Financing Your Education

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, as well as state and local government, offers a number of educational assistance programs for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and their dependents. Based on the time and length of service, as well as current status, veterans can be eligible for one or more of these programs.

All students, regardless of what benefits they believe they may be eligible for, should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.
How to Receive Benefits at Columbia as a New Student
This VA checklist provides a useful overview of how to get started with receiving VA educational benefits.  Please also review the steps below to ensure you receive your benefits at Columbia.

  • Acquire any necessary paperwork documenting your service.  Usually, you need an original or certified copy of DD Form 214 documenting your active duty service or other documentation of your military service to enroll in VA benefits.  Now, you can access your DD-214 online.
  • Ensure that your desired program is eligible for benefits.  Most programs at Columbia are eligible, but if you have a question about eligibility, please email
  • Apply for your benefits with the VA.  If you have used your VA educational benefits elsewhere prior to Columbia, please also complete a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training, VA Form 22-1995.  This form is available through the same online application, VONAPP, where you apply for your benefits.
  • For Ch. 33 only: Provide your VA certificate of eligibility for benefits to Columbia’s VA Certifying Official and to your school’s financial aid office. (See contact information below.)
  • Complete a Veterans Request for Certification form to receive benefits at Columbia.
  • If you are receiving benefits under Ch. 33 (the Post-9/11 GI Bill), you do not need to take any additional action to be certified.  Tuition and fees payments will be sent directly to Columbia on your behalf; all other stipends and payments (e.g. BAH, books stipend) will be sent to you.
  • If you are receiving benefits under Ch.30 or Ch.1606, you must verify your enrollment each month with the VA via the Web Automated Veteran's Enrollment (WAVE) system. Benefits will be sent directly to you (whether via paper check or direct deposit), and you are responsible for transferring any of these payments to Columbia.

How to Receive Benefits as a Continuing Student
Each term in which you would like to receive VA benefits at Columbia, you must submit a Veterans Request for Certification form.

Contact Information
You may mail, hand deliver, fax, or email your certificate of eligibility and your veterans request for certification to Columbia's VA Certifying Official:
Office of Military and Veterans Affairs
202 Kent Hall
MC 9205, 1140 Amsterdam Ave.
New York, NY 10027
Fax: 212-854-2818
If you have questions, please visit our FAQ page or email