University of Southern Indiana
Starting your mission at USI

WHERE DO I START? - Checklist for Students Seeking Benefits


Whether you are transitioning from the active component, returning to campus as an active reservist or starting college for the first time as a dependent of a Veteran, the process can be overwhelming, stressful and intimidating. When this occurs, our staff at the Veteran, Military and Family Resource Center (VMFRC) is your first point of contact to assist you or your student in finding their direction.

Our knowledgeable staff are here to help. In the meantime, the following checklist will assist you in making sure your transition to college student starts on the right path.

USI VMFRC is located on the lower level of the Education Center, Room 0114, and provides assistance to all prospective and enrolled student veterans, servicepersons, dependents, survivors of veterans, and other eligible persons.


It is the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to approve applications and to make decisions regarding payment, issuance of checks, and eligibility.

The USI Veteran Military and Family Resource Center and the University Registrar are responsible for certifying and monitoring enrollment, academic progress, and other academic information.

Please note that new applicants should expect a wait of approximately 8-10 weeks for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to process and send their first subsistence check.

Beneficiaries who are renewing their benefits at the same school should expect a wait of approximately 4-6 weeks from the first day of the semester for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to process and send their first subsistence check.

Pre-Admission / Application Phase

1. Apply for Admission - Students with a direct* military affiliation receive an Admission Fee Waiver. Simply apply on-line and select the “pay later” option. Then contact our office so we can submit the forms to the Admission Office. Once the form is received, they will process your application. /admission or call 800-467-1965 (*direct meaning you have served. Dependents are not eligible)

2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) - This form is what our Financial Assistance Office needs to determine your eligibility to programs that provide grants, loans, and work-study funds to students attending college or career school.

3. Request Transcripts for Evaluation - Any forms of training, whether military or other institutions, should be evaluated by our Registrar. Request transcripts be sent directly to them through the institution or if military through JST or CCAF.

4. Apply for Scholarships - Expand the opportunity to offset any costs that are not included in your benefits or financial assistance. /admission/scholarships

5. Apply for GI Bill® Benefits - A more convenient way of applying is now available on-line through the  Print out a copy of your application before submitting it if possible.                        or call 1-888-GI-BILL1.

If you transfer your VA Educational benefits from another institution, simply complete a VA Form 22-1995 (GI Bill® ) or VA Form 22-5495 (Chapter 35) using or by visiting our office. 

6. Apply for Campus Housing - If you opt to live on campus, there are certain options that you should investigate. or call 812-468-2000


Post-Admission / Course Planning Phase

1. Schedule and Orientation - Orientation is your opportunity to learn about the institution and get registered for your first semester courses. Visit the webpage and chose the orientation that is right for you./orientation/

2. Bring Completed Forms to the VMFRC - Once the VA processes your claim, they will send you a Certificate of Eligibility stating the type and amount of benefits you have. Bring that copy, your DD214 and any other forms you have to the Education Center Room 0114.

3. Certify Enrollment - To inform our office that you want to utilize your VA benefits, complete the on-line Semester VA Education Benefit Request Form. This must be completed EACH semester you want to claim benefits.

4. Be Involved - There are many activities and organizations that involve our student Veteran population including our Student Veteran Association Chapter and our on campus American Legion Post 324. There are always students available to assist you or your student.


Important information regarding your educational benefits

Requesting Your VA Education Benefits: To avoid delays in receiving benefits, the USI Semester VA Education Benefit Request Form should be submitted to the USI Veteran Military and Family Resource Center prior to each semester. This form is available online and is submitted electronically using your myUSI login.

Schedule Changes or Withdrawals: Any beneficiary who completes an add/drop or withdrawal must do so according to the official University process. Beneficiaries who revise their schedule or withdraw from the semester must also notify USI Veteran, Military and Family Resource Center (VMFRC) of the change, as it may have an adverse impact on their eligibility for benefits.

Active Military Duty: The Office of the Veteran, Military and Family Resource Center (VMFRC) works closely with students who are called to active military duty. Depending on the timing of the deployment, students have several options available to them. (Active Duty Policy)

Military Credit: USI offers credit for time-in-service, specialized training, and experience in the U.S. Armed Forces. To be evaluated, students must provide a DD-214 or obtain their military transcripts online and have them sent to USI's Office of the Registrar's for evaluation. Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy: Active Duty, Reserve and Veterans may submit a Joint Service Transcript. Veterans of the Air Force submit transcripts from the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF).

Transfer Credit: Students are REQUIRED to provide official transcripts of his/her academic work at other institutions to be evaluated to determine the number of transfer credits accepted by this University toward the student’s program of study/degree, and to have this information submitted to the Office of the Registrar for transmittal to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs regional office.

  • The Evaluation Process - This offers a general guideline regarding the length of time it typically takes our office to evaluate an official transcript, as well as a few factors that can delay the evaluation process
  • Transfer Grades - This lists some of the transfer letter grades shown on the unofficial transcript (Self Service) and in Degree Works.  Three general categories of transfer grades include those that carry earned credit (TA, TB+, TB, etc.), in progress courses (TIP), and "no credit" courses (TND, TNF, TNW, TRP, etc.)

Enrollment as Progress Towards a Degree: All courses taken during a term for which you have been certified for VA benefits must apply toward your degree. Veterans can be charged with an overpayment for any courses taken which are not applicable toward their degree. If you are in doubt as to whether certain courses are required for your degree, please contact your academic advisor, your academic dean’s office, or the Office of the Registrar immediately as this could affect your VA Benefits.

Prerequisite Courses: VA beneficiaries required to take prerequisites not identified in the current Bulletin must have their departments provide this office with a list of prerequisite courses. Such a list should identify prerequisites by both course name and number. The VA may charge beneficiaries who fail to do this with an overpayment for taking courses not included in their program.

Courses Taken Under the Audit Option: Courses taken on an audit basis cannot be used in computing enrollment status. In order to permit certification of full-time status, undergraduate students must have 12 credit hours or more in A - F grade option, Pass/No-Pass option, or equivalent credit. When you report your enrollment status in Section 1, DO NOT include any courses taken under the audit option. If you report and are certified for courses taken under the audit option, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can charge you with an overpayment.

Repeating Courses: Once a student has received a passing grade (D or better) in a course, he/she is typically no longer eligible for VA benefits for repeating that course. Exceptions can be made if the course requires a minimum grade for admission into a specific program of study.

Independent Study Courses: Veterans enrolling in independent study courses must notify the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the University of Southern Indiana Office of the Registrar at the beginning of that term.

Graduate Enrollment: Graduate students who enroll in undergraduate courses may be paid at the undergraduate rate for those courses.

Changes of Address: All VA recipients must notify both the University (update via MyUSI) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (888-442-4551) of any change of address.

Application for Degree: All VA recipients must apply for graduation by the end of their junior year. If you do not comply with this requirement, the USI Veteran Military and Family Resource Center office may only certify your eligibility for VA benefits for one term until you have applied for your degree.


Do you still have questions regarding your benefits?

Should you need assistance with application/certification for VA educational benefits, please feel free to visit us in the Veterans' Support Services office, contact us via telephone, or e-mail (see below). For your records, please retain copies of all forms that you submit to the Veteran Military and Family Resource Center.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs V.A. Regional Office
P O Box 66830
St. Louis, MO 63166-6830 

University of Southern Indiana USI Veteran Military and Family Resource Center, Room 0114
8600 University Boulevard Evansville, IN 47712 

Call Toll-Free 888-442-4551

PHONE: 812-464-1857
FAX: 812-465-1663

Contact Ashley Wright


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