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Certifying Official Newsletter No. 111

November 24, 2016

VA-ONCE Requirement for E-mail Address

Following is a quote from VA concerning E-mail addresses in VA-ONCE:
"Effective 10/27/2016 the student's e-mail address is now a required field on the Student Bio page. This is not sent to the VA on the Enrollment Certification or Notice of Change in Student Status, but could be used in the event that the VA needs to contact the student. This will impact students already added in VA-ONCE. If at any point you go to a previously certified Student's BIO Page, you will be required to enter the e-mail address before going on to the Cert tab or any other tab.
If the student doesn't have an e-mail address, then you may use the following:>
Contact your ELR if you have any questions."
VA-ONCE has fields for a primary and an alternate e-mail address. We recommend the school use a school assigned e-mail address (if assigned) as the primary address since this is the most unlikely to change. We further recommend the alternate e-mail address field be completed if the student has another e-mail address. In all cases, students should be advised to inform the SCO of any changes in their e-mail address as is the case with their mailing address.

VA Webinar

VA conducted a Quarterly Webinar on November 17, 2016. As of today, the slides have not been posted on the GI Bill web site. As soon as they do we will provide a link for you to access the slides.

Revised SCO Handbook 

We understand VA will post a revised SCO Handbook before the Fall 2017 semester. As usual, we will provide a link to the revised handbook as soon as it is released.


We understand VA will replace VA-ONCE with a revised certification system, maybe before the Fall 2017 semester. The revised system will have a new name and will be a consolidation of the current VA-ONCE and WEAMS. This will preclude SCOs form entering standard programs but will require all programs to be approved by the State Approving Agency (SAA) before VA will enter them into WEAMS. We are working very hard at the SAA to update all programs at all schools before the implementation date so no veterans will be adversely impacted by enrolling in a program that is not on WEAMS.
Schools can assist with this process by complying with Newsletter # 105 (if you have not yet complied). So far over 50 schools have sent in new catalogs and program inventories for approval. We are happy to report all these schools have been processed in the SAA and are on the road to final approval of all their programs.

Application for VA Education Benefits

Application for VA education benefits can still be accomplished through VONAPP but VONAPP has moved to a new site. It can still be accessed from the Student section of the GI Bill® website or on eBenefits at:
Students who desire to complete their application for benefits on-line should be directed to the website above.
GI Bill®" is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at