Veteran Services at Sacred Heart Major Seminary

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

SHMS has VA Certifying Officials dedicated to assist you in your academic endeavors and to facilitate your education benefits through certification, monitoring, and reporting of your enrollment and academic progress.

Service members are advised to speak with their Educational Services Officer (ESO) or counselor within their Military Service prior to enrolling at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

General Questions/ Enrollment Certification and Withdrawals

Office of the Registrar
John Lajiness ([email protected])
Phone: (313) 883-8512 Fax: (313) 883-8682

Eligibility for VA Education Benefits

Neither SHMS nor its VA Certifying Official can determine whether you are eligible for VA Education Benefits. If you believe you may be eligible for education benefits, you should submit an application to the Department of Veteran Affairs. The VA will review your application and officially grant or deny your benefits. To submit an application for VA Education Benefits, log onto the VA website at to complete and submit the electronic version of VA Form 22-1990 (Application for Education Benefits).

Applying for VA Education Benefits

If you have never applied for VA Education Benefits, submit an online application via the VA website at

  • At the top menu bar, locate the Apply Online tab.
  • Click the Education tab. This will redirect you to the online application.
  • Click Start VONAPP.
  • Follow the instructions to create a username and password.
  • Complete the online application (VA Form 22-1990).
  • Once you have completed the application, submit it electronically.

Be sure to save a copy of your application for your records. In three to five business days, you should receive an acknowledgement via email from the Department of Veteran Affairs that your application has been received and that the determination of eligibility process has begun. The VA should mail your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) within two to three weeks. The COE will verify the type and amount of education benefits you are entitled to. Please email or fax a copy of your COE to the SHMS VA Certifying Official at [email protected] or (313) 883-8682.

If you have already applied for benefits, you may view your education enrollment status that includes original and used entitlement, benefit percentage, delimiting data, and enrollment information by logging on to eBenefits. Additionally, users are able to view and print a “Post-9/11 GI Bill®️ Statement of Benefits” that will be accepted in lieu of a COE.

Transferring Schools and VA Education Benefits

If you have previously applied for VA Education Benefits while attending another institution and would like to utilize those benefits while in attendance at SHMS, you will need to log-in to the VA website at to complete a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training. To access this application, use the same procedure explained above to submit a VA Form 22-1995.

Documents Required for Certification for Enrollment

To begin the process of enrollment certification with the VA, you must complete a VA Request for Certification and submit it to your VA Certifying Official with a copy of your semester schedule. Depending on the specific benefit you are using, you may be required to submit additional information as indicated on the Request for Certification. This request must be submitted each semester you plan on utilizing your VA Education Benefits.

Chapter 30 Enrollment Verification on WAVE website

If you are using Chapter 30 VA Education Benefits, you must verify your own enrollment on a monthly basis. The verification must be completed by the last day of each month for that month. If you fail to certify your enrollment with the VA, you will not receive benefits for that month. To verify your enrollment:

  • Log onto the VA website at  
  • Select Information for Benefit Recipients 
  • Select Verify your Attendance (WAVE)
  • You will then be directed to the Wave Automated Verification Enrollment (WAVE) page where you can log-in and verify your enrollment for the month.
  • If you are not recognized as a VA student by the WAVE system, it may be because the VA has not received your Certification of Enrollment from the institution or has not yet completed processing. In this case, you may verify your enrollment by calling the Department of Veteran Affairs Education Certification System at 1-877-823-2378 and follow the prompts.

Receiving VA Payments

The VA may take eight to ten weeks to process an enrollment verification and make the first payment. Tuition and Fees for Post 9/11 GI Bill®️ (Chapter 33) is paid directly to SHMS. In order to secure your classes, it is imperative that you submit your Request for Certification as soon as possible each semester. The VA does not pay for Late Registration Fees. Students should be prepared to pay for those charges, if applicable, each semester.

Degree Program Changes

Students must report a change in program to the VA Certifying Official. Only courses required for that specific program will be certified with the VA.

Changes in Enrollment

It is the student’s responsibility to notify the VA Certifying Official of any changes in enrollment that may affect their VA benefits such as: adding or dropping a class, changing from full-time to part-time status, withdrawing from a course, ceasing to attend a class, or withdrawing from SHMS.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

If a student utilizing VA Education Benefits fails to make satisfactory academic progress, benefits will be discontinued.

Rate of Pursuit (Chapter 33)

The Department of Veteran Affairs calculates the rate of pursuit by dividing the credit hours being pursued by the number of credits considered to be full-time by the institution. The resulting percentage is the student’s rate of pursuit. To be considered a full-time undergraduate student at SHMS, a student must be  enrolled in 12 credits. To be considered a full-time graduate student, a student must be enrolled in 9 credits.

Monthly Housing Allowance

The post-9/11 GI Bill®️ (Chapter 33) pays a monthly housing allowance that is paid based on training time. For students enrolled solely in distance learning, the benefit is paid at 50% of the national average MHA.

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program (Chapter 31)

Students receiving Ch. 31 benefits must stay in contact with their local VA Vocational Rehabilitation counselor.

Books and Supplies Stipend

The books and supplies stipend is a lump sum payment, paid directly to the student, when an institution’s enrollment certification is processed. The payment is made based on the number of credits certified. The maximum stipend is $1,000 per academic year.

Advance Pay Program

SHMS does not participate in the Advanced Pay Program.

Tuition Assistance

Tuition Assistance is a Department of Defense (DOD) program available to active duty military personnel. TA Rules vary by branch of service. Please contact your unit’s education officer to request tuition assistance. TA authorizations must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. Active duty students may not use TA and VA benefits for the same courses.

Sacred Heart Major Seminary complies with the following requirements for the return of TA funds:

  • (a) Return any TA Program funds directly to the Military Service, not to the Service member.
  • (b) Up to the start date, return all (100 percent) TA funds to the appropriate Military Service when the Service member does not:
    • (i) Begin attendance at the institution; or
    • (ii) Start a course, regardless of whether the student starts other courses.
  • (c) Return any TA funds paid for a course that is cancelled by the educational institution.
    It is the policy of Sacred Heart Major Seminary to return any unearned TA funds on a proportional basis through at least the 60 percent portion of the period for which the funds were provided. TA funds are earned proportionally during an enrollment period, with unearned funds returned based upon when a student stops attending. In the event a Service member stops attending due to a military service obligation, the educational institution will work with the impacted Service member to develop a solution that will not cause debt to the student for the returned portion.

Withdrawal from a class must be done in writing through the Office of the Registrar. Students who do not officially drop or withdraw from a course will receive a failing grade for that course which is entered on the student’s academic transcript. The last date for withdrawal in a given term is listed on the academic calendar. For financial aid purposes, when a student withdraws from a course, the last date of attendance will be considered the withdrawal date.

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