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Certifying Official Newsletter # 107

July 1, 2016

Correction to Newsletter # 106 Student SSN

When contacting the VA, including ELRs, identify the student using the student’s full name and the last four of their SSN. Never use the student’s full SSN or other Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in e-mails.

Newsletter # 105

Colleges and Universities with previously “deemed approved” programs are asked to review Certifying Official Newsletter #105, May 13, 2016, Special Edition, Program Approval. It is imperative that the procedures outlined in Newsletter # 105 be followed as soon as possible. Required documents attached to Newsletter # 105 should be sent to the SAA as soon as possible for program approval and submission to VA for inclusion in WEAMS.

VA Policy Advisory Rescinded

Effective June 21, 2016, VA Compliance and Liaison Advisory 223-06-01, Subject: Refunds of Tuition and Net Charges When A Student Reduces or Terminates Enrollment, is rescinded. If a student reduces or terminates enrollment during the school’s published refund period, refunds should be given to the student, the student should be notified that VA will collect overpayments due to the reduction or termination, and the school certifying official should report the reduction and/or termination to VA in VA-ONCE in accordance with the Quick User Guide to VA-ONCE, Version 8, March 2015.

New School Certifying Official Training

VA has posted New School Certifying Official Training on YouTube at: New Certifying Official Training
The training at the above link takes about 35 minutes.  Recommend you access the training through the link above. If you are going to type the link into your browser, make sure you type it EXACTLY as it appears above.
Please note that the portion of this training that addressed “Deemed Approved” program has been overcome by events and is no longer applicable.
An alternative, much longer but more detailed, is the CD produced by the State Approving Agency. The CD covers five categories of training as follows:
  • Lesson One – SCO Handbook, Contacting VA, Responsibilities, and Benefit Overviews
  • Lesson Two – Training Time/Rate of Pursuit, Entitlement, & Much More
  • Lesson Three – Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)
  • Lesson Four – Mitigating Circumstances, Debt Management, Best Practices
  • Lesson Five – Veterans Education Benefits and Financial Aid   
Copies of the New School Certifying Official Training CD can be secured by calling the State Approving Agency at 717-787-2414 or 412-565-5364.

2016-2017 Yellow Ribbon

VA has posted the 2016-2017 Academic Year Yellow Ribbon Schools on the GI Bill web site: PA State Yellow Ribbon Program Information 2016 - 2017. If your school is a Yellow Ribbon school, please review this web site to ensure the information is correct. If the information is incorrect, notify VA at Be sure to cc: you’re ELR when you send an e-mail to VA.

June 2, 2016 Webinar

VA has published the power point slides from the June 2, 2016 webinar. They are located at: VA Benefits
Agenda items included:
  • State of VA Education Service
  • Best Practices and Resources
  • Dual Certification (aka Zero Tuition and Fees)
  • National Maximums
  • Yellow Ribbon
  • Trademark Enforcement
Recommend each School Certifying Official access the webinar slides form the web site above and print them out for information purposes.