Navigating financial benefits can be a challenge. We’ve compiled a list of answers to questions you may have below. As always, if you don’t see your question answered, feel free to contact us.
If a veteran is transferring benefits to you under Chapter 33D:
- The service member must transfer the benefits while still on active duty through MilConnect.
- After the benefit has been transferred to you, apply for your Chapter 33 benefit.
If you are a spouse or child using Chapter 35:
- Follow the same steps as listed under “I’m a veteran,” making sure you list your benefits as Chapter 35.
- You should also apply for the Maine tuition and fees waiver known as the Veterans Dependents Educational Benefit (VDEB). For more information about VDEB, visit the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services website.
For all USM students in the National Guard or Reserve who are recalled to active duty before completing a regular semester, the University of Southern Maine offers the following options. Each requires proof (copy of military recall orders provided to your advisor) that the USM student has been recalled to active duty.
- Withdrawal for Military Activation
- Complete withdrawal from all courses with no penalty grades and with full refund of all tuition and fees. (Caution: This option could affect VA Benefits.)
- Incomplete Grade
- An incomplete grade in some or all courses, with permission to complete specific work (within one full year from the end of the semester) that remains unfinished as a result of activation.
- Final Grade
- At the discretion of the instructor, you may request to receive a final grade in some or all courses based upon your work up to the date of activation.
- Final Exam
- You may request to take an early final examination in some or all courses so that your instructor can determine a final course grade.
- With approval from your Dean’s Office, you may choose a combination of the above options that works best for you and your situation. For example, you might take an incomplete in one class and an early final exam in another.
Students recalled to active duty shall be eligible to resume studies following deactivation and shall not be disadvantaged as a result of their break in enrollment. To return to school, you need to inform your advisor.
For more information, please contact us. We will work with the Office of Registration and Scheduling Services (the Registrar) to properly record this information.
We encourage you to have your military training evaluated for possible transfer credit. We collaborate with the Credit for Prior Learning Office and your academic department to identify any experience you have that could translate to these credits.
If you served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, request your JST (Joint Services transcript) to be sent to University of Southern Maine.
If you served in the Air Force, request your transcript through CCAF.
Please order an electronic transcript if possible. If that is not an option, please request that your official military transcript be sent to M.A.S.H., c/o Lorrie Spaulding, at the address on our contact page.
Post-9/11 (Chapter 33) GI Bill
By text: The VA will text you monthly asking you to verify your enrollment. If you don’t receive these texts and would like to use this system, log on to your va.gov account and select “Manage your Veterans education benefits” then “Verify your school enrollment.”
If you prefer not to text, there are several alternative methods of enrollment verification.
Survivors and Dependents (Chapter 35)
By phone: This is the easiest method. Each month, call the VA at 888-442-4551 (TTY: 711) and select 1 to verify your enrollment. Find out more about other methods on the VA website.
Montgomery GI Bill and Selected Reserves (Chapters 30 & 1606)
Similar to Post-9/11, you’ll receive texts from the VA through their STEMText system. Find out more in this video about STEMText.
There are several possible reasons that you are not receiving your VA education benefits/monthly stipend.
In order to receive your education benefits, you must request certification via this link before each term (fall, winter, spring, and summer) that you plan to use your benefits. This is a University-specific form separate from your monthly enrollment verification with the VA.
If you have requested certification for the current term and you are concerned about your benefits, please contact us.