The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) announced new guidance for the accepted uses of student veteran benefits for study abroad with an effective implementation date of August 1, 2020.

NAFSA members may review the transcript from the Collegial Conversation on January 30, 2020 regarding changes to veteran benefits for study abroad.

NAFSA's understanding of the new guidance is as follows:

Tuition Benefits

  Use of Chapter 33 Courses Billing
Exchanges

No

Home institution does not own the courses May/may not be billed through home institution
Faculty Led Depends If home institution teaches/owns all courses - YES If home institution bills the student tuition and gets funds from the VA - YES
Program Providers No Home institution does not own the courses Program providers are not able to be certified to accept VA funds
Direct Enroll Depends If host institution is in the WEAMS database - possible (transfer credits back to home institution)  If direct enroll institution is in the WEAMS database and tuition is billed to that institution from the VA - possible

Please note that more information will follow as the VA provides new training and handbook materials for campus certifying officials.

Housing

Some instances will now allow student monthly housing allowances to reflect the national average for foreign programs instead of the in-state maximum.

Recommendations for Education Abroad Offices

  • Contact your campus's School Certifying Official (SCO) and Veterans Services office to discuss the new guidance.
  • Review the programs in your portfolio to determine which would be impacted by this new guidance. Key to this review should be an assessment of who owns the credit and who bills the student on any given program.

Additional information from the Veterans Benefits Administration