Managing your VA education benefits

Whether you are a new or returning student, the WSU VMASS team is committed to assisting you in achieving your educational goals at WSU. This page provides information on processing your initial application for VA Educational Benefits (a one-time process), completing your enrollment certification (every semester), and completing the administrative actions necessary to receive your monthly VA Educational payments (every semester).

Step 1. Which benefits are you eligible for?

Detailed information about VA Educational Benefits

Check out this list of VA Educational Benefits that you might be eligible for!

Step 2. Apply to WSU & pick a program of study

Apply to WSU and pick a program of study

Decide on a specific program of study and officially apply to Washington State University.

  • Less than 60 cumulative semester credit hours: You may enter your program of study as “Undecided” in the VA Forms noted below.
  • With 60 or greater cumulative credits, or you are applying as a graduate student, you must enter a specific program offered by WSU.

The WSU VMASS staff will only certify enrollment in classes that are required to obtain a degree in your specific program of study.

  • Example: You choose Mechanical Engineering as your program of study and enroll in 12 credits, but 3 of the credits are not required for a Mechanical Engineering degree, then you will be certified for 9 credits. This will result in a reduction in your monthly education benefit payments, and, if you are using the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, a portion of your tuition will not be covered by the VA.

Step 3a. First-time or New Applicants

First-time or New Applicants

New, or first-time, applicants meet at least one of the criteria below:

  • Applying for VA Educational Benefits for the first time.
  • Switching from another GI Bill® program to the Post 9/11 GI Bill®.
  • Transferring Post 9/11 GI Bill® benefits to your dependents.

If you are applying for any VA Education Benefits, you can apply online via VONAPP.

Step 3b. Returning Applicants

Returning Applicants

Returning applicants meet at least one of the criteria below:

  • Previously applied for GI Bill® benefits and were approved by the VA.
  • Received GI Bill® previously benefits but not at WSU-Pullman.
  • Approved for GI Bill® benefits by the VA but have never used them.

Applicants using Vocational Rehabilitation – Chapter 31

  • Eligibility for Chapter 31 assistance is determined by the VA. For details on the application process please visit the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment.
  • Once approved to use Chapter 31, please provide the WSU VMASS with your VA Counselor’s contact information.

Step 4. Complete an ECR each semester

Enrollment Certification Request each semester

You must complete a WSU Enrollment Certification Request each semester at WSU.

  • The Enrollment Certification Requestmust be approved by your academic advisor. Verify that you have typed the email address correctly.
  • Upload a PDF or JPG of your current COE or VA award letter with your Enrollment Certification Request each semester.
  • New students will have access to their advisor during their New Coug Orientation session.

If you do not submit an Enrollment Certification Request, the WSU VMASS will not certify your enrollment with the VA, and you will not receive your monthly educational benefit payment, or tuition payments as applicable based on your benefit.

Plan ahead! It can take the VA 3 to 4 weeks or more to process your benefit application and mail the Certificate of Eligibility.  The VA will only provide the certificate via mail. Ensure that the address that you provide to the VA is a location that you will be at to receive mail 3 to 4 weeks from the time that you submit your application.

Processing Information

Complete information about processing timelines and deadlines can be found on the Processing Timelines page.

VMASS Enrollment Certification

The WSU VMASS Team will certify your enrollment with the VA AFTER you have registered for classes only for those classes which apply towards your specific program of study.

  • Complete the Enrollment Certification Request after you have registered for classes.
  • You will receive your monthly education benefit payments only if your application has been approved by the VA Regional Office AND the WSU VMASS Team has certified your enrollment with the VA for those classes which apply towards your specific program of study.

Post 9/11 GI Bill® recipients

The VA will pay your tuition approximately 5 to 9 weeks after the start of the term.

  • WSU will not require you to pay tuition, but please note that WSU will apply all or part of your financial aid award to your outstanding tuition balance on the first day of the term, so please be prepared financially for that process.
  • Once your tuition payment is made by the VA, any excess funds on your student account will be refunded to you.
  • If you are a Post 9/11 GI Bill® recipient and you are required to attend a mandatory orientation at WSU, ensure you request New Student Programs defer the mandatory orientation fee to your student account so the VA will pay the fee.

An excellent resource is the Department of Veterans Affairs Questions & Answers website. You can search archived Q&A or ask a question via email.

“GI Bill®” is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by the VA is available at the official U.S. government website at