anyway? Get with it, WE can get BETTER education at 4 year schools that offer Professional Certificates than we can get at outdated community colleges that are NOT qualified to offer 4 year degrees.

      • Just weeks prior to VRAP's commencement, this was cleared up. Community Colleges offering a few 4 year Degrees (business, nursing) are in fact eligible for VRAP. The amazing part, it only took 18 hours!!

        Click and read:

    • I'm in my last year of Nursing school… we can't always take 12 credits, the VA said to just have the school enter that fact in the remarks area, when the school electronically submits your info.

  27. yahoogy says:

    Does anyone know if you can use VRAP in conjunction with a pell grant,the cost of tuition anymore is so high I don't think this will even pay for it.
    If its 12 credit hours to be called full time ,then even at my community college its like$100 per credit hour,then there's the books and other fees.
    And,is there any consensus on online courses,are they approved,that would cut the cost way down I would think.

    • Can use Pell in conjunction. Also, remember the cost is $100 per credit hour per term, not per month.

      • yahoogy says:

        hey thanks,so are you with the VA or do you just know that to be true,so I should probably start the pell grant paperwork for the fall off 12 now,assuming this will will come thru ,and if not just cancell the pell,right.

    • How do you figure the cost will be too high? the pell will likely pay every penny of the tuition and books and you can use the vrap to make your attendence easier to maintian as you see fit…grants don't exclude you, because the payment goes right to you regardless of out of pocket cost…you are responsible for paying the bill anyway you can…Also, vrap won't limit your grant if you qualify because it's not income.

  28. aespi9559 says:

    I can really use this NOW!!!! But I am only 33. Is there any way to appeal or is there anything I can do? I meet all the other requirements. It is quite disheartning to know I have to wait 2 years to qualify. But lets face it, I really hope I am not still unemployed in 2 years. Please Please Please this will so help if I can use this now. Thank you.

  29. Do we receive the $1475 to live on or is it to pay for the school?

    • The $1473 can be used for anything, however, it is meant to be for tuition, fees, books, and other education expenses. You can use as you see fit, but still have pay the school bill.

      • I agree with above and also you are paid for the previous months attendance at the school and it has to be reported through WAVE on the web site. They will be looking for attendance proof and exactly how many credits one takes. The schedule for payment is based on the actice duty GI bill which has a chart for payment of Full, 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4 time. Full time being 12 credit hours or 4-3credit hr courses.

        • Actually, there are no partial payments in this program. This is for full time only. 12 credits of classes. There is no prorating.

          • There is no where that I am aware of that states that there are no partial payments. That's why it says UP TO $1473 which is the full time rate under the payment schedule., but if you lets say transfer credits in and you need less than the full time credits to reach the AS or AA degree goal you will be payed according to this schedule:… which is the what the payments are derived from. There is a cap of 12 months at full time rate though.

          • I stand corrected. I see on my certificate of eligibility form that it states: "You are responsible for ALL debts resulting from reductions in your enrollment. You must maintain enrollment as a full-time student in order to receive benefits."

          • Dana, I applied on the 6th of june, when did you apply and when did you get your certificate, because I have NOT received mines yet?

          • Hi Petula, I received eligibility on June 21, and I believe I applied 4 weeks give of take prior to that.

        • Cathy Bargy says:

          I spoke to the VA today and the schedule for payment is NOT based on the active duty GI bill. You will receive $1473 a month as long as your school consider you a full time student.

  30. I applied the first day and got approved eligibility. Now, summer term starts June 25. The VA says that the whole term will not qualify for payment because, it starts before July 1 (1 week before) No exceptions apparently.

    If I pay for summer term myself, but start the program, will it disqualify me for even finally getting my first payment somewhere near the end of October (for fall term) because I started program before July 1?

    To me, its false advertising on behalf of the Veterans Admin. Why say we can enroll as soon as we are eligible, and then give us one road block after another. No one is on the same page at the VA or the schools …..I mean…they had since way before May to get this together.

    • jennifer says:

      From what I understand, you can start school but you will only start getting paid from July 1,2012. Your first payment is in August. When they say the whole term wont qualify they are talking about the 5 days in June. I don't know about you but anyting is better than nothing.

      • I heard the exact same thing today they will pay you for the month of july I talked to a case manager if you call the va ask to speak with the case manager for vrap they will tell you

  31. Joseph Goodale says:

    I applied for the VRAP program about 4 weeks ago and have heard nothing from the VA. I can't seem to find anyone who knows anything about the program. Does anyone have a direct number that one can call to check ones status?

    • Cathy Bargy says:

      Joseph try 1-888-442-4551 Hope it helps.


  32. I received my letter of eligibility today (nothing short of a miracle), but there is nothing that tells me what to do NEXT. Do I contact the VA rep at my school? Do I need to call someone to get started? My classes don't start until late August, but I don't want to wait until then to find out what my next step is.

    • call the va ed department at 888-442-4551 they will tell you your next step. Also, talk with your VA rep at the school as they will have a understanding as well and should steer you in the right direction to coordinate everything. Hope it helps.

    • just out of curiosity,when did you apply,i still havent heard anything,except a letter that they were processing my claim.

    • jennifer says:

      My letter gave instructions on what to do. You may want to go over it again. But you do need to contact the VA rep at your school and they will need the letter.


    • fairydust says:

      Ike, This is what I did. First I applied for the VRAP and while I was waiting on that, I went ahead and applied to a community college and filed for financial aid. Then I was accepted and registered for classes. I had recieved a grant that paid for my enrollment fees. I also had to get and educational plan from the counselors and once I recieved my letter from VRAP, I took that down with a copy of my DD-214 to the campus VA office and filled out some paper work and I am all done and start classes Aug 20th.

  33. jennifer says:

    There are always going to be exclusions for everything and this is no different. If you don't qualify, it doesn't make them full of it. You just have to be patient and wait for your oppurtunity. This is the first program I have been able to qualify for. Alot of you are complaing about paying up front. You can apply for a grant(you dont have to pay back)even if you have to get a loan, you can pay it with your first payment. From reading these post alot of them are just people who havent applied and just want to complain. The website is up and running today. Apply, when you get disapproved then gripe.

    • Skywelderrocky says:

      Greetings Jennifer, Military Brothers and Sisters! Jennifer, I agree with you totally. Why is it, that everybody is in such a hurry? If all of yalls, would READ and spend just a little time looking into the VRAP program, most all of your awnsers would be clear. Does anyone remember the 4P's. Poor planning = poor performance. Be patient, this is so new for everyone, just don't forget to BREATH. You are all getting so frustrated, just try to read and understand, this is the LAST Great opportunity for us Vets. I am soooo sorry to those of us who have been cutoff after the 60 year mark. But WE ALL have been part of the military, lets try to stand by and support those who are still in the 'heat of the vrap battle'. God Speed to all, over and out!

    • I got my COE on 7/16 dated 7/1212 it took 4 1/2 weeks guys. Also, at some schools you don't have to pay up front if you apply for financial aid…they will give you sometime to see if you qualify for the grants….or let you do a payment plan to give you time to get your first payment…Also, guys you can use your dd 214 to get some free credits towards a program at the community college and may get a partial scholarship too…every school is different.

  34. when is the first payment due

  35. yahoogy says:

    Is the money from VRAP taxable income,you would think not since it is an 'expence' payment.
    also any clue on what online course qualify that may be in expensive…

  36. Hope Basoco says:

    I applied on June 7, and today received a notice that the VA had processed by account change in Direct Deposit. But, I have not gotten a letter of eligibility yet. Has anyone gotten the Direct Deposit notification?

    • I got that too with the VA for 4107. So it's kind of contridiction. So confused.

      • I got the 4107 as well. I think it may be an automatic enclosure with all responses, but it's been over a decade since I dealt with the VA for anything.

    • Received mine as well. It just states that this is the information you provided us, account and routing numbers, and this is the information we will use in the future to pay you VA benefits. Then it says what to do about changes to the account, and who to contact.

    • liz quinn says:

      Yes, I received my Direct Deposit notification from the VA stating that was in place. However, the issue is trying to find a school and program the VA/VRAP will accept. The local community colleges charge more than VRAP pays! Of course I cannot afford extra tuition costs when I am suppose to have something left to live on. I have been through 5-6 schools where it all falls through. I have spent 60+ hours conducting fruitless searches. Is this some kind of a cruel game the VA has dreamt up to appear to be helping vets return to work, yet making demands so no one can use this "benefit?"

      • Liz, Are you sure? Most CC tuition rates are like 1500 for a semester. VRAP gives you almost 1500 a month.

      • fairydust says:

        Liz did you also apply for finanical aid? I am enrolled in a community college too and I recieved a grant that paid my enrollment fees and I just have to come up with cash for books since my classes start before I will recieve my VRAP money or financial aid money too. That is what relatives are for and I have a large family so I plan on asking for book money and will pay them back with my first check. You do what you have to do.

  37. Is there a list of schools that qualify for this benefit any where.

    • That's been my problem,finding a school that will accept VRAP!

      • jennifer says:

        The payment comes directly to you. The school doesnt need to accept VRAP . You only have to have the VA counselor at the school send in verification that you are attending.

        • Ok with that being said, why do you think the VA approved my school choice via COE, but the school says their program doesn't qualify for VRAP?

          • that has been my issue as well. I called the 1-800-827-1000 number to verify that the university is an approved school and I was told that "if it is on the certificate then it is approved." But the VA school rep continues to tell me NO!! So now what's next?

        • Sorry Jennifer…the school needs to accept VRAP if you are trying to be approved to get money through the VRAP program.

      • Yes, it is really Like self pay since the money will direct deposit direct to you.

    • If you are in West Tennesse or Northeastern Arkansas, Dyersburg State Community College has some programs that are on the list as high demand occupations, you could also try Arkansas Northeastern College in Blytheville, Arkansas. I am doing paperwork to attend Dyersburg State and my classes are online which does help because I live in Arkansas.

  38. yahoogy says:

    Can you apply for two certificate votech courses at the same time,as long as they can be completed in the 12 month period…

  39. Roland Groce says:

    You have to apply for FAFSA and do all the paperwork as well as the paperwork for VRAP. This is a new program so DO expect confusion and delays. I am counting on them working out the kinks with the comments but I have learned to be patient and very thorough in the paperwork and online instructions. You have to have at least 4 credits or units to begin and you can have as many as 12. See the Veteran Representative at the college and they mostly walk you through all the steps, that is if you've completed your FAFSA paperwork. I am, however, waiting to see when and how they pay to our bank accounts because I thought it would be July 1, noting in my account yet and I need it because I have at least one class that started last Monday. I hope that everything has checked out with my paperwork and files, as I was given a heads up that I was completed by VRAP Personnel. I will see tomorrow if the payments have gone out and then proudly post the correct procedures for ALL to see. Other than that, I am going to hate back-tracking to try to get in touch with anyone at the Dept. of Veteran…

    • Cathy Bargy says:

      How long did it take for you to find out you were approved?? I applied June 15th but haven't heard a thing. Do they send you a letter or do you get a phone call?

    • Why would you need 4 credits to begin if your intent is to obtain a non-degree program or a certificate? Then credits wouldn't matter. I think your mixing MGIBILL with VRAP policies, either that or your VA rep. is confused.

  40. I've been approved for benefits but can't find a school that offers Locksmithing and or that accepts VRAP. Out of the two schools that I found that offer Locksmithing,neither accepted VRAP! How can you go to school if nobody accepts it?

    • Search internet For W.E.A.M.S it a school managment system that VA uses search internet for it. Its on a VA website somewhere.… this should get you there. click on state for schools that accept VRAP

      • What do you mean school accepts VRAP. VRAP pays the Vet and the Vet pays the school so why woundn't every school accept that

    • I enrolled in the Locksmith program at Penn Foster, I sent in my VONAPP paperwork online, and received my Certificate of Eligibility for this program. When I called the school and talked with John in the Veterans department, he told me that the school wasn’t considered full-time as per some email they recieved from Harrisburg, and that even though I have a Certificate of Eligibility, they have been directed to ignore them. SUPER FRUSTRATING!!! I want to become a Locksmith! It’s one of the high demand occupations per the list, and I can not find any other schools that provide this training!! It’s as if I’m being corralled into doing something I don’t want to do! Why would the VA approve it and then tell the school not to approve it????

      • I.enrolled in penn foster too. So you’re saying that’s no good?

        • I'm saying that as of today, Penn Foster is saying NO, even though I have the COE right in front of me with the VA is saying YES. What have you heard so far?

          • It really shouldn't matter if it is self pay, you shouldn't have to go through the military depart, should be like you're a regular student since you are paying them directly. Just make since to me…Well, I registered and has been doing my modules, just waiting on my certificate…..I am on hold with educational at VA now will let you know what they say, can't beleive I got through…yay!

          • What your saying, I couldn't agree more. Makes perfect sense, what did you hear from VA?

          • gulfwarveteran says:

            you must go though the va rep at the school. they got to put your paper work in for you to get paid

        • "Search internet For W.E.A.M.S it a school managment system that VA uses search internet for it. Its on a VA website somewhere.… this should get you there. click on state for schools that accept VRAP……"

          By the way, Penn Foster Career School is on this list!

          • Good luck Justin I 'm still trying to get mine approved been 2 months got the COE but so far the VA still has not filed my enrollment papers.

          • Reggie King says:

            I acctually called Penn Foster about one and a half week ago, and they told me that their school does not qualify.

      • Hey Justin did you find out anything else about Penn Foster?

        • Ok, so here's the conundrum. according to the school and the VA, Penn Foster does not qualify for the VRAP benefits. However, the school is listed on the W.E.A.M.S. list of approved institutions and also qualifies for MGIBILL benefits. The VA says that the school is considered to be less than full-time and therefore it is not approved for VRAP; that was the first explanation I received. I argued that how could it be approved on the W.E.A.M.S. list for MGIBILL,(MGIBILL requires you to be enrolled full-time, mind you) and yet none of their programs qualify! So, I received a letter from the Buffalo Regional Office stating that the program I am currently enrolled in and the school, are not approved. The school never processed my VA 22-1999, so how did the VA even know that I was enrolled there!!?? This is their word for word response as to why the program was not approved:

          "We can not award benefits for an institution that is approved based upon correspondence courses."

          Ok, let's read that again:

          "We can not award benefits for an institution THAT IS APPROVED based upon correspondence courses."

          Yet, it is approved for MGIBILL!!?? If VRAP is approved for online courses, what is the difference between correspondence courses in which they send your the study materials and you take exams online, and any other online course??
          This school is PERFECT for this program! They don't offer a 4 year degree program, which eliminates that conflict, and you received an accredited certificate when you complete……12 MONTHS LATER in my case, and what's less than full-time about that time frame!!?? I AM COMPLETELY BAFFLED at this point. Yes, I have searched for other schools, no luck. I am homeless, unemployed, partial disabled, and have no transportation. My plan is to complete this program, apply for a Veterans SBA loan to get a van, tools, and whatever else is needed to start my own business. I really am beginning to believe that even though the list of high demand occupations is broad, the courses and schools approved for VRAP is VERY NARROW. I am being told to choose something else, why should I have to do that? I'm going to study something else I have no interest in and then do it as a career!? How is that going to work exactly?? Well, that's my rant. At this point, I don't know what to think. Take care.

          • Oh, and this will really spin your head like it did mine!!! If you care to take a look at these two websites, the first being Penn Foster, and the second being Cleveland Institute of Electronics.



            As you can see, BOTH are approved for MGIBILL benefits, yet Cleveland Institute of Electronics has the VRAP program up and running! Cleveland calls their programs online “DISTANCE LEARNING”, unlike Penn Foster who makes no reference to distant learning, and simply calls their programs “online”. Funny thing over at Cleveland though….they are advertising that the monthly payment is only $737.00 a month?? $1,473.00 cut in half!!?? I crossed referenced their tuition chart and it doesn’t differ much from Penn Foster……same ol’ 10 or 20 bucks to start….self-paced… as thou will….ridiculous and suspicious at the same time my brothers and sisters!

            The VA said no go for correspondence courses, but what’s the difference? Here’s two institutions doing and offering practically the same thing. I’m denied my award because Penn Foster isn’t “hip”????? Way to go getting this economy back on it’s feet. I wish I could retrain to become a VA “hair splitter”……hmmm……I wonder if that’s on the list of high demand occupations? God help us.

          • Ok so I found out why Cleveland Institute of Electronics advertised the benefit as being only $737.00 per month rather than the full $1,473.00, this from one of their guidance counselors at the school:

            "CIE's degree programs are considered half time with the VA and that goes for all benefits including the VRAP. We accept the VRAP only for our AAS degree."

            So it would seem that the VA is actually making some concessions in regard to full-time and half-time course schedules. I wonder if there will be a rate for less than half-time as well. Maybe something in the $369.00 range? We shall see fellow VRAP'ers, we shall see…

          • Vet are not getting paid for VRAP at CIE. I enrolled and can't even get an answer as to what is going on. Not happy to say the least. False advertising?

    • hey, go to nces college navigator under title school search. there you can look up what schools you can go to. good luck

    • Jimmy Watts says:

      Go to your local library and ask the reference Libiarian for the book: Guide to American Associations. Once in the book, look for locksmithing organizations/ associations. Each association/ organization gives you education / training information. They will also provide the names of trade magazine in the field of locksmithing. Also, you can ask to see the book: Peiodicals in print. In this book you can find all magazines regarding your field currently in print. Here's one organization to get you going:

    • Jimmy Watts says:
  41. I have been approved for the vrap ,and i would like to know how many semesters that 12 month pays for.

    • Well, considering that each semester is about three months long, I would say 4, right?

    • Spring and Fall semesters are usually four months each and summer is about two months. This means that you can be covered for about three semesters. If your are attending online, it may be different.

  42. When I applied for, and was approved for, the VRAP I was unemployed. I am now scheduled to start full time employment next week. Am I still eligible for VRAP?


  43. krogsangel says:

    Just wanted to let everyone know what I found out today when I called the VA on my VRAP application. Once you receive your eligibility certificate for the program you need to have your school certify you. Once the VA has received your school's certification (usually takes 3-5 days to be put in the system from the date the school sends it) the VA will process your application in the order it was received. You need to certify your attendance on the last day of each month either by phone or online. As long as your application has been processed with the school's certification then your funds will be processed and deposited within 3-5 days. The VA rep also told me that the amount you receive is NOT set according to the montgomery gi bill payment schedule. The amount is $1473 as long as your school considers you a full-time student and you attend the full month. The only time your payment will be pro-rated is if you start school in the middle of the month, then the payment amount will be pro-rated for the days attended. Hope this is helpful to everyone!

  44. Starting to get frustrated with this process almost 2 months now , first the school I want to attend was not approved, now since June 21st the school is now approved so I had school send enrollment form and COE and DD214. still no response from VA , call them they don,t know whats going on one rep didn,t know the law changed, one told me the Army didn,t have me listed as a Vet. so how did I get the COE man this stinks.

  45. Dwight Hickory NC says:

    I have gotten my letter I am in I have enrolled at the community college waiting on the funds to pay for my classes I got to pay by 3rd of Aug I hope all systems are a go on 1st of Aug. I have called every number and read everything I can find to figure out are we required to take 12 hours (fulltime) to get this money or does hours count at all

    • Dwight, check an earlier post here and it is in the VRAP information that you must attend classes and you have to report proof of attendance for the previous month and according to the other post they will deposit 3-5 days after you comply with reporting attendance. I believe it is through WAVE that you can report online. Yeah you won't get the money upfront for the classes unfortunately, I'm in the same boat!

      • I'd like to know if we have to attend 12 hrs in the summer also to keep getting paid or if it's 6 hrs..Does anyone know?

  46. Casey Caster says:

    I am retired Califorina Army National Guard. I want to earn my BS. I need help. I was going to DeVry in Oakland and they droped me because the VA never responded on my request to go back to school.

  47. liz quinn says:

    The issue is trying to find a school and program the VA/VRAP will accept. The local community colleges charge more than VRAP pays! Of course I cannot afford extra tuition costs when I am suppose to have something left to live on. I have been through 5-6 schools where it all falls through. I have spent 60+ hours conducting fruitless searches. Is this some kind of a cruel game the VA has dreamt up to appear to be helping vets return to work, yet making demands so no one can use this "benefit?"


    • Yes I am in the VRAP program and attending classes, I am in my 4th week. ICDC College out of CAlif online.

    • yahoogy says:

      Hi,ya they accept online classes,just curious which one you found and how much the tuition is….thanks,rick…

      • I have applied for VRAP, but just recently; I found that IOWA CENTRAL Community College Online does participate in the VRAP program; for vets, the tuition is 250/credit; and all of there degrees are 66 credits–associates degrees. They are also regionally accredited.I am enrolled to start classes on 8-28-2012, in a degree program for networking in IT.

        Furhtermore, Cleveland Institute of Electronics(CIE), nationally accredited, also particpates.

    • IT Training at New Horizons Lexington

    • Katherine M says:

      The program I am in I have to go to one in person orientation and take my final exams in person, but the rest is all online..also, the program I chose uses powerpoint, web articles and other online printable documents for lectures so textbooks are not necessary. It is offered by my local community college and I qualifed for their tuition fee waiver…so, fortunately, I'll be able to use my VRAP for living expenses. Good luck to you!

    • Cleveland Institute of Electronics (a distance learning school) have associate degrees that are eligible for VRAP funding. Here is their link:

    • I don't know where you live but here is a list of technical colleges by states. If you see some in your state, you could call them and ask if they have online classes and speak to their VA representative to see if they accept VRAP.
      It lists all the states not just Texas.

    • carol tatsch says:

      my husband is attending criminal justice classes.

  49. The big problem with this program is that most of the programs that offer certificates, are for profit and want a huge chunk of change up front. I’m unemployed, and have no money to put into my VRAP approved program. I guess I’ll withdraw my application so that someone else can use the money. I really had my hopes up, too.

    • You can apply for an advance payment so you can start school.

    • That is not how IT or Design&Media works at New Horizons Lexington is handling it. They are a for profit school.

    • gulfwarveteran says:

      You can put in for FAFSA for student aid at your school. At To help with your fees.

    • Cleveland Institute of Electronics is a VRAP online school that is affordable. Check them out if you want an electronics or computer IT degree.

  50. Joseph Diggs says:

    I hope all veterans will take advantage of this Program. To enroll you need only to be "Unemployed" and ,Honorabley Discharged, and be between the ages of 35_60,this in my opinion is a very good program. So call these tele" Numbers.1-800-627-1000, have documents availabe especially your (DD214) when you call.

  51. mongo36 says:

    I was accepted into the program, now to find out that if i am a full time student, I lose my unemployment, seems like it is useless to me.

  52. skypainter7 says:

    My husband applied and has been accepted into the program because he met all the criteria. He got the letters, certification, etc and is enrolled in the program. In the meantime, he took a temp, low paying job just during the harvest season to help us out. Will this disqualify him from getting his monthly benefits? He's still going to school and will be back on unemployment again in a few weeks.

    • fairydust says:

      He is fine. He just had to be unemployed at the time he filed his application for VRAP

      • 13thGeneral says:

        The VRAP offers 12 months of training assistance to Veterans who:
        – Are unemployed on the date of application

        that is how it reads on the benefits va gov website under the VOW; VRAP eligibility requirements. However, there seems to be some disagreement on the interpretation of that, especially with the VA reps.

        Further clarification terms need to be sent to all whom have applied to the program.

    • You husband can still get the VRAP payments. He only had to be unemployed at the time of acceptance into the program. He only has to remain full time in school too get the payments. Fulltime is whatever that school requires. A couple days a week, more or less.

      • skypainter7 says:

        Thank you, Chris. I only wish this would work for my husband, but unfortunately, he was informed that because he started his program of study in March he does not qualify for the benefits at this time. He's been accepted in the VRAP program and fits ALL the criteria – but because he has been in school since March he can't get the monthly payments. How crazy is that/

  53. Were is written that someone has to be enrolled full time to get VRAP benefits I have heard this over and over however I can not find this requirment

    • fairydust says:

      google VRAP and you will see it on their list of qualifications. At your school, your VA rep will also tell you that you must be enrolled full time or you will not recieve your money. enroll in anything less than 12 units/credits and you will be in for a rude awakening and no money for you.

    • 13thGeneral says:

      from the website;
      "Participants must attend full-time in order to receive up to 12 months of assistance equal to the monthly full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill–Active Duty program (currently $1,473 per month)."

      • 13thGeneral says:

        And another thing, the way it reads, I believe it means you must be enrolled and attend 12 months full-time, but it doesn't have to be in consecutive months. Most programs are only Fall-Spring semester courses anyhow, with a long Summer break in between, so that would (thankfully) make sense.

  54. So, what is confusing are you getting paid for enrollment or actual start day?..Who said that there are advance payments?

    • K HAmilton says:

      You get paid for the actual start day of classes/school. I enrolled in June 15 but I wont receive any payment until August. I started class on July 11th though. No matter when you enrolled you will only get payments for school after July 1, 2012.

  55. Hi,does anyone know if you can qualify for foodstamps while attending school under this program,as the VA benefits are not considered taxable income,but the rules for foodstamps are that you must register with the local Unemployment office,in which case you would not be eligible because you are going to school full time and not available to work.

    • K HAmilton says:

      More than likely with just one person, the food stamp program would cut you off because of the $1473.00 you are getting monthly..It would be considered as income by their definitions as its money coming directly to you.

      • yahoogy says:

        I guess the thing to do is to just go apply and try it after you are enrolled,I did a little google searching and have found that some states for instance Arkansas approve food stamps while you are on the GI bill,this VRAP program is for all intents the same as the GI bill,I dont think any government agency can consider it as income and the cost of tuition and book can easily eat it all up.
        I would say just go and try it,but dont lie to them of course…

    • fairydust says:

      these days food stamps is hard to qualify if you are under 65, not disabled and do not have small children. If you are not working, you don't qualify either which is weird because I thought the program was for people who don't have money or enough money. they have some really funky guidelines that look like they are designed to disqualify as many unemployed or underemployed people as they can.

      • dave edwards says:

        wrong, i get foodstamps, filed for emergency food stamps, i am 52 years old and the rule of having to find employment or look for employment during food stamp take home no longer exists for people over 50. VRAP is a grant for school, call you local food stamp office to get the truth from the supplier! or from soldiers' experiences.

    • Actually, this is a big misconception regarding Unemployment Insurance (UI)benefits and attending school full-time. Attending school full-time does not automatically disqualify you for UI benefits. In fact, here in Texas if you are attending school full-time, you can have your job search requirements waived.

      Also, the GI Bill and VRAP is not considered income for purpose of food stamps, though some states might. Education benefits are just that: Benefits, not income.

  56. headeye says:

    Can the VA help me get my mortgage reduced while I am going through the VRAP training as the 1,473.00 is less than my unemployment and I will not be able to keep with my mortgage?

  57. headeye says:

    Could I take internship to work with a company in the career field I am training for?

  58. Adrienne says:

    I have applied and been accepted into the program but I don't start school until october, if i get a part time job in the mean time while i wait, does that disqualify me to be in the program?

  59. Anderson Jr. says:

    Sir I have completed all requirements for VRAP, I am enrolled in school but funds are released at the end of the month school starts Aug 21, I will need books my school does not give waivers. I have been unemployed like most, will they send one advanced payment so you can start school on time, and not start in the whole with no books.

    • I was told today that the VRAP payments are only sent out after school starts which for me is on August 21st. The payment will not be the entire $1473. It will be only for the remaining days of the month leading up to September. You must then call in to verify that you are active in school on the last day of the month. The money is then deposited into your account 3-5 days later. So i suggest apply for financial aid.

  60. Hi, My husband has been approved for the VRAp, and is unemployed at the moment. I have a couple of questions. 1. can he still get his unemployment if he gets the VRAP, and does anyone know. If he can't we need more income, can he use 1/2 of the VRAP for living expenses and the other half to pay the school, if we make arraingments with the school to pay the remaining balance.? Thanks for the help.

    • 13thGeneral says:

      We're in a similar situation and would like to know those answers as well. The other question still creating confusion is, "If I become employed, even part-time, while enrolled and attending school, does that disqualify me from receiving further benefits?

      • You can get a job and still qualify for the program. You just have to be unemployed as of the date of your application for the VRAP program.

    • I did find another Q&A on the actual veteran's Affairs website, that stated you can take a job after you get your VRAP certification. You just have to be unemployed when you apply. I also saw the other question that stated you can use the VRAP for what ever you need, like living expenses. Please if someone besides myself can just verify that would be great.

      Here is where I found the unemployed question.

    • gulfwarveteran says:

      Joni, most states will let you keep your unemployment, but check with your local employment office. I applied for student aid at FAFSA.COM to help pay for my school and books, its a pell grant that you don't pay back. You can get up to $5,500. That way you can spend the monthly VRAP money for what ever you want. The VRAP money is paid directly to you in your bank account. I was told by a VA Rep that you only had to be unemployed at the time of the application. But I would wait until you where approved before you got a job. It might cause a problem while VA verified your info.

      • Folks, do apply for the Hope Grant, for me that's an additional $912.00 per semester maybe more or less for others.

    • I have one more question, we are just about to the home stretch. Does anyone know if Wright Career College is an accepted school for VRAP. They offer an associates degree program for IT, and I think this is where we are looking for my husband to attend.

      • Joni you can call Wright Career College directly and ask to speak with their veterans representative. They can tell you if they accept VRAP. There is a Wright in OK City,
        4908 South Sheridan Road
        Tulsa, OK 74145 918-628-7700

        There is a Wright in KS 10975 El Monte St # 180
        Leawood, KS 66211 913-385-7700
        I don't know if these are the ones you need, but their phone numbers are there for you. I would just call and speak with their VA rep.

    • Tammie Lou says:

      Something else you can do, is go to the college your husband is attending and find the VA rep and talk to them about disabled veteran scholarship offered. That is what I did and I got approved…so happy because it will pay for my tuition and books and I have my VRAP to pay my bills for the month, it is tough though because I don't know when the money will come in and I am a month behind already on mortgage and all….

  61. The 1473.00 is just for living expenses right?

    • gulfwarveteran says:

      You can spend it how ever you want.

    • The $1473 is for you to pay your tuition, books, etc. After you that you can use the money as you like. So when you enroll in class if you havent applied for financial aid you will have to pay tuition, etc. So the key is to find a cheap course. Mine only cost $2100 for a diploma in air conditioning technology. I will pay half of that at the beginning of the school year then pocket the rest. I will then pocket the $1473 every month to do what i like until i have to pay the remaing balance in january. But the key is to apply for financial aid and keep all of the the VRAP money.

  62. How long does it take to get the money in the bank, after school sends the certifacation.

    • gulfwarveteran says:

      You will not get money until after the first month of school. You got to verify your attendance at the end of each month. Then they will pay you a week or so later.

  63. I am looking for an online VRAP certified program that doesn't cost too much. Most of them want most of the VRAP payment just for tuition.

    • Reggie King says:

      the cheapest one that I know of is Cleveland Institute of Electronics; they actually lets you know at their website that vrap is accepted.

      The one that I will attend using vrap is Iowa Central Commuinty College; the tuition is 250/credit hour for vets; and there are only 66 credits per program; as far as I know, they only go as far as the associates degree level; with transfer credit, and title IV, that is good for me!

    • Cleveland Institute of Electronics (a distance learning school) have associate degrees that are eligible for VRAP funding. Here is their link:

    • I was looking for online also, but the tuition is outrageous. So I went to my local 2 year college and i found they offer online classes for a fraction of what other online classes want. So may be worth the time to call or go to your local 1 year, 2 year type training colleges to see if they have any online programs. You will save a bundle if they do.

    • Have you completed a FAFSA (this is for required for pell grants, lottery tuition, and loans). I know someone whose pell grant is covering almost all of their tuition, which will let the VRAP help offset other educational costs, such as books, transportation etc. Normally the FAFSA is filled out as early in the year as possible (after you have filed taxes) but last year I decided to go back to school starting a spring semester and didn't fill out the FAFSA until October. I was still awarded full financial aid for the year. I hope this helps some….. :)

  64. I applied for benefits 7/4 and my classes start 8/28 and I've heard nothing from VA. Does it take sometime for a response?

  65. When i filled out application for VRAP i gave the name of a school that i was hoping to attend. When i got my certification letter from VA the school name was on the letter but the enrollment date for that school had passed. Can i apply for another school with that letter even though a different school name is on it?

    • JOni Sampel says:

      I would like to know the same the question. My husband was going to attend one school and they turned out to be rip off artists, who only wanted money. So he would like to attend Wright Career College. And classes start on the 28th, and she said lots of people are using it there, so can he apply there, and have them certify or does he have to reapply with VA

      • You might want to contact the VA to confirm, but from what I've been able to surmise, you can change schools, but you cannot change your approved major. If the alternate school offers the exact same major, then you simply need to reapply with the new school name to get an updated COE. Hope that helps.


    • to change schools and majors, you need to fill out a form 22-1995

  66. Does any know if there is an online approved VRAP course for Alternative Energy?

  67. JOni Sampel says:

    I have a new question. So my husband finally picked another school and they are a VRAP school, (wright Career College), he is in a profession that is on the list. However, the approval letter he got from the VA has the other school on it, how hard is it to change the school. Anyone have any experience.

  68. What a bunch of negative nellies! I'm going to my local community college (using the money I'll get within the year, to MORE than pay for both years) and am going to ask if I can get a deferment, if that doesn't work I'll go to the local career center, speak to the VA rep about an advance, if that doesn't work I'll ask family if I can borrow the funds for a month, if that doesn't work, I'll just get an interest bearing federal student loan! GEEZ! No will, no way. When there's a will, there's a way. Ya can't ask mom and dad…I MEAN the gov't to do ANY MORE! They REALLY shouldn't even be doing THIS!

    • Randy Hill says:

      No one is trying to be a negative nellie. If your plan works for you fine. But for the people that are trying to work within specific time constraints the program is disfunctional. They rolled this out two months ago with a one paragraph decription of the program. The problems that people are discovering are only uncovered after they apply. I am on my third school of choice and third job choice. You can not waste $1,500 on a job field and not know if it will be covered. So give us a break.

  69. I'm having a hard time understanding the "community college" ONLY restriction. I live in West Virginia. While the state is not normally known for being ahead of the curve, 2 year community colleges have gone the way of the dinosaur here over 10 years ago.

    The closest "community college" I can attend is in Ohio, over 100 miles away from where I live. I would have to pay out of state tuition and some of the classes have to be taken in person, while most are online.

    My chosen field of study is photography which is on the list of high demand occupations. I could start with courses immediately at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh via online courses.

    Problem is, since the Art Institutes offer 4 year degrees, they are disqualified from the VRAP program. I am more than willing to assume any necessary loans to cover the costs of the program, but NEED the stipend to survive.

    It makes me sad to know that I CAN attend a podunk community college in Columbus, Ohio with an out of date photography certificate, but I cannot attend a widely acknowledged leader in modern, digital photographic training because of some ill conceived rules favoring the lowest form of post high school education, the community college.

    Will someone please explain the rationale behind this built in preference for a dying breed of secondary education? To me, it seems arbitrary, like something that sounded like a good idea to someone a bit out of touch with the times. I'd like to know why I can't attend a 4 year school that offers professional certificates.

    • pennywise says:

      Simple, their money…their rules. They can do as they like and it's all about doing us a favor without spending too much money in the process, hence the funky rules. They should allow us to attend 4 yr schools as long as they offer 2 yr degrees. But you have to remember, they really don't care about us, this is just a political move to throw us a bone in the hopes we will take it and go away quietly.

      • Don't forget, this also generates some enrollment and in touch with the American Way, causes each of us to incur education debt as the missing piece to this puzzle.

        Thanks to Congress, the VA, and the Dept. of Labor to find a compelling way to appear helpful without actually helping.

        In the same way the "stimulus package" our grandchildren will be paying for was an Obama payoff to unions and other contributors. As the Watergate journalists said "follow the money" if you want to find who this bogus program really benefits.

        • its about the money 4 year college is real expensive and they just coudnt afford it i see alot of complaning but someone is giving you something that wasent there yesterday and your griping sorry about west va but here in ny we have decent community colleges so iam taking them up on it but like this immigrant girl in my psy class told me today that the problem with americans is that they have everthing and still complain and dont do.

    • Obviously, Dani, your reading comprehension skills require an upgrade. I did NOT say Columbus was podunk. Shitty place to live, yes, but there's plenty to do there.

      I said the specific college was PODUNK. And I still think it sucks that the VA/Congress have this unexplained preference for schools, explicitly NOT qualified to grant 4 year degrees.

      This whole program is for show, a photo opportunity that has already passed. The fact that these tedious limitations are placed on the program shows that the VA and Congress and the President, do not really intend for 99,000 of us to make use of this.

      It sounded good and looked good as a headline, but as it always is when someone from the gov't comes and says "I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help you", the end result is not what you expected, or anything that will really help…but smile for that snapshot when Mr/Ms politician shakes your hand.

      • I know a lot of vets who are getting great benefit from the program and are grateful for it. Free ice cream doesn't always come in our favorite flavor. It may just be my perspective, but if they intend to help us quickly rejoin the work force, why would they encourage us to start programs we wouldn't be finishing under the program? By getting into a trade, then I will be able to pay tuition to go further on my own. Take what you like and ignore the rest.

        • "Free ice cream" is pretty useless if you can't eat it. I'm happy for those who are able to use this program.

          But I still see hundreds of people complaining over the same unnecessary limitations put on which institutions qualified.

          All said, this program will never truly help all of the 99,000 people the VA & whatever other mindless bureaucracy tags as "qualified". 40% of states no longer have 2 year ONLY institutions.

          But it all fits in with President Empty Suit's "hope 'n change" bullshit motto from 4 years ago. He got his photo op. I truly hope this helps 98,999 and I'm the only one it doesn't work for. But I'm pretty sure that will not be the case.

          What really pisses me off is the loss of hope to small minded bureaucratic thinking. I hate being pointed to as one of their 99,000 points of light, when they never intended to really help that many of us.

          This program could be a life changer for me and would be except for the limitations put on schools that grant 4 year degrees that the VA through the GI Bill already does business with. The fact that there is NOBODY I can talk to in the VA or any other part of government who can or will give me an explanation of the rational behind these needless limitations.

          So, this affects me deeply and it pisses me off. All of you "the VA does no wrong" ass kissers can kiss my ass, too. And any of you who think bragging about having a local "qualified" outlet are the kind of buddy fuckers Drill Sergeant Smith warned me about.

          If you don't have a hot line number to VA Central for me to call directly, shut the fuck up with your ass kissing. Quit patting yourselves on the back and do what you can to help all of us who this ill conceived program does NOT work for.

    • we are doing a ive Q and A and discussion about vrap / gi bill on saturday at noon CST. Stop by and we can help shed some light and solutions to these problems and questions you have. there are other schools including technical and some universities that made the approval. saturday @ noon

    • This benefit is a joke and waste of tax payer dollars. Quit bitching, be thankful for what you have. I can't understand why people who are T&P are allowed to apply for this benefit. Most of those people aren't going to work anyway. Also, let's keep epople out of work for another year. You are right about one thing, 2 year degrees are worthless. People with Bachelors and Master degrees cant get good jobs. I can't understand who would want to hire a 55 yr old with an associates degree. Obama loves wasting money. Veterans had a chance for education with VEAp and GI Bill. If you didn't use it, too bad. Also, if you dont have your shit together by know, your arent going to. So please, bitch while wasting my money. You probably don't pay taxes anyway.

  70. m. roberts says:

    Has anyone enrolled in an online school and has started receiving their money from the VA yet? Also, if you enroll in a community college and just want your 12 credit hours to be considered full time, can you take any class you want?

    • m. roberts says:

      Please someone reply to my question. thanks.

      • I dont think it matters whether it is on line classes or not it has to lead to an associates or vocational certificate. I called the VA and the guy said they are back logged with processing payments. Yet, it (1,473) is supposed to be deposited the beginning of the next month. The program has to get you prepared for a list of high demand jobs, listed on the vrap site.

  71. I started classes on August 20th, I haven't received the code that is required to verify attendance, is it my Social Security number. Also, I don't have a checking account, has anyone heard of the Electronic Transfer Account? Bankers in my area seem to know nothing about it.

    • pennywise says:

      you need a bank account to get your money. electronic Transfer means that your money will be electronically transferred into your account. There is no code, you must wait until the 1rst and either call the number they gave you in your award letter or do it online.

      • How do you do it online, I went to the wave section but nothing works for a log in, just so I can see what to do when the first comes. Any suggestions?

    • Just get a "pre-paid" visa card at your local check cashing place. These cards usually have FREE direct deposit and it DOES work cuz I have one and I have funds directly deposited onto my card. Yes, your code is your social security number. that's what I use.

  72. what online schools are VRAP approved?

  73. Do anyone know of an approved VRAP online school for Alternative Energy Specialist?

    • Copy this to your browser:

      Check out , it's Bronx Cummunity College and it's seem as though they're approved…I talked to a view "KEY PEOPLE IN PERSON" there..OK, follow these steps on their website: Go to >
      Click on: Academics (to the left of page)
      Click on: Cont. & Professional Studies (to the left of page)
      Click on: Online Courses (to the left of page)
      Click on: ProTrain (Stroll down the page in the middle, the link that says http://www.theknowledgebase.cuny)
      Click on: Green/Renewalable Energy (to the left of the page)
      And there you will see it….it costs $2795.00
      Here's the phone number: (Mr Marshall is over the VRAP program there)- 718 289 5170,718 289 5708, 718 289 5710 These numbers are his extensions in his office. Try in order as I gave them to you because that's how I got them from one office to the next while I was physically there.

      Good Luck

      • Will I still get the 1473.00 per month although the class only costs 2795.00?

        • I don't know the total amount for what you will get for that particuliar course. Here's the first correct phone number to Mr. Marshall (sorry I miss it): 718 289 5708. I'm not sure how it works for the allotment of monies, by courses length or high demands of hiring….it could be any guest but maybe Mr. Marshall or someone here on this blog knows.

  74. Franklin Castro says:

    After the military I was using chapter 33 and then I switched over to Chapter 31.I graduated with a Bachelor degree this year. My question is, that even though my Post 9/11 GI Bill has been exhausted am I still eligible for VRAP?

    • yes, if you no longer qualify for any other education benefits. Yet, VRAP will only pay for 2 year programs like associates degrees, and vocational training and certificates.

    • Yes I have you my GI Bill entitlements, and just got approved for VRAP, however its for a technical or community college

  75. OK, let us get real. When A "VA" counselor, who was never in the military and I come to find out is a "social worker" asks me if I want VRAP JUST for the money, I knew I was in trouble. This has been an anxiety producing process. Before u say oh, the cry baby, I have done and will continue to do the leg work. I have to my country and my country has given me back three fold. I need this VRAP training so that I can give back four fold. Please, get God love them, but VA Reps that work for the colleges; even though they have been to Iraq and Afgan, need to be taught how to respect their fellow veterans. Most of us are not asking the Vet Rep to do everything, just give a little effort to show they give a darn.

    • m. roberts says:

      Thankyou. I recently went to a local community college and asked for help and what I got was "You will just have to come to orientation first" ; she just assumed that I was going to register there. She acted as if she had no time for me. What's a vet to do if you need answers and the rep isn't willing to give you the time of day?

      • Hi. I think that those of us and believe me there are quite a few; need to let our senators and congress know how we are being treated. I don't know of any other solution, just for vets to use caution, ask questions and if it appears that these "counselors: want you in and out of their office and act like they really don't care, or whine because too many vets are emailing them, call senators and congress and maybe pay a visit to the college President, or drop him/her a note. Also, be very leary of on line courses.

    • You truly do need an education, as the nearly incomprehensible body of your statement demonstrates. If you write like that all of the time, you should really check out some free online courses for pre-college level training.

  76. I like the VRAP program idea but it has it flaws… Mainly, if a veteran is unemployed and can't get financial aid, how is he or she going to get the initial money to begin school to begin getting benefits? VRAP pays after the month of school has been completed and takes out money every time you don't go to school (understandable) or the school has off days.. I.E. holidays, breaks SO ACTUALLY YOU WILL GET THAT FULL $1473 VERY RARELY…. Almost every month has holidays and closed school days… Am i correct?

  77. There are many "strange" twists to this, particularly how schools are approved. I believe the reason behind their selection of short term programs with technical schools is because of a growing trend of students spending too much money of 4 year degrees that lead no-where. Often times the same can be accomplished with a 2 year degree, a handful of industry certs with about 50% or 75% less educational costs. Several staff members attended the regional training that covered VRAP, there was a live Q and A, and even though many of the decision makers were there, a lot of the questions that were asked were not able to be answered because someone 'higher up" made the call. Any way you look at it, this gives a group of people who would normally not have access to free educational funds a second chance. That along with the Title IV pell program provides a veteran with a good opportunity to change their current situation. We will have to wait and see what additional rules and changes come down the pipeline as year two is approaching.

    if i can help anyone, feel free to email me. as i mentioned about 3 of us went to training and are building a large Q and A for public use.

  78. Charlie Stepp says:

    I am confused. I just got an email from the VA that states I have been verified as being enrolled 6 credit hours and 6 distance hours. I am taking a total of 12 credit hours, all towards a degree in a high demand occupation. Two of the classes are physically at the school, while I'm taking two of the classes via the internet (same school's web site). Is the VA gonna screw me just because I'm not sitting at the college for two of my classes?

    • All of the classes I want to take are online. So will the VA pay me for those classes or is distance learning not allowed?

      • I contacted the VA with that exact question because all my classes are online. They told me as long as I am enrolled full time in distant learning I would be covered under VRAP. Hope this helps.

  79. I received my letter of eligibility (COE) dated July 30. I took that and my DD214 long form into the vet rep at school on Aug 9. ( She was out with an injury for a week, hence the delay!) She said she would certify my enrollment ASAP.

    Can anyone comment on how long it took after certification till they received an Award letter from the VA? I have tried to log onto the WAVE system in case the award had been approved and I had just not gotten the letter yet, but no dice. WAVE doesn't know who I am.

    So can anyone give me a general idea on how long after enrollment certification it took for them to get the award letter from VA??

    Thanks for any info. I started school on Aug 20 and am scraping pennies to try to get by till I can use WAVE on Aug 31 to verify attendance and get a little $$ for the 10 days of school in August.

    • We are in the same boat mark. COE came in AUGUST, husband began school on AUG. 20. We have tried to certify wave since SEPT 20. When you call the numbers from the WAVE website, they will tell you that you cannot log in to WAVE until you have received your first payment. They will tell you that you are IN the system, but not IN the system…very confusing. We have been losing one possession after another waiting on them to pay for all of the tuition and books that we had to pay out ourselves. Great program, but again _NOT seamless. Unemployed Vets do not have any money, hence the need for the program.

      • carol tatsch says:

        money finally came in about Oct. 10th after we were on the Ebenefits page and found a place to verify our direct deposit info. the money came the next day. not sure if it was a coincedence or not?

  80. Is 18 hours required for the VRAP program to be considered full time or is 22 hours the new standard? I am a guest to the site.

  81. I received my Direct Deposit Letter today, but no COE. My question is, when you received your Direct Deposit Letter, did it have VA Form 4107 (Your Rights To Appeal Our Decision), enclosed in the envelope as well? It's quite a mixed signal. I have no COE, but I have a Direct Deposit Letter; and I also have my rights to appeal. I can't tell if I've been approved for VRAP or not?

  82. dave edwards says:

    I have been approved for the ICDC distance learning (LCDC course), i am unable to pay for tuittion, All the montgomery bill as well as the pell and hazlewood do not permit tuition payment/waivers for people who are in DEFAULT OF THEIR STUDEN LOAN>…HOW DO I GET TUITION PAID? dOES vRAP PAY FOR TUITION TOO?

    • This program is a monthly stipend (look it up). It goes to YOU, not paid to the college and then to you. If you are in default, you need to make amends (takes 9-10 months) to get back in good graces to receive other Title IV funding (grants).

      With the time limitations on the program (done by April 2014), it doesn't look like you would be able to get all 12 months of the program.

      Your situation is the same as mine, so you're welcome in advance for the research.

    • This program is not intended for tuition payment. only to help you survive month to month. you have to pay for the classes yourself. or apply for financial aid.

    • Dave, we are doing a live Q and A for Vrap on Saturday at noon CST: there are some options for you, mostly using the right school and your VRAP funds will cover all of your training at the right school. or

    • you are at a school that is charging too much. the vrap payment alone is enough for tuition books and a little left over for you. please visit:

  83. What form or whom do I need to talk to in reference to this advance payment?
    I've tried several times, unsuccessfully, to receive the automated return call for VRAP to no avail. I figure getting this advance payment would get the ball rolling as I am in dire need. A first semester student here at TSTC-Waco and I've heard numerous rumors about only receiving a third of my Pell and Stafford Loans, one on the 7th, the other the 28th of this month. The Pell is only for 1850 for this and the following 2 semesters. Someone please explain this to me. Thank You.

  84. Has anybody found an online school that VRAP will consider Full Time and NOT Distance Learning/Part Time?

  85. If you are on unemployment, do you have to stop those benefits – because my VRAP will not cover me when we are on break between semesters?

    • yes, you can not be recieving any type of assistance. i wouldnt stop it until i get the money for vrap

    • I heard that as long you are reporting each week and is ready for work you can still keep getting your unemployment. You don't have to report the money because it is not coming from being employed. The is an answer on another thread that explains the situation in more detail. Some states will allow you a wavier to collect up to 12 months of unemployment while retraining for a new career.

  86. Derek Caughman says:

    I have lost my letter of certification for my VRAP. Wher do I start to obtain a copy

  87. Magic 8 Ball says:

    I've enrolled in VRAP on Sept 4th. How long should I expect to wait before I am approved or denied?

    • they say 6-8 weeks. I got mine in about 30 days

      • Magic 8 Ball says:


      • My husband received his COE back in August. Began school Aug. 20 and paid everything out of pocket, tuition, books etc. We have been trying to verify with WAVE and have called each day. They say you cannot verify on WAVE until you have received your first monthly stipend. This is a great program, however, unemployed veterans cannot afford to pay out of pocket and wait 4 weeks, 6 weeks or Lord knows how much longer?? Has anyone gotten paid yet? If so, how long after your first day of school??

  88. Will VRAP increase next month with the Montgomery GI Bill?

  89. So many unanswered questions about vrap have motivated us to hold a live Q and A / discussion where we can exchange information and answer questions for you. we can also call the VA and get access to fast answers. Noon every saturday. reply to rsvp. 3 School certifying officials, along with VA admissions rep since 2005 just returned from VRAP training put on by the VA.

    • wish i would have read this site earlier today. i would like to rsvp for next Saturday pls. Is this Pacific Standard time? I live on the West Coast. Janet Hickmon.

  90. Kenneth Robinson says:

    My file # is 316/22/SLV i want to give an update on my finding a school. How do i make contact?

  91. How long before you gave your information to the school were you able to file for benefits and get paid. My husband gave his information to the school around the first of September and he has been attending since the 2nd to last week of August, we have tried the WAVE website, and trying to log in per the instructions and it says he is not in the system.

    For those of you who have started this and are receiving your benefits how did it work for you. How will we know if the lady at the school filed correctly she didn't come off as that bright to me.

    • Joni, the school was supposed to submit confirmation that your husband was enrolled in and attending that school. If WAVE says that he is not in the system, then, the school didnt submit the necessary paperwork. i would call the call center at 1.800.827.1000 and ask them for assistance.

      • We are having the same problem. My husband began school on Aug. 20th and had to pay for all of his tuition and books out of pocket. It is Oct. 4th and no money yet. Each time we call the 1000 or the 4552 phone number, they tell us even though he cannot log in to the WAVE yet, he is in the SYSTEM. However, he is not in the system as far as PAID yet. ONce he receives his first payment he will be able to log into WAVE so they say on the telephone. My question is how to they expect unemployed VETS to pay for their own tuition out of pocket? And then how long do they expect them to go without the money that they had to use for tuition? IT's a wonderful program, but it is NOT Seamless as they would like for you to think. We call every day to see if he is in the WAVE system yet, this will let us know that his money is on the way. If anyone has any better info, please share.

  92. Are there any other online schools to go to that are approved other than Iowa Central, Cleveland…electronics and bcc? I have to do mine online (I live way out there). I can't go to a local school. There are none close to me. I want Physical therapy aide. PLEASE SOMEONE , ANYONE?

  93. To use VRAP, I must attend school/training full time. According to my state employment office, if I attend school full time, I will not be eligible to keep receiving unemployment benefits, As I have a family to support, I guess this program is not any help to me to train for a new job.

  94. what schools take this I havent found any yet

  95. I got my COE enrolled at CIE and now they are denying benefits because they say it is a half-time school. Standard Semesters are 15 to 19 weeks, CIE's are 24 weeks. Twelve cr. hrs is full-time 4 them, so if I complete Eighteen cr. hrs. that should be full-time 4 me. Check out Dept of vet affairs school certifying official handbook if you are getting this Indian giver approach 2.

    • I will be receiving official information this week as to the status of CIE. CIE is an approved VRAP school by state officials but the final determination is from the VA which seems to be lacking. I am in contact with many vets at this school in your situation. My answer is coming from the Direction of Veterans Affairs in St. Louis through contacts I won't mention here. At least we'll know for sure soon.

      • Don McCarty Jr says:

        thats good , because i have the same run around as Lane above and cannot get a straight answer anywhere. now it is to the point of no communication at all.
        DON McCarty Jr

  96. TAXES: I started VRAP on 08/27/12 and got paid prorated for 5 days. In a few weeks I'll get paid for September. I think taxes were taken out for August and think it will again in September. Questions: 1) Are taxes being taken out? 2) If so, can I elect NOT to have taxes taken out at this time? Because I'd rather do it myself on my tax return NEXT year.

  97. TAXES Questions: Are taxes being taken out of our monthly stripend for VRAP? If so, how do I go about not having them taken out? (Because I want to do it NEXT year on my tax returns)

  98. Can anyone tell me if I am able to use VRAP while on SSDI? I have been on SSDI for 2 years. How will it effect benefit amount?

  99. Does any one know of American College of Tecnology?
    Im told I need to send them $872.00 a month from my VRAP, then they will send or refund that money from my Pell Grant and Direct Loan..Is this a legitamate school and can they legally do that?

    • School has it's act together. Not cheap but not the highest either. They let you get VRAP money and then start paying them. Sounds fair.

  100. Sam Anderson says:

    My second and third semesters will not contain the full twelve credit hours towards VRAP. Can I add an additional VRAP eligable program or add electives to get the credit hours necessary to still keep VRAP?

  101. FellowVet says:

    Ask the school certifying official (SCO). Generally, 12 credits is considered full-time at a two-year school on the academic quarter system. It is different at an academic semester system school. In either case it could more/less depending on the length of the term. Don't assume, please ask, there are people (SCO's) at school who can answer these questions for you..

  102. is there a list of schools in georgia that accept VRAP BENEFITS….if so where?

  103. Can you collect unemployment benefits and VRAP benefits at the same time? This information was related to my husband at the EDD but this sounds to me like double dippling!

  104. How can you get help with an advance to start attending school through Pro-Train? They want all of the money upfront but as we know the VA will only pay you a month after you have been attending school.

  105. I was told of you are doing online classes the VA requires 18 hours per week.

  106. Can anyone answer the question of how many days after their first day of school did you actually receive money? COE in August, school started Aug. 20, school verified enrollment. and i have been calling and trying to verify WAVE since SEPT 20…..and the va benefits phone numbers all say everything is fine…..just paperwork has not been processed yet….

    • Disgruntled says:

      i would love to know the answer to that myself. My husband has been in school for a month now and WAVE will not let us file a claim for the benefit. It just says that there is no open claim.

    • I received my first payment which was a partial of the full monthly amount about 6 weeks after I started school (feb 25th), however the next payment is scheduled to post within a few days for a full month. I am glad it has finally started coming in, was hurting financially for awhile. Keep checking Wave, I wasn't able to "Verify" anything till this past 31st of march, so can take awhile.

  107. Has anyone been approved for the Human Services degree? I've read blogs and some say they were appoved, but others were disapproved.

  108. SchoolDaze says:

    Does VRAP cover/pay for school "holidays" like Thanksgiving break and Christmas break?? Its not my fault that I can't attend school those days.

  109. How long does it take after calling the VA for the verification to receive funds. This is ridiculous, I don't recall the GI Bill taking this long to receive any benefit amount.
    Has anyone who has began their schooling received their award benefit? How long did it take? Was it mailed or direct deposited?

    • Nope still waiting…Wife if gonna leave me and I'm gonna lose my house.

    • I started school on August 20, 2012 and received my first payment on Sept. 7. I used the online verification process to get my money. My payments are direct deposited.

      • I started school on Jan 14th and got my money on feb 06. Still waiting on march it says its been deposited but still don't see anything…weekend nobody working at the VA blues…Oh and I got lucky because I hadn't used up my pelll grant so I was ablr to get financial aid first to pay for enrollment and books and am living off of vrap. Oh and in case it comes around again…you guys and gals should apply for HUD VASH (section 8) I got it in three months start to finish!

    • Received my money after two weeks, direct deposit. Got kicked off of TANF because state said VRAP is income and not educational fund, they called it compensation so wife is freaking, and our family may be losing home.

    • Jeff Tatsch says:

      Husband started school Aug. 20. We got his first direct deposit on Oct. 10th + or – a day. We were on the Ebenefits page the night before and found a page to verify Direct Deposit information and the next day the money was there…..not sure if that was the step holding it all up or what?? No one on the phone is any help.

    • I enrolled Jan 8 and have yet to see funds. One of the problems is that no one there seems to know what is going on. I get a different answer to the same question every time I call. Very frustrating.

    • If you can log into Wave, check benefit status. It will say if an amount has been issued. Originally mine said a payment had been made and I never received anything. Out of nowhere I got a direct deposit to my account and in the description it read "returned check". I am glad it somehow resolved itself, but I wouldn't doubt some people are experiencing the same problem. I would recommend double checking your bank routing info to be on the safe side.

    • OK, guys, look. Here is how it works. When you apply for VRAP, you will recieve a certificate of eligibility in the mail. One you are enrolled, your schools certifying official will certify your enrollment through their online portal. Once that is done, you will recieve a certificate of benefit in the mail and you will then need to certify your attendance monthly. You are paid in advance each month, but it takes the VA between 45 and 60 days to get you in the payment system. So here is the key! Don't wait until school starts to have you school certify enrollment. As soon as you are registered for your classes, get them to certify you. If you do this 30 days before the program starts, you will recieve your first payment much faster. Also, if your school allows it, you can request advance payment, which is mailed to the school to disburse to you, however, you must request the advance payment at least 30 days before the start of your term.

  110. Can the school kick you out for not making the monthly tuition payment because I'm still waiting on VRAP payment. I started school August 15th but they said I didn't start till August 30th and still haven't received anything.

  111. Robert916 says:

    how many credits/units must I take to qualify for VRAP

    • You must be a full time student. Each campus has their own definition of full time. Ask the academic advisor for that information.

  112. I am currently in the army reserves and have served 5 years I ets in one year… Can I still use my SLRP if I never used it?

  113. How much VRAP money are you receiving?? I've been told that all break time like Christmas break, January break, winter breat etc is not paid by VRAP. So each month 5 to 7 days is deducted from the $1546. In order to get the full payment there can be no "off class" time in a monthly period. Has anyone attending school and getting paid experienced this?

    • It's going to depend on how your school reports your "term breaks" to VA. For example…my first term is from Sept 4 to Oct 16, term breaks being on Oct 17 and Oct 18 returning back to school on Oct 19. The VRAP program breaks the award amount down to a daily amount and will pay for the days you actually attend. So for the month of October, they will be paying me for 28 days instead of 30 days. Doesn't matter if the month has 30 or 31 days. They take the award amount, then divide by 30 to get the daily amount. They then take that daily amount and multiply by the days you attend to get your actual monthly benefit amount. My second term is from October 19 to December 3rd. So I will get a full benefit amount for the month of November…which includes Thanksgiving break. Hope this makes sense.

      • It makes perfect sense. It's just deceiving that the VA says the benefit is $1546 when in reality it is a rarity. My first 3 months have Christmas vacation, then New Years Vacation, then Winter Break, then who knows what. I might get some full months benefit but good grief!!!!! This should be a flat rate benefit for going back to school period!!!!!!!!!]

    • It is my understanding that as long as you are enrolled full-time for each semester, you get the full amount; no deductions. I believe with VRAP it is pretty much all or nothing.

      • I don't know about breaks between semesters but I VRAP is definitely not all or nothing. My first months payment was less than $300, if I had know that I would have waited until the next month to claim my first payment.

        • Yes, they do NOT pay during school breaks. If classes are not in session. I got 1/2 month for December ( at the beginning of January) and certified for 1/2 of January (school started back on the 17th).

  114. Are the VRAP monies taxable?

    • Wow this a lively forum. Where is everybody? To answer your question:
      Per IRS Publication 970:

      "Payments you receive for education, training, or subsistence under any law administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are tax free. Do not include these payments as income on your federal tax return.

  115. Does an advanced certificate for At Risk Youth qualify under the high demand jobs of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors. It is under community and social services occupations.

  116. Steven Kelly says:

    Referring to changing school on Vrap Program
    How long before you get the new Eligibility letter showing the new school
    on your Eligibility letter

    • I received my COE without even listing a school. The school I chose submitted by certification to the VA and I'm now in their system for final certification at the school. Not sure why they keep telling people to fill out a new COE. That puts you right back at the beginning of the process. I guess I'll find out my fate soon.

  117. Anybody else been getting the run around getting a COE? I was told i was approved back on sept 22. and have yet to receive anything, I already emailed them asking what was going on, their reply was to wait 10 business days, which has long past, i emailed them again and now have not gotten any more replies, i know the va moves slowly but come on. Anybody with similar situation happen to know how to resolve it? would greatly appreciate it, thanks

  118. So do I need to see what online schools take VRAP, or see online schools VRAP will pay for???

  119. alfred schlaegel says:

    what do i do after i recieved the letter of acceptance.

  120. Kenneth Ferdinand says:

    I am presently involved in VRAP. I assumed this program was the right thing for me. I was homeless, and living in the Panama City Rescue Mission. When the program came into fruation it allowed me to gain an apartment, car, and some remnants of my dignity back, only to find out that my tuition and books had to be paid out of the stipend.


    Kenneth Ferdinand

    • Make sure the school you are choosing has a institution code

    • Mr Ferdinand,
      Sorry to say the money was for the training not for your car or apartment. The VRAP program from what I have read about does not give you any money to live on. It is money strictly for the training so that you can get a job.
      Sorry to hear about your conditions.

      • The VA is VERY focused on this issue. If you report to them you are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless, you have other resources.
        You should easily qualify for food stamps PLUS your $1564. In addition, most schools have hardship services to provide books/supplies, just ask them. The people that manage your foodstamps will direct you to the housing authorities or they are the authority, they will show you how to apply for housing.
        This is about dignity and respect, go get some! :-)

    • see if florida has a veterans scholarship pgm which you can combine with vrap, IL does… far I havent got this quite working yet but hope to

    • Just curious , why can't you qualify for a Pell grant or student lloan?

  121. Kenneth Ferdinand says:

    I also was given my dignity back, because the program allowed me to purchase a vehicle, and find an apartment. Than I found out after three months in school that I have to pay books and tuition. How is that helping the "unemployed" veteran who has nothing and this was a life-line if you will.
    Now I can't register for SPRING because FALLs tuition and books has not been paid.

  122. I am a Vetran Dependant and was told I should get VA assistance with school. I have been in classes since August but didnt fill out the paper work until late september early october. How long does it take to get the original processing done just for submitting the application??

  123. Ok I hope I can get some replys as the school and va are sending me in circles and canot give me an answer..I applied for vrap and received eligibility letter in mail and said i was approved…..i brought that letter and dd 214 to schhol and they said they would submit it to va for payment….well they submitted the information to the va on November 2nd, it is now december 1st…the va says i will be paid…..that it is with a processor..yet cant tell me when….ANYONE KNWO HOW LONG I HAVE TO WAIT TO GET FIRST PAYMENT? CANNOT EVEN LOG INTO WAVE EITHER PLEAS EMAIL ME BLAZINKID69@GMAIL.COM

  124. I have a Bachelor of Science. I want to use VRAP to pursue a master's degree. I understand they way the program is written it's for certificate programs and associate's degree…BUT, if I enroll in a master's degree for a high demand occupation, why can't I use VRAP to get started for the first year? I talked to Argosy University and they said I can go full-time, online and get a master's in one year with them. Can I use VRAP for that? Thanks for any info/advice.

  125. There is lots of confusing info out here about VRAP. There are schools like Sessions School of Design and American College of Technology that are 100% online, but some are saying VRAP doesn't approve "online" education. ??? What's the truth about this? Is there a list of school that are VRAP-approved 100%? Thanks.

    • jucicoture says:

      I attend Virginia college online and receive vrap.

    • the will pay for full time higher learning online, but not correspondence courses were u can finish a 12 month class in 3 mths… go to weams lookup school and click programs that will tell u if the school & program are accepted..

    • Lakewood College is online and is VRAP Approved. (Except the paralegal classes). I am taking the Pharmacy Tech and it is 10 months so I will only get money for the actual time I am in school. It is retroactive to your first day in school. On my school page I can see all the other students taking the class and there are quite a few military and dependents stationed at various bases enrolled.

  126. Will VRAP pay for a second certification in the same field? I am interested in receiving a second certificate in Addictions & Substance Use Disorder after I finish my first. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  127. I am currently enrolled in college under the VRAP program. I have am enrolled in 4 classes that totals 12 credits. That is considered a full time student is it not? One of my classes however is only half a quarter long but still is a full credit and I am still obtaining 12 credits. So why am I not getting paid for being a full time student. The price of the credit is the same wheather it is a full quarter or a half. I still have to pay for the full credit. How much am I not going to get for school tuition.

    • Can you please let me what you find out about this? I am in a similar situation, and this is totally NOT PROPER and NOT FAIR! The government's system of looking at what is full-time and not full-time is NOT WORKING. They need to update their system and/or examine each situation to clarify if the student is in fact taking a full-time load. Twelve hours IS full-time, regardless of how the classes may be structured over the course of the semester! If you are taking 4 classes a semester and each are 3 credit class – then – you are a FULL TIME STUDENT!

      • I am really upset because I have been "glued" to my VA counselor, following her every word. She SPECIFICALLY told me when I started to make sure I was enrolled "full-time" and when I queried, she defined it as 12 credit hours in a semester, nothing more. Who cares as long as it is in the same semester?

  128. do anyone have a phone number other than 1800-827-1000 you can never get anybody at this number

  129. Does anyone know if you can participate in the CWT program and receive VRAP payments and CWT payments at the same time? If not, are you allowed to earn income while going to school under VRAP or must you remain unemployed the whole year you receive VRAP payments?

  130. I was trying to find my status on my VRAP but I forgot my username and password, but I have application form that I printed off with a confirmation number at the bottom of the application. How do I get help to find out my status.

  131. I have a defaulted student loan-am i eligible for VRAP?

  132. anybody know of a real estate online school IL approved for vrap? thanks–i know culinary arts, truck driving and radiology are local community college programs that are appoved if anyone's looking for that…..chgo area….

  133. Can you enroll for classes through ProTrain for Environmental Specialist classes other than going through a Community College?

  134. question i signed up did orientation all paperwork but ACOT college was given me classes i hav in college yrs ago so, how do i change the school do call i certain number for vrap????

  135. 3/19/2013 – For anyone still looking for approved online VRAP courses Google Rio Salado Community College. Most online certificates approved. VA reps there VERY knowledgeable AND friendly. I've had the misfortune of working with a school – Bronx Community College (CUNY) that was not knowledgeable or friendly and have lost $3K for non-approved course. Anyway I recommend Rio Salado in Tempe Arizona.

  136. VRAP pays for 12 months. Is it consecutive from initial payment or can monthly benefits be staggered? Example : full time status in summer = 2 months benefits and say I take fall off – then back to full time status in spring which would equal 4 months of benefits. Any help would be appreciated.

  137. I was approved for the VRAP program, starting school the end of May. The lady in financial aid office that handles vets, is useless. I am worried about purchasing my books to start school. I was told by someone at VA Education benefits, that I can request up to two months advance payment. And that is if the school is set up for advance payments. The school I will be attending, is not set up for this. Ughhh ! Almost everyone is telling me that the VRAP money, does not pay for tuition. Now, I am getting scared ! My understanding of the program is that I get accepted for the VRAP program, apply to school, I report my attendance, money is directly deposited into my checking account. With those monies, I pay the tuition, books, fees.Am I understanding the program correctly? Or am I wrong?

    • norm fleury says:

      your right vrap pays you,then u take of business. if u have not used all your pell grant before and meet income deadlines apply on FAFSA they sent my grant to school in 4 days and school then gave me an award letter. This pays for my classes and books.My school awaits payment on tuition and books, because they know pell is there. just go to fafsa website.

  138. DALE BELL says:


    • Unfortunately Dale, no. Montgomery GI Bill benefits had to be used within 10 years of seperation, however, if you are between the ages of 35 and 60, you are eligible for the VRAP program. VRAP ends in April 2014 so don't wait, apply now!

  139. DALE BELL says:


  140. Beverly Moore says:

    I started receiving my payment, then all of a sudden the payments stopped. Does any one know anything about this?

  141. B. Moore says:

    I was receiving my payments from VRAP for the last 6 months, then all of a sudden the payments stopped. Is there a reason for this, if there is, can I know what it is?

    • What kind of school are you attending. Have you had a break between semesters? VRAP only pays you while you are actually attending full time. Have you dropped a class? If you fall below full time satus, VRAP payments cease until you return to full time status.

  142. patrick m says:

    I am attending college in the VRAP. I am in Section 8 Housing.(actually a VASH Voucher for Veterans but it works the same way.) When my lease come up for renewal in Sept (and I am still in school), do I have to report my beneft to Community Teamwork (the administering Voucher Agency) and is it considered income, there fore my rent doing up for the next year? Also , my Vrap benefit ends in March so I will not have the Vrap Stipend from March thru the end of the lease the rest of the year? My Vash counselor told me it would not affect me for my voucher and I sent Comm Teamwork the letter from Vrap (being upfront) and received a letter back from them saying that they would use the payment from Vrap into the following lease calculations. Is that correct? Just want to be clear.

  143. malika bright says:

    I am enrolled in an online class but seperating and haven't started the class. Do I have to pay for the class?

  144. bionicblogger says:

    Do VRAP benefits reduce my other financial aid? Will it affect my pell grant or the amount I can barrow through my direct loan?

  145. Timothy Dukes says:

    I submitted a vrap appt. and would like to know the status on it

  146. Jim Adcock says:

    Do I report the VRAP funds on a tax return?

    • Richard says:

      According to the VA page I checked, VA benefits are non-taxable. That includes VRAP.

  147. I enroled in college with VRAP funds and got a job a few weeks later. Am I still eligible for the VRAP program?

  148. How do I set up direct deposit for vrap?

  149. If I used the VRAP and earned my LPN certificate can I apply for VRAP to get another certificate in another approved/preferred training programs that fall within the requirements

  150. Cold War says:

    I never saw this or heard of this program before and I've been asking for years. 1) Why aren't they offering a full 4-year degree to pre-9/11 vets and their dependents? 2) Why do older folks only qualify for speed- vocational training which is makes it more unlikely to finish? 3) What if they have a service connected disability? 4)What if they have a non-service connected disability? 5) Can this be used again and again? 6)Can it be used for a year of a 4 year degree? 7)Where is a list of schools that will accept this? 8) Is the funding doesn't appear, is the vet on the hook for the full tuition? If this was a cut and clear program I don't think there would be all these comments. Please, point to the link where the answers to these questions might be.

    • PrivateBS says:

      You are so on point with question 2. Its like we are not worthy of anything if we served before 9/11. They eventually saw this clearly too but only offer us crumbs on the table as a consolation prize. Not even 12 months of benefits. Then they offer to pay every month for cost…BUT….we have to pay everything 1st & they'll give us money…"the next month later"

  151. wc spruance 963 says:

    wc spruance963 i presently receive vrep benefits every month on time and its an excellent outstanding program for us vets,most importantly obama and his adminstration deserve a big bravo zulu. however wil those of us see an increase on oct /1/2013?

  152. kenneth duncan says:

    vrap has left me high and dry for 2 months now I laid out 800$ of my own money to stay in school. they won't return calls . I called senator Mark Pryor but his office won't respond. I am set to be put out of school in 2 days.

  153. John Lizzi says:

    I need to know how I can change where my VRAP payments are going. I had to close the account they were originally going to be sent.

  154. My husband is receiving VRAP and he is on semester break from 12/20 2013 until 01/27/2014..School starts up again on the 27 but he only received two weeks paid for December and it looks like nothing again to after the 27 . He is not working and this makes things hard . Why is this……

    • Rolando Trevino says:

      The reason for that is ; he will only get paid for the actual days that he attends
      the school. So, if the Fall semester ends on the 13th of the month, he will only
      receive pay for 13 days. The payments are prorated.

  155. Does the VRAP extension mean I may be eligible for more than 12 months benefits? If so, how do I apply for the extension?

  156. TITUS Hemingway says:

    I was in school got only a few VRAP checks and still in school. Don't no how my family will make it without the help I really was counting on that money want to no Am I still eligible for the VRAP program?

  157. richard lee says:

    can I get document showing my pay for 1 year of v-rap education for my proof needed by ssi office asap to my e-mail

  158. can you file bankruptcy on a VRAP loan?

  159. Well, you are not the only one. The only advice I can provide is to get with the VA Rep at the school and have them do the leg work to see if the course is approved. I have been fighting with them to at least put approved schools online somewhere. The Rep I spoke to said that was not going to happen. So it really is a hit miss. Even if the course seems to apply to an approved course it is best to check first, if you can.

  160. pennywise says:

    That "summer" rumor is not correct. Vrap stated they will not pay for summer classes prior to July 1, 2012 when the program first started. Any classes you to prior to this date will not be paid for by vrap.

  161. Be sure you use the list of approved "high demand" jobs. I have the problem of being approved, but none of the schools that provide the training are approved because they also offer 4 year degrees in other subjects.