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Veterans Instructions

Caldwell Alumnus and a Veteran

Getting Started

  • Submission of Required Documents – You must submit one or more of the following documents to Caldwell:
    • Certificate of Eligibility (Called a “COE” or “Letter of Eligibility)
    • Discharge Papers (DD214)
    • Rehabilitation Plan (Form 28-8872)
    • Request for Change of Program or Place of Training (Form 22-1995)
      Note: The documents required will depend on your status (ex: discharged service member, active reserves, dependent of disabled or deceased veteran). If you are not sure of your status, contact the Veterans Administration directly at the phone number or web site given below.
  • Application for Educational Benefits – Follow the required steps to apply for the VA Education benefit that you are seeking (i.e. Chapter). Most VA applications can be completed online by using the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP); an application is required for all VA students. Learn about and compare benefits at the GI BILL Website. Initial application steps for each Chapter are also described on our Caldwell University Veterans Program webpage under the “Veteran Education Benefit Programs and Requirements” heading
  • DD-214 (Discharge Papers) – It is required that a copy of the DD-214 be submitted to the VA School Certifying Official if you are receiving benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapters 1606, 1607, and 30). The DD-214 is not required for Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits (Chapter 33), Vocational Rehabilitation program (Chapter 31), and dependents of disabled/deceased veterans (Chapter 35).
  • Visiting Students – A statement from your Home College’s VA Coordinator is required, stating that the course you wish to take at Caldwell University are applicable to your program of study at your home college.

Payments and Financial Issues

  • Payment of Tuition and Fees depends on the Chapter of benefits you are receiving. All students are encouraged to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if they are eligible for any Federal or State grants in addition to their Veteran Benefits. Questions regarding financial aid can be directed to Aura Vales in the Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible 973-618-3221 email avales@caldwell.edu.
  • Do not assume that you are not eligible for non-VA financial aid. Student Loans are usually available to students who do not qualify for need-based aid. To ensure ample time for completion and processing of financial aid paperwork, all required documents should be submitted at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester you wish to enroll.
  • Students receiving benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30, Chapter 1606) will receive payment of VA benefits directly from the VA, after Caldwell certifies your enrollment and the VA determines your eligibility. Please note that the process for the VA to determine eligibility may take from 6 – 10 weeks from the time your paperwork is received. Since the VA pays benefits directly to the veteran, students are required to pay tuition and fees at the time they register for classes.
  • The College will invoice the VA for tuition and eligible expenses for VA Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31, VOC Rehab) students after all required documents are received by Caldwell.
  • Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) students will have their tuition payment sent to the school from VA but will also receive direct payments for housing and books. (proration will apply for less than fulltime status and distance learning). Students are required to pay bookstore charges and charges not covered by the VA directly to the Bursar.

Certification of Enrollment

  • Caldwell begins certifying Veteran Students whose files are complete at the beginning of each semester. We will check on your enrollment throughout the semester to make sure you have not added, dropped, or changed classes as this could affect your VA benefits.
    • If you make a change in your enrollment please notify Aura Vales in the Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible 973-618-3221 email avales@caldwell.edu.
  • Retroactive Certification – If you’ve first applied for VA benefits at Caldwell for the current semester, but previously attended Caldwell, we can retroactively certify you for your enrollment during the past year.
    • For example, if you apply for benefits for the fall semester, and attended the previous summer and/or spring semester, we can certify you for those periods. However, we will not be able to certify you for the previous fall semester.
  • Certification for Degree Requirements Only – Please be advised that Caldwell can only certify you for courses that are required in your major course of study, remedial or refresher courses for degree completion. The VA will not pay benefits on any courses that don’t meet the above criteria. The VA calculates the amount of your benefits based on the number of credits you are taking that satisfy degree or certificate requirements. This includes non-credit developmental courses. You are welcome to register for courses that are not required for your program of study, but the College cannot report these to the VA. To ensure that you register for qualified courses, it’s highly recommended that you see your Academic Advisor each semester. Adult students can find their Advisor in the Office of Student Success. Traditional students’ advisors are located in different buildings depending on the student’s major. For help finding your advisor contact The Office of Student Success at 973-618-3374.
  • Repeat Courses – The VA will pay for a course you repeat if you’ve received a failing grade on your first attempt. If you receive a failing grade on the second attempt, the VA will not pay for another attempt. The VA also doesn’t pay for courses you originally passed, but wish to repeat for a better grade.

Changes in Your Enrollment

  • If you change your enrollment or major concentration, you must notify the VA School Certifying Official (see contact information below) immediately.
  • Enrollment Verification- the VA requires that Montgomery GI Bill recipients verify your enrollment with them on a monthly basis by calling the VA at 1-877-823-2378 or visiting the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) system.
    • Change in Enrollment for Semester
    • Add a course.
    • Drop a course.
    • Withdraw completely from the College.
      Note: We are required to notify the VA of any changes in your enrollment. Changes in enrollment may increase or decrease your VA benefits. If changes are not reported to the VA in a timely manner, an overpayment may occur and you will be responsible for repaying the amount of the overpayment.
  • Change of Program/Major You must also report any change in your major or specialization to the VA School Certifying Official. The VA allows you one change without question. Subsequent changes may not be approved.
  • Future Semesters Continuous Enrollment – If you continue to enroll in each succeeding semester (not counting summer sessions), we will automatically certify you for eligible courses.
  • Break in Enrollment – If you “stop out” for one or more semesters (not counting summer sessions), and subsequently return to the College, you must notify the VA School Certifying Official in order to reactivate the certification process. Note: Since enrollment in a summer session is optional, non-attendance in the summer is not considered a break in enrollment. Therefore, if you are enrolled in the spring semester, and choose not to enroll for the summer, we will automatically certify you for the following fall semester when you enroll.

Contact Information

(For Questions on VA Benefits, Eligibility, and Payments)

(For Questions on Enrollment Certification, College Admissions, and Programs)

  • Thomas Disch
    Senior Admissions Counselor
    Phone: (973) 618-3216
    Email: tdisch@caldwell.edu
  • Aura Vales
    Financial Aid Counselor/VA School Certifying Official
    Phone: (973) 618-3221
    Email: avales@caldwell.edu