ACU's Participation in Veterans' Claims
Abilene Christian University is approved by the Texas State Approving Agency (SAA), which is a part of the Texas Veterans Commission, for veteran's training under Title 38 and Title 10, US Code. If eligible for VA benefits, students who are accepted at ACU and are subsequently filed for VA claims may be paid a subsistence allowance directly by the Veterans Administration while attending college in an approved ACU degree plan program. Under special circumstances, children of deceased/disabled veterans, reservists and veterans who qualify as disabled may be eligible for benefits.
In order to become an ACU student, one must go through the appropriate admission process. Please visit the ACU Admissions website for more information.
If the newly admitted ACU student feels that he/she is entitled to VA benefits, he/she is encouraged to begin the VA benefits application process six to eight weeks prior to the beginning of the first semester. The Muskogee Regional Processing Office (RPO) personnel may take as many as eight weeks to process an initial claim once it is mailed to them, due to their heavy load at the beginning of each term. Repeat claims are filed electronically - in most instances - and should not require a long wait for payment unless there is a change of program, dropping of classes, etc., which requires other mailed paperwork.
Once the required VA forms are filled out, the newly admitted student must secure an appointment with the VA Coordinator, Aaron Hastings, in the ACU Registrar's Office (Hardin Administration Building, Room 207). Such appointments may be secured by calling locally (325) 674-2236 or toll free 1-877-595-7451 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. A file will be set up at the time of the meeting with the coordinator, and the process for certifying enrollments to the VA can actually begin.
For returning applicants, please complete ACU's Veteran's Information Sheet.
Forms and Processes
VA Application Forms
Application forms for first time claimants for benefits under the various VA programs may be secured:
These forms are ordinarily mailed with the initial certification by ACU, but may also be submitted by the student directly to the appropriate Regional Office. The initial application for military veterans/reverists - in printed form as VA Form 22-1990 - is now also web-enabled and can be filed electronically directly to the VA. This electronic form is called VONAPP under the "Education Benefits" tab on that website. Information booklets, other programs, helpful contact information, and fact sheets are also available on the VA website (www.gibill.va.gov).
The application form for dependents of disabled/diseased veterans - VA Form 22-5490 - is not web-enabled at this time. It must be submitted to the VA RPO either by the student or the school. Please see the VA website (www.gibill.va.gov) for more details.
ACU's Veteran's Information Sheet
ACU also requires a Veteran's Information Sheet (VIS) to be filed every semester by all veterans' claimants, except Chapter 31 - Vocational Rehabilitation - veterans (Chapter 31 vets may use the ACU VIS form to update pertinent personal information). In addition to being available online, the VIS form is available in the ACU Depot or the ACU Registrar's Office.
All other categories of veterans are filed with the Muskogee RPO located in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Additional materials may be required for the initial filing. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more details.
ACU Degree Plan
It is also essential for students to be enrolled in courses that fulfill the requirements of their academic degree plan. Financial assistance from the VA is not available for elective courses unless they apply toward a student's degree. This will be determined by an official degree plan, which is filed as a part of the student's permanent VA file.
There are conditions under which remedial courses will entitle a student to VA benefits. Students are encouraged to work closely with their academic advisor and with ACU's VA representative to ensure that their courses do qualify for full veteran's assistance. An academic degree plan should ordinarily be obtained during the first semester students enroll at ACU. Changes to an approved schedule of classes may bring a reduction of benefits. ACU is under obligation to report such changes to the VA.
Discharged service members should ordinarily bring a copy of their Form DD-214.
Reservists should bring a copy of their NOBE (Notice of Basic Eligibility) when making the initial application for benefits. Copies of these documents which will accompany the mailed claim to Muskogee can be made in the ACU Veterans Office for the students' retention in their personal files.
Spouses/Dependents applying for benefits under Chapter 35 should have a record of the veteran's service number under which they are filing. Often, a birth certificate or a copy of the VA notice of eligibility may be required as well.
Veterans or dependents transferring to ACU from another school or changing an ACU program must sign a "change of program/place of training" before benefits can be certified. These forms are:
VA Form 22-1995 for active duty veterans/reservists
VA Form 22-5495 for Chapter veterans