Washington University provides assistance for veterans, active duty, Reserve, and Guard servicemembers, dependents and survivors seeking educational benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Acceptance into a degree or certification program and registration for courses is handled individually by school.

Steps for Using Your Benefits
VA Educational Programs
Yellow Ribbon Program
Veterans Work-Study Program
Veterans Readiness and Employment
VA Education and Career Counseling
Certification of VA Benefits – School Certifying Officials

Apply for benefits:

For all VA educational and training benefits, applicants will need to apply for benefits and provide a copy of the Certificate of Eligibility (COE) they receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs to their VA School Certifying Official listed below when arranging tuition payments. We recommend applying as early as possible.

Click here for additional information on using military tuition assistance with VA educational benefits.

Steps for Using Your Benefits

New students should start at step 1. Returning students should move to step 7.

  1. Apply for VA Benefits: If this is your first time using VA educational benefits, apply for benefits online. If you have questions about which benefit is best for your personal circumstances, contact the Office of Military and Veteran Services by phone, email or appointment (phone, Skype or in-person). If you used your benefits at another school, change your GI Bill school or program.
  2. Receive Certificate of Eligibility: Receive the Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA. This is the document the university uses to verify your eligibility to use VA educational benefits. This process could take about 4-6 weeks. The COE arrives by mail, but you can also access it online through eBenefits.
  3. Request Yellow Ribbon Benefits: If you plan to use Yellow Ribbon benefits, reach out to your school’s financial services representative as early as possible to notify them of your intent to use these benefits. Some programs have Yellow Ribbon available for an unlimited number of students and for the full difference of tuition and fees. Other programs have limits. This information is broken down by school below.
  4. Registration and Certification: After registering for classes, provide your COE by email to your VA School Certifying Official (SCO). Your SCO will provide you with additional forms to complete. Note that you should complete this step even if you’re still awaiting your COE. Your SCO will provide additional guidance.*
  5. Check Status: Check the status of your benefits through eBenefits. This site contains a wealth of information, including the VA letters you receive by mail stating how much benefit you are using for the semester. It will also show rates of payment for your housing allowance and book stipend. Note that the SCO does not receive status of your certification from the VA. If you have questions about status, reach out directly to VA Education and Training at 888-GIBILL-1 (888-442-4551) or through the GI Bill Ask a Question Site.
  6. VA Payment: VA will pay tuition and fees either directly to the university (Post-9/11 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon and Fry) or directly to you (MGIB-AD, MGIB-SR and DEA). If your benefit includes housing and book allowance, you will receive money directly to your bank account through Direct Deposit. Housing payments are made in arrears at the end of the month for the previous month, and only for the dates you are certified for course enrollment.
  7. Request Certification Each Semester: Certification is not an automatic process. Following registration each semester, you must submit a request for certification to your SCO for each semester you intend to use VA educational benefits.


  • Timelines vary on how long it takes the VA to process certifications. You should expect it to take at least 4-6 weeks for VA to certify your benefits from the time the SCO submits your certification, depending on the time of year.
  • If you submit your certification request in a timely manner, you will not be assessed late fees or otherwise penalized due to the delayed disbursement of a payment by the VA. Visit the Policy on Protections for VA Educational Benefit Users for additional information.
  • *For students enrolling in the Olin Business School, you will coordinate with Olin Graduate Financial Services. For students enrolling in University College, you will coordinate with University College’s Financial Aid Team. These offices will complete these steps and coordinate with the SCO on your behalf.

VA Educational Programs

Additional information on the VA education and training benefits through the GI Bill is available on the VA Education and Training website. The GI Bill Comparison Tool can assist you in learning about the benefit programs and comparing benefits by school. Applicants can apply for educational benefits online. We encourage all students to explore federal student aid options (grants, scholarships and loans) using the FAFSA application.

Yellow Ribbon Program

Washington University participates in the Yellow Ribbon program, which funds the difference between what the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) at the 100% rate covers for tuition and fees and the actual tuition and fees to attend the university.

Each of our participating schools voluntarily enters into its own Yellow Ribbon Agreement with the VA and chooses the amount of tuition and fees that will be contributed. VA matches that amount and issues payments directly to the institution.

Eligibility information is available at the VA’s Yellow Ribbon Program website. Please note that active duty service members and their spouses ARE eligible for Yellow Ribbon benefits.

Participation is administered on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you intend to use Post-9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon benefits, contact the following to notify them of your intent as early as possible:

For academic year 2019-2020, Washington University’s Yellow Ribbon participation:

Degree Level Division or School Number of Students Max School Contribution Amt (Per Student/Per Year)
Undergraduate All Unlimited Unlimited
Graduate Business 150 Unlimited
Graduate Engineering Unlimited Unlimited
Graduate Law School Unlimited Unlimited
Graduate School of Architecture 4 Unlimited
Graduate School of Art 4 Unlimited
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Unlimited Unlimited
Professional Programs School of Medicine 4 $2,500.00
MD School of Medicine 4 $17,500.00
Graduate Social Work, Public Health, Public Policy 10 Unlimited
Graduate University College Unlimited Unlimited

Veterans Work-Study Program

Service members, veterans and family members who are using approved VA educational benefits and meet all of the requirements listed below can take part in the Veterans Work-Study Program on campus.

All of these must be true. You:

  • Are enrolled at least three-quarter time in a college degree, vocational, or professional program, and
  • Have found an open job either at a nearby VA facility or in a VA-related role at your school, and
  • Can finish the work-study contract while you still qualify for education benefits, and
  • Are using an approved VA education benefits program to pay for your education or training

Interested applicants should contact the Office of Military and Veteran Services for additional information.

Veterans Readiness and Employment

Veterans Readiness and Employment (VR&E), formerly known as Voc Rehab (Chapter 31), is another option to fund the cost of your education at Washington University. VR&E focuses on employability and helps with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and job seeking skills coaching. Other services may be provided to assist Veterans in starting their own businesses or independent living services for those who are severely disabled and unable to work in traditional employment.

You or your VA counselor will need to provide her with your VA Form 28-1905, Authorization and Certification of Entrance into Rehabilitation or Reentrance and Certification Status, in order to process payment.

Students using VR&E should click here for additional information on purchasing books and supplies through the WashU Campus Store.

Applicants can apply for VR&E online.

VA Education and Career Counseling

Education and Career Counseling is an opportunity for service members, veterans and dependents to get personalized counseling and support to help guide their career paths, ensure most effective use of their VA benefits, and achieve their goals. It is available for the following groups:

  • Transitioning service members within six months prior to discharge from active duty
  • Veterans within one year following discharge from active duty
  • Any service member/veteran currently eligible for a VA education benefit
  • All current VA education beneficiaries

Applicants can apply for Education and Career Counseling online.

Certification of VA Benefits – School Certifying Officials

Learn more about veteran certification on the Office of the University Registrar website.

The following individuals are responsible for certifying to the Department of Veterans Affairs the enrollment of students at Washington University in St. Louis who are using VA education benefits.

Danforth Campus Certifying Official

Eileen Radomski
(Undergraduate programs and all graduate programs except Medicine)
Office of the University Registrar
(314) 935-5933/5959

Medical Campus Certifying Officials

Melanie Smigielski
(All Medical programs except graduate residencies and fellowships)
School of Medicine Office of the Registrar
(314) 362-6859

    Tia Drake
    Krysti Henke
    (School of Medicine graduate residencies and fellowships only)
    Graduate Medical Education
    (314) 747-3899/(314) 362-7353