Enrollment Management

Military & Veteran Resource Center

Covid-19 FAQs


COVID-19: IHL SCO FAQs (includes foreign IHLs).

No, only programs previously approved by the SAA will be available for IHLs to continue enrollments of GI Bill students.

Note: If the IHL institution seeks approval of any new programs, they must contact the State Approving Agency and complete application.

Based on recently passed legislation (Senate Bill 3503, signed into law March 21, 2020), an IHL which converts an approved residence training modality course to an online training modality for that course (distance learning), should not submit changes when the conversion is the only factor. The law only authorizes this special authority from March 1, 2020, to December 21, 2020.

Educational institutions which convert modalities as described above do not need to submit enrollment adjustments for the current term.

Only converted courses – SCOs cannot certify resident credit hours to VA for online courses when there is no approval for a resident training counterpart.

The new law applies equally to current and new students enrolled in the converted courses.

Terms Moving Forward (not already submitted to VA):

  • IHL educational institutions which convert modalities as described above may submit certification of resident courses converted to online modality as resident courses if the start date of the term is prior to 21 December 2020.
  • Use the Resident Credit Hour or Clock Hour portion of the VA-ONCE enrollment certification.
  • Must enter Standard Remark “COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online” located within VA-ONCE.

Note: Normal reporting requirements for all other changes should be completed per SCO handbook. (change in start/end date, change in credit/clock hours, etc.)

Based on the new law, Post 9/11 GI Bill students who pursue resident courses converted to an online modality solely due to COVID 19 will continue to receive the MHA rate for resident training. The law only authorizes this special authority from March 1, 2020, to December 21, 2020.

Note: Other types of changes to the student’s enrollment status may affect payments. Non COVID-19 related changes must still be reported per normal requirements.

Tuition and Fees reporting requirements will not change due to COVID-19 national emergency.
Examples: SCOs should review Change in fees associated to online modality, prorated building fees, etc.

Note: Regulations apply for same cost of program for non-veteran students. (all students).

Based on the new law, an approved educational institution which converts an approved resident Remedial/Deficiency course to an online training modality for that course (distance learning), may continue to certify these credit hours to the VA as resident credit hours during the authorized timeframe: 1 March 2020, to 21 December 2020.

Terms Moving Forward (not already submitted to VA):

  • SCO’s may continue to certify Remedial/Deficiency courses due to COVID-19 conversion to modality if the start date of the term is prior to 21 December 2020.
  • SCO must continue to use the R/D Credit hours section of VA-ONCE.
  • SCO must enter Standard Remark “COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online”.

The SCO handbook states to always include inclusive dates of official school vacation periods of 7 or more consecutive days when certifying non-standard enrollment periods for all benefits in non-standard remarks. However, do not report vacation periods on standard length terms. This remains true during this COVID-19 national emergency.

  • If there is a change in enrollment dates, the SCO must adjust all elements of the enrollment certification to match actual enrollment timeframe. (includes break time and end date)
  • Specific instructions for amendment reporting are in the SCO handbook.
  • Standard and Non-standard term lengths are identified in the SCO handbook.

Example: if your facility has a non-standard term: original break was scheduled from 16 March 2020 to 20 March 2020, but the break was extended to 27 March 2020 due to COVID-19, school is to report that the break was changed to be 16 March 2020 to 27 March 2020. Additionally, if the start or end date changes, those changes must be reported.

Note: IHL’s must make SAA aware of any changes in term dates. Current published commencement dates that fall within 7 days (week) still apply if a school makes a change.

If the educational institution has temporarily ceased operations for all programs and students due to COVID 19, affected students will continue to receive their MHA until the end of the term or 4 weeks (28 days) from the date that the IHL temporarily ceased operations.

When this occurs, the IHL should not submit enrollment adjustments for the current term. However, the SCO must report all affected facility codes and the date(s) of temporary cessation of operations to their Education Liaison Representative (ELR) and State Approving Agency (SAA) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. It is important to notify the ELR and SAA as soon as practical, so the claimant’s monthly stipend is correctly adjusted.

Terms Moving Forward (not already submitted to VA):
When the IHL resumes operations, if the institution has same or new term dates all standard enrollment procedures remain in place. IHL educational institutions which convert modalities as described above may submit certification of resident courses converted to online modality as resident courses for any training occurring between March 1 and December 21, 2020.

  • Use the Resident Credit Hour or Clock Hour portion of the VA-ONCE enrollment certification.
  • Must enter Standard Remark “COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online” located within VA-ONCE

If the educational institution remains partially open (continues to provide training to some students) but must discontinue training to students enrolled in select programs or individual classes, the school must report changes for the students whose training is stopped. Current law only provides protection for stoppage in training when the school ceases operations completely (temporary or permanent).

The SCO must report the date that training ceased. When reporting this change using VA ONCE, the SCO should select the standard remark “COVID 19” as the reason for the cessation of the training for mitigating circumstances. If paper 1999b termination is reported, the SCO should include “COVID-19” in the remarks section.

Terms Moving Forward (not already submitted to VA):
When the IHL resumes operations, if the institution has same or new term dates all standard enrollment procedures remain in place.

IHL educational institutions which convert modalities as described above may submit certification of resident courses converted to online modality as resident courses for any training occurring between March 1 and December 21, 2020.

  • Use the Resident Credit Hour or Clock Hour portion of the VA-ONCE enrollment certification.
  • Must enter Standard Remark “COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online” located within VA-ONCE.

The SCO should review the IHL’s published attendance and “Incomplete Grade” policy as all normal VA reporting rules still apply.

The SCO should report the withdrawal based on the attendance policy and report COVID-19 as mitigating circumstances. The student’s last day of attendance should be reported as the effective date. In these situations, the law does NOT allow VA to continue payments beyond the last day of attendance.

The SCO should review the “Incomplete” grade policy and apply that procedure if applicable. When the training can continue, the student should complete the flight training portion without any further reporting requirements to the VA when a punitive grade is assigned. Normal non-punitive grade requirements have not changed.

Note: The student should not be enrolled in the subsequent flight course until the “I” grade is completed in accordance with the school’s policy.

If the school’s “Incomplete” policy is not applicable, the SCO should report withdrawal from the flight training based on the student’s last date of attendance. The SCO should report COVID-19 as mitigating circumstances.

VA lacks authority to handle these situations in any special way due to COVID 19.  The VA has instructed schools to follow their “Incomplete” grade policy and apply that procedure, if applicable.  When the school is eventually able to continue training, the student will be allowed to complete the lab portion without any further reporting requirements to the VA.  However, if the discontinued class is a prerequisite to future classes, the student cannot enroll in the next sequential required class until the pre-requisite is complete.

 If the IHL’s “Incomplete” policy is not applicable, the SCO should report withdrawal from the class based on student’s last date of attendance. The SCO should report COVID-19 as mitigating circumstances.  But, if such a reduction changes the student’s rate of pursuit, the student’s monthly housing allowance may be affected. 

No, there is no need to report a conversion from a standard grading scale to a Pass/Fail or similar grading systems but there are other implications in doing so. Depending on the IHL’s grading policy, classes taken Pass/Fail may result in a non-punitive grade if the student fails the class. Rules about non-punitive grades have not changed.

Although VA does not typically make payments for classes resulting in non-punitive grades, if COVID 19 is reported as mitigating circumstances for the student’s receipt of a non-punitive grade (i.e., Fail in a Pass/Fail class) VA will pay for the class.

Refer to the SCO handbook for more information about reporting non-punitive grades and mitigating circumstances.

Note: The IHL must make SAA aware of change in grading system.

COVID-19: NCD SCO FAQs

No, only programs previously approved by the SAA will be available for NCD institutions to continue enrollments of GI Bill students.

Note: If the NCD institution seeks approval of any new programs, they must contact the State Approving Agency and complete application.

Based on recently passed legislation (Senate Bill 3503, signed into law March 21, 2020), benefits may continue to be paid for a NCD which converts an approved residence training modality course to an online training modality for that course (distance learning) due to COVID-19, when the conversion is the only change. The law only authorizes this special authority from March 1, 2020, to December 21, 2020.

  • Educational institutions which convert modalities as described above do not need to submit enrollment adjustments for any terms certified as resident training.
  • Only converted courses – SCOs cannot certify resident credit hours to VA for online courses when there is no approval for a resident training counterpart.
  • The new law applies equally to current and new students enrolled in the converted courses.

Terms Moving Forward:

NCD educational institutions which convert modalities as described above may submit certification of resident courses converted to online modality as resident courses if the start date of the term is prior to December 21, 2020.

  • Use the Resident Credit Hour or Clock Hour portion of the VA-ONCE enrollment certification.
  • Must enter Standard Remark “COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online” located within VA-ONCE

Note 1: If a NCD resumes normal operation of a resident course prior to December 21, 2020, the school must resume certification of the actual training modality (i.e., resident training or distance education), and may only continue to certify online classes if distance education has been approved by the State Approving Agency.  The NCD should also cease utilization of the "COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online" remark.

Note 2: Normal reporting requirements for all other changes should be completed per SCO handbook. (change in start/end date, change in credit/clock hours, etc.)

Based on the new law, Post 9/11 GI Bill students who pursue resident courses converted to an online modality solely due to COVID 19 will continue to receive the MHA rate for resident training. The law only authorizes this special authority from March 1, 2020, to December 21, 2020.

An NCD with a current SAA approved program may continue to train and report enrollments to the VA. Those students who pursue courses converted to an on-line modality solely due to COVID 19 will continue to receive the MHA rate for resident training. The law only authorizes this special authority from March 1, 2020, to December 21, 2020.

SCOs should not report modality changes due to COVID-19 for any current enrollments submitted to VA.

Note: Other types of changes to the student’s enrollment status may affect payments. Non COVID-19 related changes must still be reported per normal requirements.

Terms Moving Forward (not already submitted to VA):

  • Educational institutions which convert modalities as described above can submit certification of resident courses converted to online modality as resident courses.
  • Use the Resident Credit Hour or Clock Hour portion of the VA ONCE enrollment certification.
  • If any adjustments were made to the start or end date, these adjustments need to be reported to the VA so accurate payments can be completed.
  • Enter Standard Remark “COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online”

Note:

  • The effective dates of the new law covering March 1, 2020 to December 21, 2020 allow NCD schools to continue training for converted programs/classes/courses due solely to COVID-19. When an NCD goes back to normal operations for resident courses, the school will continue to submit enrollment certifications to the VA without the requirement of the additional “COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online” remark.
  • NCD schools not currently approved to offer online courses, will not be allowed to continue to offer online modality after 21 December 2020.

When this occurs, the NCD should not submit enrollment adjustments for the current term. However, the SCO must report the temporary school closure to the Education Liaison Representative (ELR) and State Approving Agency (SAA) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. It is important to notify the ELR and SAA as soon as practical, so the claimant’s monthly stipend is correctly adjusted.

  • The school should refund payments per the approved policy as soon as possible.
  • If the educational institution has temporarily ceased operations to all students due to COVID 19, affected students will continue to receive their MHA until the sooner of the end of the term or 4 weeks (28 days) from the date that the NCD temporarily ceased operations.
  • Current law only provides protection for stoppage in training when the school ceases operations completely (temporary or permanent).

When NCD Resumes Operations: Guidance in development. Will be forthcoming at a later date.

When this occurs, the NCD vocational flight institution should submit current flight hours per standard reporting requirements based on the last day of training (time to report will be extended). VA will process and pay benefits for qualifying tuition and fee costs to the NCD flight institution.

Resumes Operations:

  • When an NCD vocational flight institution resumes operations for flight training:
  • Normal resumption of monthly flight training reported to the VA using VA-ONCE.

Note: Flight medical certification must still be current.

The SCO should review their institution’s attendance, leave of absence, and “Incomplete Grade” policy and apply as appropriate.

 If the school’s policy dictates that an Incomplete Grade or Leave of Absence is not an option, the SCO must:

  • Report the withdrawal based on the attendance policy and report COVID-19 as mitigating circumstances.
  • The student’s last day of attendance should be reported as the effective date.
  • The NCD institution’s refund policy should be applied as soon as possible.
  • In these situations, the law does NOT allow VA to continue payments beyond the last day of attendance.

 If the school’s policy allows Incomplete Grade or Leave of Absence as an option, the SCO must follow normal established procedures.

Student Resumes Attendance:

An NCD educational institution will complete standard enrollment practices associated with any prior withdrawal by a student.

Note: If the student returns during the 1 March 2020 to 21 December 2020 timeframe, the school may continue to report converted courses to the VA in accordance with established guidance provided in the FAQs.