Certifying Official Newsletter #106
June 1, 2016
93-100, School Certifying Official Handbook, Revision 5.0 (5th
Edition), September 18, 2015 and Tab 23, SCO Workshop CD, April 2016.
If a school receives a debt letter from the VA Debt
Management Center, St. Paul, MN, it will contain the exact amount the school
owes back to VA and a tear off stub to be returned to VA with the payment.
If the school receives a letter from the Regional Processing
Office (RPO) Buffalo, that letter is for information purposes only. See page 94-96, SCO Handbook.
If the school agrees with the debt and the amount of the
debt, payment should be made to VA DMC, with the tear off stub. The payment should be made to the DMC, not the
RPO. See page 97, SCO Handbook.
If the school disputes the debt in any way (the amount is
wrong or the debt is not school debt) refer to pages 93-94, SCO Handbook.
If the school disputes the debt, an email
should be sent to the Debt Management Center (DMC) at email@example.com
as soon as
Documents pertaining to the
dispute should be scanned and attached to the e-mail to the DMC so those
documents can be used to adjudicate the dispute.
It is imperative that the school certifying
official and the people in the financial office of the school are in direct
communication concerning any school debt and that the school refer directly to
page 93 of the School Certifying Official Handbook.
It is also imperative that the school e-mail
DMC as soon as possible to avoid having the debt referred to the Treasury
Offset Program (TOP), page 94, SCO Handbook.
Use of Reporting Fee
Section 204, Public Law 111-377 states: “Any reporting fee paid an educational institution
or joint apprenticeship training committee after the date of the enactment of
the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2011 shall be
utilized by such institution or committee solely for the making of
certifications required under this chapter (33) or chapter 31, 34, or 35 of
this title of for otherwise supporting programs for veterans.” “The amendments made by this section shall
take effect on October 1, 2011.”
As of this date, VA has not published any further defining information
concerning the use of reporting fees other than what is contained in the Public
Law 111-377 stated above. Institutions
or committees who have questions about the use of reporting fees should direct
those questions to their respective Education Liaison Representative (ELR).
VA-ONCE Password Update
Passwords in VA-ONCE must be changed every 90 days. If you do not log in to VA-ONCE, your account
will be deleted after 120 days of inactivity.
If this is the case, you must e-mail or call your ELR to have your
account reactivated and to receive a new temporary password.
Electronic Fund Transfer of VA Funds
Reference School Direct Deposit Update Advisory, 07-17-2012,
Tab 15, SCO Workshop CD, April 2016.
Tuition payments and Yellow Ribbon payments to schools are
normally made by Electronic Fund Transfer to the banking institution designated
by the school. A letter to designate the
banking institution must be sent to the Education Liaison Representative
(ELR). The form for the letter is on the
SCO Workshop CD, April 2016.
Vet Rep Listing
Reference page 90, SCO Handbook.
VA will mail the SCO a report known as the Vet Rep Listing
at indicated on page 90 of the SCO Handbook.
If you are not receiving this listing, e-mail or call you Education
Liaison Representative (ELR) immediately and ask that the listing be sent to
you on a regular basis.
Priority Scheduling for Veterans at
Public Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania
Reference Tab 21, Veterans Preference In Scheduling (Public
Schools), SCO Workshop CD, April 2106.
The provisions of Act 46 are provided below:
Act 46 of 2014 (Act of May 14,
2014, P.L. 667, No. 46) requires public institutions of higher education in
Pennsylvania to provide veteran students, as defined, with preference in course
Specifically, the Act requires
the following of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the
- Within 90 days of Act 46 being enacted, PDE, in consultation with the public institutions, shall develop guidelines under which public
institutions of higher education shall provide preference in course scheduling to veteran students.
- Within 180 days of Act 46 being enacted, a public institution of higher education shall provide veteran students with preference in course
scheduling pursuant to the guidelines developed by PDE.
Additional information, including an information sheet, can
be found in Tab 21 of the SCO Workshop CD.
include a student’s full social security account number (SSN) in e-mails to VA
to include to Education Liaison Representatives (ELR). Use only the first initial of the last name
and the last four digits of the student’s SSN.
VA will be able to identify the student with this information. Never include the student’s full SSN or any
other Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in emails.
2016-2017 Academic Year Caps
Effective for terms beginning on or after August 1, 2016,
the following annual Academic Year Caps will be applied:
Private Institution of Higher Learning (IHL): $21,970.46
Non-College Degree Program at a Non-IHL: $21,970.46
Flight Courses: $12,554.54
Correspondence Courses: $10,671.35
Entitlement charged for Licensing and Certification Tests
and National Exams:
1 Month up
National Average of Basic Allowance for Housing is
$1611.00. Distance Learning Monthly
Housing Allowance will be $805.50.
Note: The Department of Defense
BAH rates show $33.00 less than the approved VA rate. VA students will be paid at the higher
rate. (Last year the amount was
$16.00.) Remember, the Monthly Housing
Allowance is based on the DoD BAH for the zip code of the school where the
enrollment certification is completed.
For the 2016-2017 Academic Year, the Monthly Housing Allowance will be
paid at $33.00 more than the DoD BAH, prorated by Rate of Pursuit.
If you have questions concerning the Academic Year Caps or
the Monthly Housing Allowance, contact your Education Liaison Representative