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Using Your VA Benefits

Students in approved programs at Northwestern University may use any VA educational benefit toward the cost of their program. Students should check with their respective program to verify its eligibility to participate in VA program benefits.

VA Educational Benefits include, but are not limited to:

VA Educational Benefits do not include the Illinois Veteran Grant or Tuition Assistance through the Department of Defense for active duty personnel. These programs are not available to students enrolled in any program at Northwestern University. 

To determine which VA educational benefit is best for you and to determine your eligibility for educational programs through the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans and active duty military members should contact the GI Bill hotline at 1-888-GIBILL1 (1-888-442-4551) to speak with a VA counselor. Visit the VA website for more information.

Students must apply for their benefits online via the VA's website.

Once a student has submitted the appropriate application through VA and has received his/her certificate of eligibility (COE), he/she should submit a copy of the COE to the program Registrar and the Chicago Office of Financial Aid so his/her enrollment may be verified with VA.

Students are responsible for completing any necessary steps as directed by VA to ensure that Northwestern University receives the Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition payment and the VA’s portion of the Yellow Ribbon payment. Please refer to the Certificate of Eligibility or call 1-888-GIBILL1 (442-4551) to verify that you have completed all necessary steps with the VA.

Post-9/11 GI Bill VA benefits - tuition and mandatory fees information

For all students who are eligible for the post 9-11 GI Bill VA Benefits, the maximum Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit amount awarded (tuition and fees) is based on:

Receiving payment for VA educational benefits

The payment method for your VA educational benefit depends upon the VA program for which you are eligible.

Post-9/11 GI Bill (Ch. 33)

Once your enrollment certification has been submitted to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs by Northwestern University, payment will be issued after U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs processes the certification. Northwestern University is not provided with a timeline for payment by VA. For information on when payments will be issued, Veterans must contact the GI Bill hotline at 888-GIBILL1 (1-888-442-4551).

Veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill who do not see a payment by VA or an anticipated VA credit on their student account during a period of enrollment should notify Zach Weber in the Office of Financial Aid via email at or by phone at 312-503-8722.

Other VA Educational Benefits

Payment for the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (Ch. 30), Montgomery GI Bill-Reserves (Ch. 1606), and REAP (Ch. 1607) are made directly to the Veteran from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans using these chapters should contact U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at 1-888-442-4551 for information on how payments will be issued.

VA educational benefits and financial aid

Veterans may apply for financial aid in addition to their VA benefits. Receipt of federal aid will not reduce a Veteran's eligibility for VA educational benefits. Effective August 1, 2011, all aid not considered federal (Title IV) aid WILL reduce the Veteran's Post-9/11 GI Bill payment for tuition and fees.

Federal (Title IV) aid includes:

Title IV aid DOES NOT include:

Conversely, VA benefits will not reduce a student's eligibility for federal aid, though it is recommended that Veterans take into account the amount of funding they receive from the VA when accepting or declining their federal loan assistance. Veterans should contact the Chicago Office of Financial Aid if they need assistance in determining the amount of loan funding they should accept or decline.