UC Berkeley Veteran Services offers information related to the types of benefits, certification of benefits, contact information for dedicated support, and campus resources for students who have served in the military.
Effective July 1, 2015, Federal Veterans Affairs (VA) educational benefits (Chapters 1606, 1607, 30, 31, 33, 35 and certain ROTC benefits) are not excluded in determining student eligibility for federal financial aid. Please note that Cal-Vet fee waivers are state-based awards and not subject to exclusion in your financial aid offer letter.
The Veterans Affairs Office has released a GI Bill Comparison Tool for students receiving Chapter 33 benefits. The tool includes a Benefit Estimator, as well as helpful information about your school. The About This Tool page includes detailed information about this new tool.
We encourage you to file for financial aid if you will need additional aid during the academic year or while you are waiting for your VA educational benefits to arrive. To apply, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online.
Frequently Asked Questions: Federal Veterans Benefits
1. Do I need to report my benefits?
Benefits received from Chapters 1606, 1607, 30, 31, 33 and 35 do not need to be reported by the student. The financial aid office works with the office of the registrar to report the student's benefits on CalCentral.
2. Are VA education benefits taxable?
No. Any veterans benefits paid under any law administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs should not be reported as income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Benefits received under the Post 9/11 GI Bill are reported on your Form 1098-T as scholarships in box 5 but may be excluded when calculating taxable income.
3. Who determines what I am eligible for? Can I talk to someone for more in-depth information regarding my VA status?
Berkeley falls under the VA Regional Processing Office in Muskogee, Okla. Call (888) 442-4551 for answers to your questions.
4. What is certification? When should I turn in my paperwork?
Certification (VA Form 22-1999) is the information your school's certifying official sends to the VA regional processing office. The student's enrollment dates, training status, and class standing are all part of the certification. The sooner you turn in your paperwork, the sooner you will start receiving your monthly benefits.
5. I am eligible for Post-9/11 benefits. Will the VA pay my non-residency fees?
The VA cannot cover any nonresidency fees. This includes nonresident supplemental tuition fees, or any fee charged because you are not considered a resident of California. If you feel you have been charged a nonresident fee in error, you should contact the Residency Office.
Frequently Asked Questions: Cal-Vet Fee Waiver Program
1. What is the Cal-Vet Fee Waiver?
A California state program that waives all systemwide mandatory fees for eligible dependents of veterans that have a service-connected disability. At Berkeley, it waives the Student Services Fee, Tuition, SIR Fee, Special Fee for Law and Medicine and, Fee for Selected Professional School Students. In addition to the fees listed above, Summer Session Course Fees for currently matriculated UC students eligible for this program are also exempted as are certain fees for study under the Education Abroad Program (EAP).
2. Who can use it?
Dependents of service-connected disabled veterans may be eligible for this benefit. Income may be used to determine eligibility of children. If income is a factor for eligibility, the income from the previous year is considered for the academic year of application. Eligibility must be determined every year. Contact your local county veteran's service office to obtain applications, information, and apply for benefits under this program. The Alameda County veteran's services office is located at 6955 Foothill Blvd, Suite 300, Oakland, CA, 94605 or call (510) 577-1966. Always try to apply for these benefits prior to attending school.
3. How does it work?
Apply for eligibility each year at any County Veteran Service Office throughout the state. After you have received your eligibility letter, submit the letter to the Office of the Registrar.
4. Which fees are not waived?
Students are responsible for the Berkeley campus fees, Class Pass fees, Student Health Insurance Program fee (SHIP) and all other costs of their education. This includes certain fees related to EAP travel programs and nonresident tuition.
5. If I receive a "retroactive" authorization, can I be reimbursed for prior semesters?
Yes, but generally only for the current academic year. Claims for fee exemptions must be presented to the university during the academic year for which the claim applies. Retroactive approval for a prior academic year can be granted only in situations in which students applied for the exemption in a timely manner, but approval was delayed by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs processing of original or reopened service-connected disability compensation or Dependency and Indemnity Compensation claims.
6. Where can I get more information about the program?
For more information, visit the California Department of Veterans Affairs website or call (800) 952-5626.