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Getting Started

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So, you're a student and a Vet. What next?

Before you can receive education benefits at Clarkson, you must apply for them through the VA. Log into VONAPP and fill out the application.  If you don't have the capability to apply online, you can call 1-888-GI BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to have a paper form mailed to you. Students who have received VA benefits at another school before coming to Clarkson University must file a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training (Veterans and ToE students use VA Form 22-1995; dependents VA Form 22-5495). Students wishing to switch to the Post-9/11 GI Bill from another benefit should complete a VA Form 22-1990.

It is best to apply for benefits well in advance as it will take some time for the VA to process your application. Once your application has been processed, you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in the mail, stating your entitlement.  Take this to Clarkson’s VA Certifying Official (located in SAS) for processing. This proof of eligibility is required before your enrollment can be certified at Clarkson.

Clarkson’s VA Certifying Official will enter you into a database with the VA and certify your enrollment at the beginning of each semester. This certification is what tells the VA to begin paying your benefits. All necessary paperwork must be on file with the Certifying Official prior to certification.

If you change benefit programs (for example, change from the Montgomery GI Bill to the Post 9/11 GI Bill) an updated Certificate of Eligibility must be presented to the Certifying Official at Clarkson.

It is your responsibility to alert the VA should your address or direct deposit information change.  You may call 1-877-838-2778 to begin or change direct deposit.

What does a VA Certifying Official do?


The VA Certifying Official's main function is to maintain records of all students who are receiving education benefits from the VA. The Certifying Official confirms that students are enrolled in classes each semester, and submits that information to the VA Regional Processing Office, which then processes benefit payments.

The Certifying Official can also act as a source of information for Vets on other resources in the area, or general questions regarding benefits.

Clarkson's VA Certifying Official is located in Graham Hall. Check in at the Service Desk on the first floor!