Veterans Connection, University of Minnesota
 

Spring 2012, Volume 5, Number 2

In this issue:


Staff Update - Meet Bob Phaneuf

Bob Phaneuf recently joined University Veterans Services and we asked him to provide a brief introduction of himself:

I served 6 1/2 years enlisted in the Massachusetts and Colorado Air National Guard during college.  I was commissioned in the Rhode Island Air National Guard as a Chaplain in 1986. I resigned that commission to accept an appointment as a Chaplain in the US Navy Reserve. Upon completion of Chaplain School in 1987 I was assigned on active duty to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Okinawa, Japan. I served in the Navy Reserve from 1991 to 2003. I had assignments in CA, CT, MA, Republic of South Korea, Republic of the Philippines, Norway, and Italy. I served in 1/25 Marine Corps Battalion and Squadron 2, Groton Submarine Base. I was assigned at Arlington National Cemetery during 9/11 and worked with military and civilian personnel at the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery following 9/11. I retired after 21 years of service on active duty and reserve in July 2003.

I look forward to serving in University Veterans Services at One Stop Student Services.

University of Minnesota selected as a Tillman Military Scholar University Partner

We are proud to announce that the University of Minnesota has been selected as a University Partner with the Pat Tillman foundation in support of the Tillman Military Scholars program. This program provides educational scholarships for veterans and active service members and their families. The Tillman Military Scholars program covers direct study-related expenses such as tuition and fees and other needs such as housing and child care. The Tillman Military Scholars program also provides a community that connects students to others who want to improve their own lives while also serving their country and community.

Watch your email for updates regarding this opportunity. The application will be available on Monday, February 13 and University Veterans Services can assist you with the application process. More information about criteria and eligibility is available on the Pat Tillman Foundation website.

Letters from the VA

University Veterans Services has received inquiries about letters students have received from the VA. All enrollment information has been sent to the VA. Tuition and fees will be reported after the second week of the term for those who receive a tuition and fees payment under the Post 9/11 GI Bill program. When a payment comes in, staff from University Veterans Services will send an email notification of this payment. If you receive a letter from the VA and are unclear about the information in it, contact University Veterans Services so we can check on your benefits.

Tax Time

With the tax season upon us, University Veterans Services receives many inquiries about reporting funds received through GI Bill on taxes. The GI Bill website has complete and authoritative information on this topic.

MN GI Bill applications online

Apply for the Minnesota GI Bill as soon as possible. Applications must be completed online and are on the Get Ready for College website. University Veterans Services will be processing these benefits as quickly as possible.

Before submitting the application, review the eligibility requirements. Your VA educational benefits are included in the calculation for determining whether you are able to receive funding.

Monitor your University email and respond quickly to any additional documentation requests. When processing has been completed, you'll receive an email notice if any amount will be credited to your University student account.

Need financial aid? Submit your 2012-13 FAFSA

GI Bill benefits are no longer included in your financial aid package. To be considered for 2012-2013 financial aid, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online as early as possible after filing your 2011 federal tax return.

For comprehensive financial aid information, see the financial aid page on the One Stop website.

Deferred tuition payments available

If you are receiving VA educational benefits, you are eligible for an automatic deferment of your tuition to prevent a late fee charge to your account. However, you are expected to make payments on your account balance by the end of the term when you receive your last VA payment. If you have an account balance at the time you register, you will have a hold on your account preventing registration. If this happens, contact University Veterans Services. We can work with you to temporarily remove the hold so you can register.

Benefit alert: Attend class & complete assignments

VA regulations require you to attend class and submit assigned work to receive GI Bill and Chapter 35 benefits. Missing classes or failing to report a registration change could affect other financial aid you receive.

If you receive an "F" or an "N" in a class, you may have to repay a portion of your veterans education benefits. Before you cancel a class, see the registration changes page on the One Stop website for information essential to understanding the consequences of reducing your credit load.

If you are facing challenges in your classes or you have any questions about the cancel/add process, contact University Veterans Services as early as possible. We can provide information on academic and tutoring resources available to you from the University and the VA.

Summer classes

If you plan to take classes over the summer, you can choose to use your GI Bill benefits. Look for an email from University Veterans Services in April for more information. The VA processes benefits based on the dates of the specific courses and no longer pays break pay for breaks between terms or classes.

Reminders

You've got resources

For assistance with non-educational benefits, contact Duane Bauer, Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Higher Education Veterans Programs, at 651-757-1594 or duane.bauer@state.mn.us for more information or to set up an appointment.

VA process takes up to 8 weeks

It may take up to eight weeks for the VA to process your educational benefits. University Veterans Services will forward your certification of enrollment to the VA as soon as possible after you submit it to their office.

Is St. Paul your campus?

If it's more convenient to meet a University Veterans Services counselor in person on the St. Paul campus at the One Stop Student Services Center in 130 Coffey Hall, call 612-625-8076 to set up an appointment.

Free, confidential help

Disability Services staff offer free, confidential services to University students, staff, and faculty who have disabling conditions. They will facilitate reasonable accommodations for a wide variety of conditions (physical, learning, attention, and mental health). Meet with a walk-in specialist for a short conversation or schedule an hour-long appointment. For walk-in hours and more information visit the Disability Services website, call 612-626-1333, or email ds@umn.edu.

Email tip

Please remember to include your full name and student ID number when you email veterans@umn.edu. We can only respond to inquiries sent from your University email account.

Report enrollment changes

If you are receiving benefits from Chapters 30, 35, 1606, or 1607 VA programs and drop below your initial level of enrollment, notify the Veterans Certification Office at 612-625-8076 or veterans@umn.edu.

Academic Dates & Deadlines

See the spring academic calendar on the One Stop website for a complete listing of upcoming dates & deadlines.

Contact University Veterans Services

The University has many resources related to veterans education benefits and other benefit programs for military members, veterans, and their families. All of these programs are described online on the University Veterans Services website.

You can also call, email, or walk in with questions or concerns, or schedule an individual consultation to find out more about veterans benefits and resources. Contact information and hours are available online.


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