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Center for Military Affiliated Students FAQs

I use Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill® and turned in my certification request before the priority deadline so why do I still see a balance on my account?

The new process for certifying Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill® benefits involves no longer putting placeholders on student accounts based on estimated VA payments. As a result, you will continue to see a tuition and fee balance on your account until tuition and fee payments from the VA are received by UTSA.

We have put measures in place for students who have turned in certification requests to ensure they will not be charged late fees nor be dropped from classes for non-payment while payment from the VA is pending. Additionally, housing and book allowances are not affected and should be disbursed by the VA as usual.

I use Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill® and turned in my certification request after the priority deadline, how will that affect me regarding payment deadlines or being dropped for non-payment?

The new process for certifying Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill® benefits involves no longer putting placeholders on student accounts based on estimated VA payments. As a result, you will continue to see a tuition and fee balance on your account until tuition and fee payments from the VA are received by UTSA.

We have put measures in place for students who have turned in certification requests to ensure they will not be charged late fees nor be dropped from classes for non-payment while payment from the VA is pending. However, housing and book allowances may be delayed since we cannot guarantee that certification requests turned in after the priority deadline will be processed by the first day of class.

We strongly encourage students to submit certification requests as soon as they register for classes. We also strongly encourage student veterans to take advantage of priority registration.

Why did the Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill® process change?

The reason for the change is that the previous practice of putting placeholders on student accounts that were based on estimated payments from the VA was extremely problematic.

Since UTSA has no way to know what the VA will actually send until the payment comes in, the placeholders were essentially a “best guess.” That practice was causing debts on the order of thousands of dollars to some students when the VA sent less than expected or nothing at all in some cases. The student was then put in a bad position because they had already been refunded and spent financial aid money that should go to cover any gaps not covered by the VA payment first, leaving them without a way to easily cover that debt. That situation created hardships for students that go well beyond having to wait a few weeks longer to get a refund.

Why is my aid being withheld

Financial aid is not being withheld; it is being disbursed as before. The difference is that is now those funds are being applied to tuition and fees first, as any payment would be when there is a balance on a student’s account.

The only change is that the university will now issue refunds when there is positive balance instead of setting up the equivalent of an unsecured loan that the student may not be able to easily pay back if there is a discrepancy between an estimate and the actual VA payment.

Going forward, refunds will be based on the actual payments received from the VA for tuition and fees.

I have a financial hardship caused by the pandemic and I need a financial aid refund to cover those expenses.

If you are in need of support due to hardship caused by the pandemic, there are several potential ways we can connect you with that support.

Please reach out to us at veterans@utsa.edu for support.

How does the new Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill® process affect my book allowance and/or my housing allowance?

The change has no effect on how book and living allowances are processed. UTSA first certifies the amount of semester credit hours you are enrolled in which is what the book and living allowances are based on.

I called the VA to ask when they would send the tuition and fee payment to UTSA and was told the university has not even billed them yet.

Although we do certify semester credit hours first, we do not send a tuition and fee bill to the VA until enrollment has stabilized, which happens on census date.

This is in keeping with the VA guidelines on best practices and reduces the possibility that a student could wind up with a debt from making changes to their course schedule after a tuition and fee bill has been processed by the VA.

When will my certification request be processed?

We got a later start on submitting fall certifications while the university determined if there would be any changes to the fall term dates. We support over 5,000 students on some form of military –related education benefit and are currently still processing all GI Bill® and Hazlewood certification requests in the order they were received.

Once your certification has been received by the VA, you will receive a notice from the VA directly. If there are any issues on our end, one of our staff will reach out to you directly to resolve the situation.

In the meantime we have placed indicators on your student record so that you will not be charged any late fees nor be dropped from classes for non-payment while we continue to process certification requests.

What is the priority certification deadline?

The priority certification deadline is typically 30 business days before the beginning of a term. Certification requests submitted after the priority deadline are not guaranteed to be processed by the first day of the term.

We post the date once registration opens for each term. The information is distributed via email, on Facebook and Twitter (@UTSAVeterans), on Instagram (UTSA_Veterans), and on the CMAS group in the UTSA Mobile app.

How do I turn in my certification documents since your office is not accepting walk-ins?

Information about which documents are needed, how to acquire them, and where to turn them in is contained on our benefit checklists located here:

General Fall Information

General Fall information can be found on the UTSA website.

Parking

Parking information can be found here.

This fall, we will offer permit-free student commuter parking areas at the Main and Downtown Campus. All areas not designated as permit-free require a parking permit. Signs will be placed at parking lot entrances to provide on-site guidance regarding permit requirements. Determinations on whether permit-free commuter student parking areas will continue in the spring will be made before the end of the fall semester.

For those who prefer to use hourly parking, we strongly encourage using a FastPass.

One Stop

One Stop information can be found One Stop website.

Emergency Cares Act Application

The Emergency Cares Act Application is open. Apply Now.

Counseling Services

Counseling and Mental Health Services are available via phone and video conference. Call 210-458-4140, option 2 for more information or to get started.

Counseling Services for Vets

Roadrunner Pantry

Roadrunner Pantry on Main Campus will be open weekdays from noon to 4pm, effective March 31. Anyone with a UTSA ID will be given “grab and go” food bags.

Visitors are asked to enter the Student Union through the northern entrance closest to the circle driveway near the tennis courts. Note that aside from Roadrunner Pantry and The UPS Store, all other Student Union operations and buildings are closed.