Apply Now to Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)

| May 11, 2012 | 208 Comments

Please note: Our organization is NOT the VA. We do not have VRAP applications, only electronic applications are accepted by the VA for this program and only the VA processes them.

Information and the application is at the VA website here.

If you need further assistance, please go to http://www.gibill.va.gov/contact.

News from the Veterans Administration:

Applications for the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) will be accepted starting May 15, 2012 for training that begins on or after July 1, 2012. If you are an unemployed Veteran, you may be eligible to receive 12 months of training assistance equal to the full-time monthly payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty program (currently $1,473 per month). You must pursue a program approved for VA benefits offered by a community college or technical school. The program must lead to a high demand occupation and result in an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree or a Certificate.

Don’t forget to sign up early as participation in the program is limited to a total of 99,000 Veterans with only 45,000 Veterans allowed to participate prior to October 1, 2012.

The requirements to be eligible for the VRAP program are:

  • You must be unemployed the day you apply
  • You must be at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
  • You must have an other than dishonorable discharge
  • You must not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g., the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment)
  • You must not be in receipt of VA compensation due to Individual Unemployability (IU)
  • You cannot be enrolled in a federal or state job training program
  • You must be enrolled in a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school

NEPA Veterans Multicare Alliance does not have answers to your questions. Please visit http://benefits.va.gov/vow/education.htm.

Good luck!

8.5.12 – NOTE: We are not the VA, we are a small nonprofit organization in PA. We cannot manage your application for VRAP for you. Before asking questions in the comments, please read through the many comments already posted. A lot of the questions being asked have already been answered below. Also, all the information posted in the answers was easily obtained from the  VOW website or by picking up the phone and asking questions. Particularly helpful is the FAQ. We like to be helpful but please understand we are volunteers. Try to help yourself first by actually looking at the resources we have posted for you. You are going to need these search skills to be successful in VRAP =)

Filed Under: News

Comments

  1. walter hall says:

    please sign me up for the vrap program

  2. edward a. mcqueen says:

    I am a veteran that meets all of the requirements for this educational assistance. could you please email me the application so that i may apply for these benefits. thank you and god bless.

  3. Andre Payne says:

    I would like to apply for the VRAP Program and am having trouble finding he application

  4. roy says:

    When will the funds be available to start school?

  5. Pamela says:

    How do I find out if the school I want to go to will work for the VRAP program. I am interested in an online program through Penn Foster, but they weren’t able to tell me if VRAP would cover their program.

    • Justin says:

      I enrolled in the Locksmith program at Penn Foster, I sent in my VONAPP paperwork online, and received my Certificate of Eligibility for this program. When I called the school and talked with John in the Veterans department, he told me that the school wasn’t considered full-time as per some email they recieved from Harrisburg, and that even though I have a Certificate of Eligibility, they have been directed to ignore them. SUPER FRUSTRATING!!! I want to become a Locksmith! It’s one of the high demand occupations per the list, and I can not find any other schools that provide this training!! It’s as if I’m being corralled into doing something I don’t want to do! Why would the VA approve it and then tell the school not to approve it????

      • nepavma says:

        That’s disappointing – however, if the VA found out the program didn’t meet the requirements for full-time education then though it’s difficult to accept, do you see another alternative? Errors happen, we hope you’ll find a way to become a Locksmith or enroll in a program that meets all the requirements of the VRAP criteria. Best wishes!

        • Justin says:

          No, no, no, what I’m saying is that I have a certified letter from the VA saying that I am approved for benefits for this program! The letter states:

          “This certifies that you are entitled to benefits for the following program of education or training under VRAP:

          Program Name: As certified by school VA officer
          School: Penn Foster Career School

          And yet the school VA officer states that the program doesn’t adhere to the full time requirements set forth by the VA even though the course is 12 months!!???

          • Hello Justin, I am the Veterans Service Officer for the State. Let me see what is going on about this course. If you could fax or scan the approval letter to me it would help.
            Thanks

          • Who did you talk to at the school. The certifying officials are the folks you need to speak with. Call me at 717-861-8905.
            Thanks

          • jlmac says:

            Justin, any luck on Penn Foster?

          • Justin says:

            jlmac, currently the situation remains the same, but I haven’t given up yet. I’m awaiting clarification as to why the school is approved according to the W.E.A.M.S. list but not eligible for the VRAP program. I will share my updates as they occur.

  6. nepavma says:

    Pamela – it doesn’t exactly work that way it appears. From the VRPA FAQ – you have to apply to see if it will be approved. Check it out here: http://benefits.va.gov/vow/docs/VRAP_FAQ.pdf

  7. jim says:

    will a vet have to go every month of a full year to recieve the maximum $17,600. most school years are nine months. accredited ones anyway. so if i go fall and winter sememsters do I recieve the FULL amount?

    • nepavma says:

      Jim – Thanks for the question, we hope you’ll find the answer you need here in the VRAP FAQ provided by the Department of Labor http://www.dol.gov/vets/VRAP/VOW_FAQ.pdf.

    • Janet says:

      Hi Jim,
      No, you don’t have to go every month of the full year. But, once you start a quarter, you do have to finish the quarter. You will be given a time-frame on your Certificate of Approval as to how long you can take to complete your program. So, the VRAP program does allow for some downtime during your education process

    • Adam says:

      No, you won’t get paid for the Summer off. I called and verified this, and my school said so as well. You have to call in yourself to verify enrollment every month, but the school won’t verify you as enrolled during breaks. This also includes vacation and days the school has off. You will only get paid for the number of days you actually attend school. For example, the monthly rate is $1565 divided by 30 equals $52.16 per day. So if you start on August 26th, you will only get paid 5 days worth or $260.80 that month. During November, you won’t get paid for the week off for Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Years in December, etc. It will always be prorated per day based on the school calendar. This was a shock to me as well, thinking I would get enough to pay for the whole school, and it would be a blanket $1565 per month. That is NOT the case. You should call the toll free number 1800=827-1000 and ask lots of questions.

  8. Lora Flesch says:

    I am interested in the (VRAP) program and have been trying to apply for the last 2 weeks. I do not understand what is needed to apply.

    Lora Flesch
    04 June 2012

  9. Bridgette L. Davidson says:

    I am a socio-economic deprived veteran interested in participating in the VRAP Educational Program. Please forward additional information regarding the application process….According to the circulating literature, the programs scheduled start date is July 1, 2012. Thank you!

    • nepavma says:

      Bridgette – All of the information and application for VRAP are at http://benefits.va.gov/vow/education.htm. Good luck!

      • Bridgette L. Davidson says:

        Already applied….And, received this response….Awaiting USPS DELIVERY.
        RE: EDU: VRAP Application and Supporting Doc
        From VAVBAWAS/CO/212/VONAPP VONAPP.VBACO@va.govhide details
        To bldavidsonpsyc bldavidsonpsyc@aol.com
        Cc bldavidson bldavidson@juno.com
        © 2002 AOL Inc. All Rights Reserved
        Ms. Davidson,

        A review of VONAPP shows that your Application for VRAP Benefits (VA Form 22-1990R) was successfully submitted on June 18, 2012 and downloaded to the Muskogee Regional Processing Offices (RPO) on June 19, 2012. Once your application has been adjudicated, you will receive correspondence directly from the Education Service by USPS.

        Please see our preceding response (sent to you at bldavidson@juno.com) for information regarding your physical signature and any supporting documentation you would like to submit.

        No action will be made on the attached documents.

        Respectfully,

        The VONAPP System Management Team

  10. palmer says:

    how do i know if i am approved?

  11. I would like to go to a trade type school like heavy equipment school. Would the vrap provide finances for this type of school?
    I have met all the requirements except i will not be 35 until Nov. this year. I have not had steady work since I got out of navy in 2001-2002.
    Thank you

    • nepavma says:

      It seems it would but we are not the authority, of course. We suggest applying to the program after reviewing the details here, if you feel you qualify. It’s a quick process!Please visit eBenefits to apply. To complete the application, you will need to know your direct deposit information (bank routing number and account number), the name and location of your school, the program you wish to pursue, and the applicable high demand occupation. Good luck!

    • Bridgette L. Davidson says:

      Review the high demand section located in the information circulating (VRAP), and that should assist you with an decision regarding the field you choose to be trained/ certified in. Also, after speaking to the VRAP Rep…I do believe there will be some case by case determinations made.

    • Some of the schools I have seen listed that accept Vrap for this program are usually community colleges that offer this course. Check out the ATS website. They have a school. From the brochure I received, it is VRAP approved. It is costly, and the school like 15 to 16 weeks. That is if you do both parts 1 and 2. Find a community college that offers heavy equipment. Some are a minium of 45 credit hours. Good luck.

  12. Melanie Leach says:

    Is there a LIST of approved schools somewhere?? This is unbelievably frustrating. The VA has provided a list of high demand occupations. Great. But I have contacted school after school (I’ll reach 30 by the end of today), and NONE so far have been eligible, so…..there is a reason vets are taking their time signing up. This seems to always be the case with the VA. A program looks great and simple to use and clear cut on the outside and the VA looks like they’re doing this great job…and on the inside, they could really care less about the constant difficulties vets have. Very convenient. I am taking time out of the day when I’d normallly be applying for work to try to find more training, and it has become a waste of valuable time.

    • nepavma says:

      Melanie – The key is that you must pursue a program approved for VA benefits offered by a community college or technical school. The program must lead to a high demand occupation and result in an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree or a Certificate. The WEAMS Institution Search site may be able to further help you identify a school.

      • Bridgette L. Davidson says:

        Agree. Interested veteran do not become discouraged. The program is new and many individuals are just finding out about it……Arm yourself with the information before seeking the opportunity. Good Luck!

    • Bridgette L. Davidson says:

      First, find a 2 year College, Technical or Vocational School that offers a certification or training program. Second, complete your admission paperwork, obtain a copy of the degree/ certification program and submit with your application. After the submission, your application will be reviewed by VONAPP, highlighting your eligibility. Even though the application can be approved for the education benefit, the program of choice may not. The key is to receive your eligibility certificate and to have the program of choice approved. However, If it does not happen in this order, at least you will have your eligibility certificate, thus, allowing you time to shop for a viable program that meets the VA’s requirements.

      Looking Forward-
      I have been approved for the benefit, however, the program of choice was not. After receiving my Certificate of Eligibility, I had to change my program of study and school. Therefore, I completed the VA Form 22-1995 (Program Change). Result- I start the program in August. I am so excited! We are the first to move forward in the New Education Benefit Program, I hoping for the year to end in success. Good Luck!

  13. Randy K says:

    The Computer and Mathematical section only lists Computer Support Specialists as a high demand field; that is vague. Will certificates for specialized support, such as Cisco CCNA and Microsoft Mcitp be approved? They are high demand jobs. Thank you.

    • nepavma says:

      Randy – You will have to check with the school you would like to attend if its programs qualify for VRAP. My thought would be yes, but then NEPA VMA doesn’t run the program.

    • Cheryl says:

      That would be perfect for me but they are not courses that are not offered at a Technical School or Community but this is what would get you a job fast.

  14. william says:

    Hi. 2 concerns.
    1) I applied for VRAP on the first day applications were accepted. I did not receive a response until 7.10, a letter that says ‘we have a great number of claims and action on yours may be delayed.’ Hard to plan with this vague response.
    2) Although the program criteria states that training should occur at a community college or technical school, no additional information (reasons for disqualification) are given. The first school i inquired about was a technical school that is not eligible (because they offer a 4-year degree) and the second did not have a 4-year program but was apparently disqualified because it does not have a full-time campus staff. It would be helpful to provide these qualifying/disqualifying details in advance, rather than waiting until we apply and then revealing the stipulation.

    • nepavma says:

      Hi – I understand your concerns. Sometimes it’s still ‘hurry up and wait’. There is no list because there are too many variables, programs and colleges – it is best to know the rules of the VRAP, identify the skills you are looking for and then search community colleges and technical schools to see if their programs qualify. The information provided in the blog post is comprehensive. Click on the various links underlined in blue and you should be good to go.

      Anyone not able to find answers for their particular situation is encouraged to call the VSO in their area. You can find that by going to your state website and looking for the page for military and veterans affairs.

  15. william says:

    Conflicting info abounds. Is Penn Foster eligible for VRAP benefits or not?

    • nepavma says:

      Please understand we are NOT the VA, we are a nonprofit doing the best we can to assist but we have access tot he very same information the rest of the public does. Because there appears to be such confusion, I took the following steps to find the answer regarding Penn Foster qualifications for VRAP:

      1. Went to http://www.pennfoster.edu
      2. Clicked on Military Education
      3. Called the toll-free number 1-800-238-9554
      4. Spoke with a military education advisor

      She told me that Penn Foster DOES NOT QUALIFY for VRAP because it is considered a ‘less than part-time’ school and VRAP requires full-time study programs.

      This is going to be the situation with many correspondence type schools. I hope this answers the question.

      • jlmac says:

        Yes this is extremely discouraging that SO many schools are disqualified. You mention Penn Foster does not qualified because it is considered less than full time. Considered by whom? The school or the VA?

        • nepavma says:

          The program is quite specific in what it will fund; the keys to success seem to be full-time study of an approved high demand occupation at an approved technical school or community college. After all, the stipend paid while studying isn’t for part-time.

          These are the rules of the VA and schools cannot bill them if they or the program do not qualify. It’s possible this is not the right program for everyone.

          Penn foster Rep told me that the school is not considered full-time because their programs are self-paced. Basically, it’s a correspondence school. Here is a quote from their website “Depending upon the program you choose, you can complete your training in just a few months from today! Or, take up to two years to complete a program.”

          • Justin says:

            I understand your point, and thank you for your effort in this matter. One question though, if the VRAP benefits that are awarded are deposited into a designated checking account as per the qualified veteran, and it’s the veterans responsibility to pay tuition, etc. to the the approved school from those proceeds, what exactly is the school billing the VA for?

          • nepavma says:

            Sorry Justin – I could have phrased that better… The benefit will be paid directly to the veteran who is responsible for paying expenses including tuition, fees, and books. however, the VA is only going to do that for approved programs of full-time study at approved community colleges and technical schools.

        • Justin says:

          Well, I contacted the school and spoke with a “Military Educational Adviser” who told me that the VA considered their programs less than full time. They seem to be qualified for MGIBILL as per the W.E.A.M.S. list of approved institutions, and the course I’m currently enrolled in is 12 months, as I previously stated. MGIBILL requires full time enrollment, so why is this school an approved institution for VA educational benefits if none of their programs are eligible? This school, in my opinion, is perfect as they provide a wide range of studies that are on the high demand occupations list. Plus, they don’t offer any 4-year degree programs which defeats that conflict, and you get the required certificate. I’m hoping VA will rectify this easily fixed conundrum.

  16. clarence ford says:

    Can you please help me determine what my status is now that I have applied for VRAP over a month ago? Thank you.

    • nepavma says:

      Clarence – We do not have that information however you should be able to find it here: Once an eligibility determination is made, a notification letter will be mailed to you. To obtain the status of your VRAP claim, you may send an electronic inquiry (7 days a week, 24 hours a day) on our website, http://www.gibill.va.gov by clicking the “Submit a Question” button. You may also call the VA Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 (Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, CST).

      This is answer #20 from the VRAP FAQ at http://benefits.va.gov/vow/docs/VRAP_FAQ.pdf

    • Bridgette L. Davidson says:

      Thank you……

      Question: I have been approved to participate in VRAP, and will be attending Central Texas College in the Fall, currently, I am awaiting my award letter in other to continue with the enrollment process, classes began 08/27/2012. Further, I will have a dual enrollment with Texas AM completing several classes, in which has nothing to do with VRAP. Will this be a problem? VA benefits are not being utilized at Texas AM University, due to the program not being accepted by VRAP.

      bldavidsonpsyc@aol.com, bldavidson@juno.com, and bridgetteandjordan@gmail.com

      Thank you,

      Bridgette L. Davidson
      2547812090

  17. Justin says:

    Alright my fellow vets, here’s where I stand with Penn Foster and the overly critical VA and their lopsided policies:

    Ok, so here’s the conundrum. according to the school and the VA, Penn Foster does not qualify for the VRAP benefits. However, the school is listed on the W.E.A.M.S. list of approved institutions and also qualifies for MGIBILL benefits. The VA says that the school is considered to be less than full-time and therefore it is not approved for VRAP; that was the first explanation I received. I argued that how could it be approved on the W.E.A.M.S. list for MGIBILL,(MGIBILL requires you to be enrolled full-time, mind you) and yet none of their programs qualify! So, I received a letter from the Buffalo Regional Office stating that the program I am currently enrolled in is not approved. The school never processed my VA 22-1999, so how did the VA even know that I was enrolled there!!?? This is their word for word response as to why the program was not approved:

    “We can not award benefits for an institution that is approved based upon correspondence courses.”

    Ok, let’s read that again:

    “We can not award benefits for an institution THAT IS APPROVED based upon correspondence courses.”

    Yet, it is approved for MGIBILL!!?? If VRAP is approved for online courses, what is the difference between correspondence courses in which they send your the study materials and you take exams online, and any other online course??
    This school is PERFECT for this program! They don’t offer a 4 year degree program, which eliminates that conflict, and you received an accredited certificate when you complete……12 MONTHS LATER in my case, and what’s less than full-time about that time frame!!?? I AM COMPLETELY BAFFLED at this point. Yes, I have searched for other schools, no luck. I am homeless, unemployed, partial disabled, and have no transportation. My plan is to complete this program, apply for a Veterans SBA loan to get a van, tools, and whatever else is needed to start my own business. I really am beginning to believe that even though the list of high demand occupations is broad, the courses and schools approved for VRAP is VERY NARROW. I am being told to choose something else, why should I have to do that? I’m going to study something else I have no interest in and then do it as a career!? How is that going to work exactly?? Oh, and this will really spin your head like it did mine!!! I f you care to take a look at these two websites, the first being Penn Foster, and the second being Cleveland Institute of Electronics.

    1. http://www.pennfoster.edu/military/

    2. http://cie-wc.edu/VRAP.aspx

    As you can see, BOTH are approved for MGIBILL benefits, yet Cleveland Institute of Electronics has the VRAP program up and running! Cleveland calls their programs online “DISTANCE LEARNING”, unlike Penn Foster who makes no reference to distant learning, and simply calls their programs “online”. Funny thing over at Cleveland though….they are advertising that the monthly payment is only $737.00 a month?? $1,473.00 cut in half!!?? I crossed referenced their tuition chart and it doesn’t differ much from Penn Foster……same ol’ 10 or 20 bucks to start….self-paced…..do as thou will….ridiculous and suspicious at the same time my brothers and sisters!

    The VA said no go for correspondence courses, but what’s the difference? Here’s two institutions doing and offering practically the same thing. I’m denied my award because Penn Foster isn’t “hip”????? Way to go getting this economy back on it’s feet. I wish I could retrain to become a VA “hair splitter”……hmmm……I wonder if that’s on the list of high demand occupations? God help us.

    • Justin says:

      Ok so I found out why Cleveland Institute of Electronics advertised the benefit as being only $737.00 per month rather than the full $1,473.00, this from one of their guidance counselors at the school:

      “CIE’s degree programs are considered half time with the VA and that goes for all benefits including the VRAP. We accept the VRAP only for our AAS degree.”

      So it would seem that the VA is actually making some concessions in regard to full-time and half-time course schedules. I wonder if there will be a rate for less than half-time as well. Maybe something in the $369.00 range? We shall see fellow VRAP’ers, we shall see…

      • John says:

        Justin,

        I cannot find anyone that has received an approval from the VA for VRAP benefits at CIE. I hear all the talk and see that they are advertising that they DO qualify for VRAP but so far as I can see it’s all talk.

        • Steve says:

          Nope, I haven’t. I’m fixing to lose my house and my wife because I haven’t received nothing after 2 months of school.

      • John says:

        Submitted paperwork for VRAP eligibility for Cleveland Institute of Electronics because the advertised they were eligible for the program. Today I called a VA counselorand she told me that it wasn’t an approved school. So don’t waste your time there. I see they have removed VRAP info from their site.

        • Todd says:

          I believe the vast majority of us have been slighted by the VRAP initiative. It was and is a very promising idea to assist unemployed Veterans. However, almost all of the schools are not on board with the program. The only “real” way to receive this benefit is to use it as a partial reimbursement for Financial Aid. But that defeats the point, as some may not be eligible for Financial Aid, and it may be too late to apply at this late junction (classes may have already started).

          I have contacted the VA and was told it was at the discretion of each individual school to allow Veterans (us) to use VRAP for their programs of study. I have also reached out to the White House several times, hoping that someone from the President’s staff would be able to provide some feedback on this issue. To date, I have not received a response.

        • Don McCarty Jr says:

          i am enrolled at CIE since july and has been a total waste of time for me because they advertised they were vrap certified. i am now looking for another school. i warn other vets , due diligence , do not think about CIE for VRAP.. it has become so bad that their councelors will not even communicate with me and other vets questioning them.

          do not get me wrong tho , overall a good school but for vrap ..completely sucks

      • Cheryl says:

        My problem is that you are too limited with not being able to attend online colleges which offer the right certificate or degree you need because they also offer 4 yr degrees so you can’t go there. So out of the four pages of WEAM approved schools only one qualifies and it is a piece of crap school that doesn’t even have the courses..

    • nepavma says:

      Please be careful with for profit schools – there is a lot of concern. VRAP has strict qualifications and while not everyone may not agree with them, the VA designed them they way they are on purpose. Penn foster is not mentioned in this article but many schools that operate like them are.

    • Bridgette L. Davidson says:

      I HOPE THAT THIS HELPS………….

      Cuyahoga Community College
      700 Carnegie Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115

      PROGRAMS OF STUDY

      1. Electrical/Electronic Engineering Technology
      2. Electrical/Electronic Engineering Technology – Bio-Medical
      3. Electrical/Electronic Engineering Technology – Computer Networking Hardware
      4.Electrical/Electronic Engineering Technology – Telecommunications

      http://www.tri-c.edu/programs/Pages/default.aspx

      • Bob Ginn says:

        Bridgette,

        Your post states “I hope that this helps”. I am curious. What it is about this school that might help? Is it VRAP accredited? It does have a path which I am interested. Does it offer online and if so does VRAP consider the online pursuit full time with full pay from VA?

        Thanks
        Bob

    • angela says:

      According to Penn Foster Website they have two Bachelor Degree programs so they will not qualify for the VRAP program.

    • nepavma says:

      A correspondence course is self paced and not required to be full-time. The VRAP program must be full-time as determined by the school. An online course is full-time.

  18. sharon36 says:

    Ok, I have got my COE and enrolled in my school . Now how long does it take for vrap payments to be deposited ?

  19. Bridgette L. Davidson says:

    Do to missing mail….I contacted VARO, MGIB in reference to my award letter…The Education Specialist- VSR, faxed it immediately… Thanks.

    VRAP- CERTIFIED and APPROVED for retraining.

  20. Thomas Daniel says:

    Hello!

    I must be missing something. I have been trying to get to a site that has the pdf to download for the VRAP. I can’t seem to find it. I followed the site and got onto the VA board that has all the documents to download but couldn’t seem to locate that. I was wondering if someone could help me with that? Thanks!

  21. Todd says:

    This VRAP VOW To Hire Heroes Act ha been a nightmare. Every school that I have inquired about told me that they wouvld need payment upfront in order for students to attend classes. However, VRAP guidelines states that benefits are awarded directly to the Veteran for the previous month of attendance. The funds are supposed to be used to pay for tuition, fees, books, etc. No school that I have tried was willing to accept this VRAP program, nor were they willing to defer payment. The classes, courses, semester, etc. were required to be satisfied upfront. I spoke with a VA Education rep, and he told me whatever school needs to understand that the benefits are not disbursed until the previous month’s attendance has been verified. I was specifically told by the schools that they were NOT willing to gamble on the Veteran making good on paying their tuition and other fees. This program only works if you are eligible for Financial Aid. But what if you are ineligible, like myself? I defaulted on a previous student loan a few years ago due to financial difficulties. So I’m ineligible for government financial aid.

    On the surface, this program sounds promising. However, it leaves a huge grey area when it comes down to actually applying for school. I went through the process of obtaining my COE, but I can’t seem to use it. I was also interested in Penn Foster and like others, was told that their programs were not considered to be full-time. Therefore making them ineligible under VRAP.

    We (Veterans) have already reached a statistic level of being unemployed. The next statistic will be homeless. Where is the government when we “really” need them? Seems like they’re using smoking mirrors to give us a glimmer of hope. But that so-called HOPE is turning into a disaster.

    • Ben Raines says:

      once again to get around the up front payment you must ask fasfa for a pell grant this is up to 5500.00 to pay your school and you dont hafe to repay this money its a grant try it i had the same problem it works

      • Lute says:

        Or find a school that does not require up-front and also does not require you to borrow any funds for school. Pell is an option but be careful that the program you are going after is pell approved.

        Lute

    • Fredddie says:

      Hey….you just need to find a school that has the advance payments for the VRAP program. Then you should be fine.

  22. Melanie says:

    I am getting conflicting info..I am approved for VRAP..the school I want shows up on college navigator…the Veterans call center says the school is not eligeble. In one state the school itself says its not elegible…but the same school with a campus in another state says it is eligible and currently has students enrolled and recieving their stipend. Both schools offer 4yr degrees, please clarify this for me.

    • Lute says:

      Melanie, not sure if my comment posted earlier. Your school contact needs to contact their ELR and ask to get the school code override for VRAP.

      Lute

  23. Lute says:

    Melanie,
    this is common and also happened to our school when we first started with VRAP.
    Here is the solution: the school needs to contact their ELR (They will know what that is) they ELR needs to be made aware that the website says approved but the back end VA system does not show it as approved. This is designated by the schools “CODE” in VA ONCE which is the website we use to enter students and courses into.
    If you need any additional info or help, feel free to reach out to me or have your school contact in the VA Cert office reach out to me.

    Lute
    http://www.ACOT.edu

  24. Charlie Stepp says:

    Just received an email from VA-ONCE@vba.va.gov [VA-ONCE@vba.va.gov. It was sent to my college webmail address. It states that an enrollment certification for the period beginning on 8/27/2012 and ending on 12/13/2012 for Credit Hours: 6, Distance Hours: 6, Rem/Def Hours: 0and Clock Hours: 0 has been submitted to the VA from my college on 8/25/2012.
    Two of the courses I am taking are physically at the college. The other two courses are internet courses being offered at the same college. Why is this considered “Distance Hours”? The four courses add up to required 12 credits. Is this “distance” thing gonna reflect I am not a full time student, therefore not eligible for VRAP? I also tried to do the “ask a question” thing on the VA website. It asks for a username/password that I dont have. Sent them my email addresses at home and at school trying to get a username. No response at either of my email addresses. I guess they don’t know either my home or school email addresses even though I applied for VRAP from home (and received a reply acknowledging my initial application) and received the aforementioned enrollment certification at my school webmail account. It seems you are not allowed to ask a question unless they acknowlege you have previously corresponded with them (although you obviously have). I tried to see if WAVE knew who I was using my SSN, since it was required on the intial application sent on July 13. No such luck. I dont exist. School starts in two days. Will I eventually have to drop out of my classes and flip burgers because I was foolish enough to take a couple of courses online to try and save gas? Obviously that is a concern for most of us because we are UNEMPLOYED. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I forsee a letter coming saying I am not eligible for VRAP since 6 of my credits are “distance learning”.

    • Bridgette Davidson says:

      Do not worry….You are full-time. The wave system will work for you after the first thirty days….Check the automated system, if your information is there, everything should be fine…

  25. Charlie Stepp says:

    Sorry for replying to my own post, but I just got the following off the internet – http://www.waynecc.edu/connect.

    “ATTENTION: Veteran Affairs Students & Chapter 33/Post 9/11 Recipients
    As you pre-register, please be reminded of the following VA regulations:
    For VA purposes, the term “Hybrid” does not exist. Courses are either “residence” courses or “distance learning” courses. VA does not pay for distance learning/remedial classes.”

    This is what I am so concerned about. Are they going to pay for internet courses or not? I have not seen it in writing from the VA anywhere on the net.

    • Bridgette Davidson says:

      Yes, internet course are distant learning…..VA should compensate.

    • Lute says:

      Some distance courses will not be considered full time. normal correspondence schools have a hard time showing full time status because there are not real start and end dates for the program. Find an online school that has structured start and end dates and that does live courses or at least weekly calls. that interaction helps define what rate you are achieving your training. Lute http://www.acot.edu/vrap blog

    • Lute says:

      This is partly correct, there is a difference between distance and online, as i posted earlier, online means defined start and end date, most distance schools dont have that. join our live faq on saturday at noon CST for more info on this. http://www.acot.edu

  26. nepavma says:

    From the VA GI Bill website:

    VRAP only provides assistance for approved training offered at community colleges and technical schools. The term “community college” includes those educational institutions listed on the Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics’ College Navigator website as 2-year institutions.

    Your school must be a two-year technical school and/or community college. Four-year institutions, even if they offer a two-year or Associate’s Degree, are not eligible to participate.

    Review questions others have submitted or ask your own here: https://gibill.custhelp.com/app/answers/list/kw/vrap

    • Bridgette Davidson says:

      At this time, VRAP has not authorize students to attend 4-year colleges and universities.

      • Cheryl says:

        And that is the killer….Some of the best schools offer Bachelor’s degrees along with Associate degrees, and some online schools offer Technical certificates but none are eligible. If the purpose is to make us marketable, why limit our school choices.

  27. Rosetta Oglesby says:

    How do I obtain another copy of my certificate of eligibility for vrap?

    • nepavma says:

      Rosetta – I would follow this even if you received the letter and need a new one: Once an eligibility determination is made, a notification letter will be mailed to you. To obtain the status of your VRAP claim, you may send an electronic inquiry (7 days a week, 24 hours a day) on our website, http://www.gibill.va.gov by clicking the “Submit a Question” button. You may also call the VA Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 (Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, CST).

      https://gibill.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1465

  28. angela says:

    MAJORITY OF THE ONLINESCHOOL APPROVED BY VA YOUR VA STIPEN WONT EVEN COVER THEIR FULL TUITION, THERE VERY EXSPENSIVE.

    • Lute says:

      you need to find a school that has GI BILL friendly tuition rates, that means they fall under what the VA things is affordable for tuition. our school for example makes it set monthly payments of 875 that do not go up. come to our live FAQ Saturday for more info and to find out what else to look for when choosing a VRAP school http://www.acot.edu bring your questions.

  29. Leroy linzy says:

    how do I retreive my comfirmation number

  30. Lane says:

    I cannot understand why I do not qualify for full time payment if I am enrolled at Cleveland Institute of Electronics and complete 6 courses in 24 weeks but a student at community college pursues 4 courses in 18 weeks and is considered full time. It appears VRAP is skewed to reward those who attend community colleges and punish(half pay or denial of payment) those at trade schools.

    • John says:

      I actually contacted Senator Brown of Ohio (co sponsor VRAP) to see why CIE is not VRAP approved. VRAP rules are overwhelmingly restrictive and the bottom line is CIE did not do their homework to adjust their courses to fit into the “VRAP” qualifying guidelines. It’s a tremendous amount of work and I think the little office staff at CIE said the heck with it. I dropped out and enrolled at ACOT.

      • Bob says:

        I had enrolled in CIE after being told that they were “kinda” VRAP approved. Received a letter of eligibility from VA with CIE on it. About a month later I got a VRAP award letter saying “DENIED”. I too enrolled in ACOT, which I found out about before CIE, but didn’t like their high tuition. As a result becoming involved with CIE I lost 3 months of VRAP.

  31. Joseph T. Yutzy says:

    I seem to have the same trouble so far with VRAP any reasonably priced school with online cources is not eligible, still looking.
    The schools so far with cources that satisfy the high demand job list are:
    Penn Foster Career School
    Stratford Career Institute
    Ashworth College

  32. wm says:

    Is there list of pre approved VRAP schools and courses somewhere? How insane not to be.

    • nepavma says:

      Participants must be enrolled in a program of education approved for VA benefits that is offered by a community college or technical school. The program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certificate, and train the Veteran for a high demand occupation. Search for an approved program here.

    • Todd says:

      I have spoken to several VA Education reps, and was told that it was the discretion of each individual school whether or not they would accept or reject this new program. To date, and I’ve been approved since the end of May, I have not found ANY school that will accept our VRAP benefits. One school administrator told me that the only way to use the benefits would be to get Financial Aid, then use our VRAP benefits for reimbursement. That way, your courses will be paid for upfront (which is the true issue here). If this is the case, then none of us will have an opportunity to use our benefits that could help lead to a high-demand position.

      It would be nice if there truly was a list of accredited schools that would accept our VRAP benefits. Unfortunately, there isn’t…

      • nepavma says:

        We here at NEPA VMA are completely amazed at the 100+ comment thread about VRAP that is the result of simply posting the press release by the VA for our veterans in our area of service in northeastern Pennsylvania – but happy to help veterans anywhere.

        The answers are available on the Internet from the VA. To learn how the VA works with schools to approve them and the programs they offer check here:

        Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) Frequently Asked Questions for School Certifiying Officials
        http://benefits.va.gov/vow/docs/VRAP_Q&A_for_Schools.pdf

        • Bob says:

          Nepavma,

          There have been courses which have been approved even though the school offered 4 years degrees. What they say and what they do are two different issues. So, I think it is time the VA update their FAQ or offer an explanation.

          Bob

          • nepavma says:

            It would be interesting to know why that is considering the website states: VRAP only provides assistance for approved training offered at community colleges and technical schools. The term “community college” includes those educational institutions listed on the Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics’ College Navigator website as 2-year institutions.

            In the case of some technical schools that offer 2 or 4 year programs perhaps they qualify.

          • nepavma says:

            On second look – I found this and it is contradictory right from the VA website so it’s a great question perhaps you could ask the VA directly and let us know the answer:

            Is my school eligible to offer training under VRAP?
            Your school must be a two-year technical school and/or community college. Four-year institutions, even if they offer a two-year or Associate’s Degree, are not eligible to participate.

        • Todd G. says:

          No disrespect, but I believe most (if not all) of us are aware of the information on the .pdf file. However, and I am only speaking of myself, I was told by every school that I inquired about in regards to this program that either their school was not approved for VRAP or their school is not willing to have the student wait 30 days of enrollment to receive their benefits. These schools wanted the tuition satisfied prior to the student entering their first class. But as we know, benefits are not distributed until the student has been in attendance for each 30-day period. Schools simply are not willing to take that risk, due to their own policies and guidelines.

          Honestly, there has been too much confusion and negative experiences regarding this entire program that have been commented on various blogs. Something is wrong with that. There are too many of us who are experiencing the same problem with this program.

          • nepavma says:

            I understand many of you are feeling frustration. We are not in anyway part of the government. However, having thoroughly read all of the info available on the website and pdf’s and also the updated daily live FAQ https://gibill.custhelp.com/app/answers/list (be sure to use VRAP in your question), calling the customer service helpline 1-888-442-4551, and for the PA veterans we serve contacting the state VSO, I have found the answers to everything I was looking for. There are advanced payments, the program is designed for community colleges and technical schools, correspondence courses do not qualify, there does exist a list of approved schools, etc. Sometimes it seems individuals want to take a program that has specific requirements and protocol and fit it to their wishes. The program requirements are set and it will only work for those who are willing to follow them.

          • Dave says:

            nepavma has it correct.. This is a good program that provides education benefits for a group of people that are otherwise ineligible for schooling. I don’t care how short the benefit length is, it ‘s help for a lot of veterans in an age group where it is hard to change your career path. Granted, it’s not perfect for everyone, but use the benefit for what it’s worth. I am a CWT worker, working in an Educational Development Center, who was, just 4 months ago, homeless and living on the street. I have been studying the VRAP program for awhile now. Yes, the student does not receive any benefit money for the the first 30 days, but there is also the FAFSA grant that is a requirement to enroll in most schools. I have been eligible for 3 months now, my grant money has been approved and waiting at the Community College that I have signed up for. The ceiling on the grant is $5,550. That’s more than enough to get past the first 30 days.

          • Cora says:

            I have had nothing but a good experience with the VRAP program so far.

            The community college I am enrolled at (Southwestern Illinois College) makes payment arrangements and I set up 5 monthly installments for my tuition and fees….. I purchased my books though Amazon (mostly used) and rented some e-text books through Course Smart.

            I have done the most economical thing for myself and my family as I was laid off as the program dictates.

  33. Todd says:

    @Joseph T. Yutzy

    I’ve tried looking into Penn Foster and Ashworth College here in Georgia, and I was told from both that I would not be able to attend. Penn Foster is not approved because they would not be considered full-time classes, and I was told Ashworth was not approved for VRAP at all.

    Too many issues, not nearly enough resolutions…

    • Try ACOT.EDU. Mention my name..I get an award. I don’t work there just a student…

      • Gayla says:

        My husband has spoken with someone from that school and he tried to pull an okie dome by suggesting that he applie for the aa program to get the full 12 months then stop when the money runs out. The school is expensive costing about 950 a month for their 9 month program ( he is interested In the project management program) which would leave about a little over 400 left to live on. With him being out of work and myself being on disability due to surgery that would not really help us maintain even a mediocre lifestyle. The school is a rip and is trying to take advantage of people who are really in need of a new lease on life through education.

  34. Todd G. says:

    I just read Lute’s comment and the American College of Technology looks very promising. I will check into it and provide feedback…thanks Lute!!

  35. Todd G. says:

    The American College of Technology (www.acot.edu) appears to be for real. I’m on a chat right now with an admissions representative and he told me that they are approved for VRAP. It even states it on their website. This is directly from their website:

    * No upfront tuition payment
    * No out of pocket cost
    * Tuition is half the national average
    * Easy monthly payments that don’t use up your whole monthly benefit
    * No application fees (information from the online chat rep)

    VRAP Approved Programs at American College of Technology:
    * Network Administration and Information Security
    * Health Information Technology
    * Computer Programming and Systems Design
    * Business Administration and Information Technology
    * Criminal Justice

    “We have done research and read over hundreds of blogs and are noticing there are a lot of people with unanswered questions. The VA is overwhelmed with calls so we decided to setup a dynamic page that is updated daily with questions from veterans and answers from qualified school certifying officials. Be sure to view our approved programs, 12 months or less.”

    So if you’re interested in any of those fields, I would check them out. Hope this helps some of us out!

    With the permission of the chat representative, he said I had his permission to post this information:

    Ramsey A
    I also host a live VRAP Q&A session on Thursday at 4pm Central Time and every Saturday at 12 noon central time here. http://orientation.acot.edu

  36. patricia dawson says:

    I was approved for the VRAP program and am wondering which colleges in southern california accept this program

  37. Rhonda says:

    My question is a little different. I am enrolled in ICDC College in their Drug and Alcohol program, I received benefits August,Sept and Oct, After starting classes the VA notified me that this school will not be considered full time after November due to the way they scheduled course work. So can I switch schools which may require me to change programs. I have read that I can not switch programs??? But the VA has denied the benefits. My only other option is find 3 credit hours classes to take along with the program to make me full time. I am very disappointed in ICDC school, they said they worked with VRAP but were at a loss and couldn’t help me.

    • nepavma says:

      Rhonda – You could try sending an electronic inquiry (7 days a week, 24 hours a day) on the website http://www.gibill.va.gov by clicking the “Submit a Question” button. You could also call the VA Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 (Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, CST). You could also get in touch with your local VA VSO or VA Rep at your local state one stop shop (unemployment office) – they should be trained to assist you.

  38. Tanya says:

    I am currently enrolled in a program that I initially put on my application that was listed under the VA’s Approved School Listing. I have been told that I will not be able to continue my program after this semester. No one can show me any regulations on why I cannot, all one person at the VA office can say is no. I do not mind being told no, in acordance with the regulations but I am not being afforded the opportunity to read or even know which regulation it is. This means I have wasted four months of my benfits that I can never get back. Who can I get help from?

    • nepavma says:

      According to this online document you must search out your closest DVET where you live. If you do not find satisfaction there is a name, number and email address at the end to consider as a last resort. I hope this helps.

  39. eric says:

    i have been approved for vrap but would like to change my program..no funds have been paid do i just fill out a form va 22-1995

    • nepavma says:

      Eric – It doesn’t appear that is possible according this:

      A student that wishes to change schools to pursue training towards the same program of education, should submit a new Application for VRAP Benefits (VA Form 22-1990R) listing the new school. No changes of program are allowed under VRAP. Once a student has received payment for training under VRAP, he or she must continue to train in the same program to continue receiving benefits.

      http://benefits.va.gov/vow/docs/VRAP_Q&A_for_Schools.pdf

  40. lee says:

    i am in a vrap approved program in a adult continuing program. the program is didital electronics with a side of computer technology. I am first in class in both subjects and will graduate with a technical certificate and 6 transferrable college credits. the course is very condensed and can be covered in either a morning 12,5 hours or a am/pm split course . the problem is the VA says that 12.5 hours instruction per week is not full time.So i have to pay double for two classes with the same instruction to get 25 hours of weekly instruction. am i full time at 12.5 hours per week or am i just getting off by the school for duplicating the same course. i have several different opoinions from the VA, dept of labor and unemployment int the state of new york. HELP!!!!!

  41. dave says:

    relax vets they will fix it at the end of the program

    • Mel Cruz says:

      OMG…just found out that since the quarter ended in the middle of the month, I will only receive 1/2 of the monthly stipend…funny thing…the bills I have require full payment…this really puts me, (and others I’m sure) in a BIND!!!! especially if we are still unemployed..is there anything that can be done about this?

      • nepavma says:

        Mel – this is from the GI Bill website in regard to advance payment for VRAP. We hope it helps:

        Yes. Advance payment is a payment at the beginning of the term that combines your first partial month of benefits with your first full month. If your school agrees to handle advance payments, you may receive this combined payment at the beginning of your term. We send the advance payment check to your school for you to pick up, so check with your School Certifying Official to see if your school participates.

        To receive an advance payment under VRAP:

        You must have an advance payment request on file at your school
        You must have a break of at least 30 days before the start of the term and
        VA must receive your enrollment certification at least 30 days before your classes start.
        If you meet all these qualifications, you can get your payment for your first partial month and your first full month together.

  42. Tommye says:

    i did the vrap application on line at the public library,and printed it.i have a copy of it and it has a confirmation code and submission date,does that mean that the application went through and how do i check the status.

  43. Freddie says:

    Remember……..check to see if your school accepts advance payments.
    That will allow time for 30 days, because some schools will do up to 2 months.
    Good Luck!

  44. Gayla says:

    I am a spouse of someone who has been accepted into the vrap program and has bee diligently helping my husband find a program and it has been very frustrating to say the least. I found one program and after speaking to the my husband has been totally turned off by this program. There appears to be only 1 school, that he feels are just I. It for the money that meets the the vrap requirements and that is ACOT. THe admissions person admittedly per posed a scam to get the full 12 months money for a 9 month program in which they charge 900+ a month for. This is not very appealing to my husband and he is considering abandoning the entire thing. I am hard pressed to try to find something else that would interest him since I am also a student and trying to pursue my second masters. I am positive that giving this up would hurt him in the long run but he feels that this school is a nip and is only out for the money which I do understand why he feels the way he does. If anyone has any other avenues pleas if you can pass on the info. There are not many time monies are given away but the regulations are very restrictive and frustrating to say the least.

  45. Todd G. says:

    Gayla, I am a student at ACOT and agree that this VRAP thing has been a real issue. I was amongst the very first to submit my application back in May, 2012 and was approved 4 weeks later. I looked around, as many did, and could not find a school that would either accept VRAP or was approved for VRAP. After searching for about 2 months, I just gave up. I resume my search another 2 months later and received information regarding ACOT from this blogsite. I investigated their programs and spoke with an admissions rep. After another week of contemplation, I decided to go for it. I started my first classes in November and am about to start my next classes for this term tomorrow.

    As promised, they did not charge any upfront fees and delayed the payment of my tuition until I had received my first VRAP disbursement in December (even though it was a partial disbursement). In regards to the information about the proposed “scam”, I’m not sure what you mean by the school trying to get a full 12-month of money for a 9-month program. I know their technical certification program is 9-months long and the school charges I believe $975.00 per month for it ($975.00 x 9 = $8,775). They charge $875.00 per month for their degree program ($875.00 x 12 = $10,500). I’m not sure how much VRAP benefits your husband is eligible for, but I believe the max is $1,564.00 per month and ONLY for 12 months. That’s a maximum benefit of $18,768.00.

    I was initially enrolled for the 9-month program but switched to the degree program instead. Doing this saved me an extra $100 per month, plus I get to take 2 additional classes. In the discipline that I have selected (Network Administration and Information Security), the technical program parallels the degree program for the first 10 classes. However, the switch allowed me to get an additional 2 classes that I otherwise would not have received. More importantly, the VA will only pay for 12 months of any program. So I figured why not go for the full 12 months, pay $100 less, and get 2 extra classes under my belt in the process! For me it was a no-brainer, but my situation may be different than your husband’s.

    If you or your husband can recall the conversation, please elaborate on the details. Thanks.

  46. John M. says:

    Gayla,

    I’m also a student at ACOT in the same program and situation as Todd G. I have felt very well treated by the ACOT staff and feel I’m getting a quality education. Many technical schools charge a lot more than ACOT and some charge less. I don’t think the VA was thinking how much of your $1546 you’d have left over after paying for tuition. What concerns me is the VA only allows for 12 months of benefits so I will not be able to complete the AA degree only the certificate. I’m just happy I qualify for that.

    • Melanie says:

      I agree with you John…..this opportunity beats “no opportunity” at all. Soldier u Gayla…make it work for you somehow.

  47. Todd G. says:

    Gayla, just to add…

    This VRAP process has been a real struggle for everyone, and you are correct that the guidelines are quite strict and oftentimes vague at best. You have to make a decision based upon what’s best for you and your family in regards to this program and how it works with ACOT. Now although I will not have time to complete the degree program under current VRAP guidelines, I plan to have enough training and skills to get my foot in the door somewhere. Once I have proven myself, I will let my employer help with my tuition to finish…whether it will be at ACOT or otherwise. But that’s my plan.

    The school also has live VRAP Q/A on every Saturday at noon (CST). You may wish to sign up for one to see what you can get out of it.

    http://www.onlineacit.com/Orientation/index.htm

    I hope this information helps, or at least gives you and your husband encouragement to continue with his pursuit of utilizing the VRAP program. Take care and I wish you the best.

  48. nepavma says:

    Many readers here are discussing difficulty finding approved schools. I would like to know if your local community colleges are not approved schools. They are in most communities and should be. ~Admin

    • Melanie says:

      I would like to know if this option will be renewed after the 12 months for those persuing an associates degree.

  49. Hihope says:

    What is the average wait time for VRAP approval letter?

  50. Many of you seem to be having a hard time finding schools approved to offer the VRAP program (or schools who accept that program). I know here in Vermont, CCV is the only approved college at this time where students can attend school on-ground or online and use this benefit. If any of you would like assistance or to find out more information, please consider checking out our academic programs. Unfortunately, unlike with the Post 9/11 GI Bill, there is no “Yellow Ribbon” option for VRAP recipients attending school in an out of state status, which hopefully the VA can address in the near future.

  51. I applied for VRAP 6-24-2012. A letter of eligibility was sent to me. May have misplaced it during a transition period. Recovering from a heart attack I had February, 2012. I need a copy. Send to Robert Hammers
    1018 Quail Creek Rd. Apt. 102
    Shreveport, La. 71105
    Aprroved by Muskogee, Ok., office
    Rsvp

  52. Chazz says:

    Have been approved for VRAP,where is my best option for Master Cam/ and CNC programming ?

  53. Jr Little says:

    I would like to know if there is a course for GED along with VRAP

    • nepavma says:

      No, but most communities have a GED course at no cost. Contact your local state one stop shop Vet rep or your local community college for info & good luck!

  54. Melissa says:

    Okay, here’s one for you. I already have an associate’s degree in liberal arts. I would like to turn that AA into an AA in Paralegal Studies so, in theory, I only need 24 credit hours to add to my AA. Would VRAP cover those 24 hours? Also, am I understanding correctly that online courses do not qualify?

  55. David says:

    I am wondering if anyone is having any success getting actual training using the VRAP program. It seems, Community Colleges have progressive programs-many courses in succession, meaning you can’t take 12 credits all at once, and there is only a 12 month window to use the benefits, it is almost impossible to get in to a full time program once you’ve been approved.
    Also: technical schools are very expensive, which means you have to take out loans to get in, meaning huge amounts of debt, and no promises of a job.
    If someone is having success out there I would like to know because my 12 month clock is ticking, and I can’t seem to get in to any programs.

  56. Linda Le Bel says:

    I need a VRAP application. UMA has tried to e-mail it to me without success.

  57. gwade41 says:

    I would like to know how does a school become VRAP approved?

  58. Lee kitchens says:

    am I the only one here who is having loads of trouble getting into the ebenefits sight.Won’t connect here,won’t connect at Veterans affairs..gov

  59. Lane says:

    Hope for late applicants:
    Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee chairman, is the person who first proposed the program aimed at helping unemployed veterans between the ages of 35 and 60 learn a new and marketable skill.
    Miller said Wednesday that he wants to extend the program through June 30, 2014 — three months longer than the current cutoff day — so benefits are not cut off before the traditional end of the spring term at many schools.
    The Miller-proposed extension would have to pass the House and Senate and be signed into law by the president before taking effect. His introduction of the bill is just the first step in the legislative process that would take the entire year.

    • nepavma says:

      That sounds promising, let’s hope the extension passes. At this time there are unused funds for this cycle. Not enough veterans are taking advantage of the opportunity. We encourage all eligible veterans to research programs at their local community colleges and technical schools and apply to VRAP for training.

  60. Robert O'Brien says:

    Ok so I’m a little confused on the part about the discharge from service, if I have an honorable discharge I’m “not” going to be eligible?

  61. Edward says:

    Thank you all. This site has been very informative and I now know it’s not just me grinding over all the inane restrictions of this VA program. I too have been approved and have tried over several months to find schools in the Charleston area that I could use. I have two undergraduates and a masters but the local technical college wants me to go through remedial math, language and writing classes. Complete waste of time.

    Keep up the good work all.

  62. Fred Barbosa says:

    I already was approved for the Vocational Rehabilitation Program but wasn’t briefed on the VRAP till recently. And I read that once you have been declared eligible for the Vocational Rehab program, you can not apply for the VRAP.

    I was just curious what the primary difference between the Vocational Rehabilitation Program and the VRAP is? They are both education assistance programs paid by the VA.

    Appreciate any information on this.

    Thank you.

    • Tyheshia S says:

      Hello Fred,

      VRAP will as it stands be over the end of Mar 2014. Your Vocational Rehab will follow you to you are successfully employed in an entry level postion in the field of your choice. Although you may not get the same amount of money a month. You don’t have to worry about paying for school, books, or certifying enrollment each month. All of that is taken care of and all you have to do is be successful!

      Depending on the State you joined the service in you could end up using all of your VRAP money to pay for school. In Wisconsin due to the education benefits available the State is waives the tuition at the Technical Schools for qualifying Veterans, so they end up keeping the entire VRAP money for living on or saving it to be able to use for the second year of education not covered by VRAP.

      Best Wishes!!
      I am a DVOP and a WI Voc Rehab Intensive Service Coordinator

  63. Dan Graves says:

    Anyone know of a VRAP Approved on-line Locksmith Course?

  64. JOHNNY MOORE says:

    EMAIL ME APPLICATION FOR THE VRAP PROGRAM TAKING A PROCESS TECHNOLOGY CLASS 3 YEAR PROGRAM

    • nepavma says:

      Johnny – There is no application we can email to you. The only application is online and the link to it is in the post.

  65. Teresa says:

    Began school in early May. I was supposed to call on May 31, but forgot. I called on June 2. Will I NOT receive benefits, or will my benefits only be delayed?

    • nepavma says:

      Teresa – Please contact the GI Bill Call Center the info is in the post. We do not administer this program for the VA.

  66. Tyheshia S says:

    Hello,
    As a Vet Rep I would like to thank you for taking the time to put together this website and answering questions the way you have.

    In your travels have you seen anything listing that the VA is now accepting paper applications for VRAP. It is my understanding that is now, as it has always been, only accepting online submittals. I only ask because I had a Veteran inform me last week that I was not current on the process. Which is hard for me to believe because I work in a VA Regional Office.

    • nepavma says:

      Hi Tyheshia – We have no knowledge of the VA accepting paper application. In fact, we were informed VRAP applications are exclusively accepted online only. Thank you for the work you do!

    • Dan Graves says:

      How exactly does a Veteran become a Vet Rep? I was recently Disabled by the VA Hospital and am looking for something else to do. I never realized the “VA Nightmare” until I started looking into 38 USC 1151 and the Benefits and Compensation confusion.

      Thank you for all that the Vet Reps due for the Veterans. I appreciate each and everyone of you…..

      • Tyheshia Scott says:

        Hello Mr. Graves,

        There are a couple of different avenues. I work the the State of Wisconsin and I am a Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialist (DVOP)…. In short I am a Veteran Employment Rep, not to be confused with Local Veteran Employment Representative (LVER). Both positions are under the US Department of Labor VETS program. DVOPs’ work with the Veteran, removing barrier of employment and getting them ready for employment i.e. assistance with resume, mock interviews, connecting them with resources in the community that they might need. The LVERs’ work with local companies in an attempt to create openings and keep companies aware of the benefits that come with hiring Veterans i.e. Work Oppurtunity Tax Credit, Paid On-the-Job training. We even work with State and Federal Agencies in an attempt to simplify the hiring process for both Veteran and Agency utilizing special hiring categories.

        Then you have your different Veteran Service Organizations Services Officers, County Veteran Services Officers, State Department of Veteran Affairs Workers all assist Veterans with benefits and in some states employment.

        VA Voc Rehab Employment Coordinators and VA Compensated Work Therapy Workers assist Veterans with finding employment.

        So by working with a DVOP you should be able to get in contact with atleast one of the agencies above and get your foot in the door.

        http://dvoplverlocator.nvti.ucdenver.edu/

      • Tyheshia Scott says:

        Here is a link about the DOL Veterans’ Employment & Training (VETS) Program

        http://www.dol.gov/vets/index.htm

  67. John G says:

    Help. I was approved for a school but denied on the course. Details too long to go into so I’ll just cut to the chase…I lost 1.5 months of schooling. I am now scrambling to find a school that has an online program in Internet Marketing with the following disciplines being taught:

    Search Engine Marketing and/or Optimization, Pay Per Click, Social Media, Mobile Marketing, Google Analytics, etc. Anybody out there have the same issues finding these type of courses? Thank you.

    • Lane says:

      I am in E-Commerce Mngt. in Virginia Community College System. Courses are availiable online from Danville Community College.

      • Bridgette L Davidson says:

        Try looking for programs in the surrounding areas, such as the DC and Maryland…..those cites that would be considered a suburb….It that doesn’t work, try some of the military universities/ colleges.

  68. MIKI says:

    i APPLIED AND WAS ELIGIBLE FOR VRAP, THEY SENT ME A LETTER STATING MY SCHOOL DIDNT QUALIFY THEN A WEEK LETTER SENT ME A LETTER ABOUT MY BENEFITS. AFTERWARDS I HAD A WAVE ACCOUNT CREATED AND WAS TOLD TO VERIFY MY ENROLLMENT. NEEDLESS TO SAY THEY PAID ME FOR THE JAN TO MAY SEMESTER BUT WHEN I SUBMITTED MY SUMMER PAPERWORK THEY STATED AGAIN MY SCHOOL DOESNT QUALIFY. IM BAFFLED HOW DID YOU PAY ME IF IT DIDNT QUALIFY IN THE FIRST PLACE? pLEASE HELP SOMEONE I NEED THIS SCHOOL MONEY TO FINISH MY NURSING PROGRAM THAT IVE ALREADY BEEN ACCEPTED IN AND TOO LATE TO FIND ANOTHER PROGRAM..

    • Tyheshia Scott says:

      You should talk to your school’s Veteran Representative. We had a similiar issue here in Milwaukee and all it took was the Vet Rep adding the courses that Veterans were attending to the list sent to the VA.

  69. MIKI says:

    ALSO MY SCHOOL WAS LISTED ON THE WEAMS LIST THAT THE GI BILL REFERS TOO

    • nepavma says:

      Please contact a VSO in your area or the GI Bill Call Center 1-888-442-4551 directly. We do not manage these programs and only have knowledge of local schools in northeastern PA, in the area of the veterans we serve.

  70. Relinda L says:

    Why isn’t Chattahoochee Technical College located in Marietta, GA on the W.E.A.M.S list? I see Gwinnett Tech and Thomas Tech but not Chattahoochee Tech. I’m attending the Business Administration 12 month diploma program and I would like to apply for the vrap education benefits.

    Thank You

  71. ric says:

    Having the hardest time trying to get vrap benefits to apply hopefully things will go a little better before there are no benefits for me to get it’s one thing after another.

    • Lane says:

      Over 25,000 spots left to improve your Life. Do It Now!

    • Tyheshia says:

      VRAP Applications Are Open for only one more day!!
      By law, VA cannot accept applications for VRAP after October 1, 2013. VRAP applications MUST be submitted no later than October 1st! Please visit eBenefits to apply. Remember, to complete the application, you will need to know your direct deposit information (bank routing number and account number), the name and location of your school, the program you wish to pursue, and the applicable high demand occupation you wish to train in. To view an informative video on how to complete the application click here. NOTE: You do not have to select a program and high-demand occupation in order to complete the application.

  72. landon says:

    SO, I didn’t turn 35 til the end of sept. I finally received VRAP approval. What technical schools qualify, I’ve been hitting road blocks. It is too late for me to enroll in a community college, i will only get 3 months if i wait till January. . thank you

  73. Dina says:

    Ok, it appears that I am not alone in my issues with VRAP. I found a school, US Career Institute pharmacy tech program. Confirmed the program was on WEAMS, and also called and spoke with the VA and confirmed that the program was eligible. I also received a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA reflecting my approval for the program and the school. However, when I contacted the school requesting the school send confirmation of my enrollment to the VA, I was told by the school they are not approved. I then called the VA back, and advised them of what I was told by the school, and was told by the VA the school was incorrect- they are approved for the program. Im honestly stuck in the middle, and its extremely frustrating. Im missing out on 2 months of benefits as of right now trying to get this resolved, and it looks as though I will have to find another school- yet- I cannot find another school. Is there anyone having success with this program? I think the concept is great, however it seems that many are having problems with this program.

  74. jlmac says:

    I’ve learned over my 12 months of VRAP and 2 different schools, that what really matters is the SCHOOLS VA rep. If they have their approval and all the ducks in a row your good. If not, trouble ahead. How many do they have enrolled through VRAP?

    • Lane says:

      Knowledge is power. I have been lucky enough to have a well informed representative at my community college. Now Virginia is hiring part-time(one year or less) contract people to assist us. I thank God I entered the program when knowledgeable people were employed by this state. Check VRS when you are job ready.

  75. Jeffrey Recob says:

    Does my vrap paymebt get reduced due to the holiday break at ny school

  76. Tyheshia Scott says:

    Hello, it only pays for the days you are actually in school.

  77. jlmac says:

    It actually depends on how your school VA rep certifies you. If you are certified for the whole month, you get paid for the whole month. The only real way to know is ask your school VA rep how many days of the month you were certified for.

  78. Vonda says:

    I am military Reservist 1998.. my DD214 does not have Honorable/dishonorable discharge on it do you know where I would apply to get that information from so that I can apply for the VRAP program

    • nepavma says:

      Vonda – Unfortunately, the program is no longer accepting applications according to the VA. This is from their website :

      “By law, VA cannot accept applications for VRAP after October 1, 2013.
      If you have been approved for VRAP training benefits, please enroll in a training program as soon as possible in order to receive the greatest benefit amount available through the program. Training benefits will be paid through March 31, 2014.”

      To read more, go here: http://benefits.va.gov/VOW/education.asp

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