Upper Iowa University
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Fayette, IA 52142
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Student Veterans Abroad

General Information

At Upper Iowa University, we are proud of our military and veteran student body. We want to ensure that military and veteran students understand that they can use their Veterans Affairs (VA) educational benefits in order to help fund participation in a study abroad experience. It is important to understand the information and plan ahead if you are considering studying abroad during your academic career. You will need to work closely with the Education Abroad Office and the Military and Veterans Service Center to find the program that meets both your study abroad goals and VA educational benefit requirements.

There are general conditions that need to be met or noted:

1.       Students must be enrolled in courses that will apply to their degree plan. These courses do not need to be a core course to the student’s major, but does need to be necessary in order to confer with that degree from Upper Iowa University.

2.       Courses being taken at the “host” school abroad need to be approved prior to participation. Prior course approval is a mandatory step in the UIU Study Abroad application.

3.       The VA cannot cover fees specific to the study abroad experience unless it is a requirement of the degree program. UIU does not require Study Abroad for program completion.

Things to Consider

Travel Documentation

Some countries might require that you obtain a visa. It should be considered and identified if the countries being looked at have visa restrictions if an applicant has served from certain countries.

Cultural Immersion

It will be important to identify that this experience will be different from your time abroad in the military. There are student blogs that can be provided to give an inside look into what you might experience during a study abroad experience to help with the differentiation.

Funding

VA educational benefits can help cover the tuition of a study abroad program as well as the annual Fayette campus student fee. This funding will vary on the chapter of VA educational benefits that you are currently receiving and will not cover all expenses. The expenses that you will be responsible for can include flights, visa applications and passport renewals, application fees, immunizations, etc. It is important to remember that only registered credits applied towards your degree plan will allow for any VA funding. This removes non-credit bearing experiences from funding eligibility. 

Scholarships

Students using VA educational benefits can still apply for scholarships to help fund their study abroad experience.  

 

Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) and Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31) students

If a scholarship is designated as tuition only (such as University academic scholarships); it will be used collectively along with VA educational benefits for tuition expenses.  If the scholarship is not designated as tuition only, VA educational benefits will cover tuition expenses and the scholarship can help cover other study abroad expenses.

Housing

Study abroad housing expenses are not paid to the University by the VA.  Students utilizing the Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) receive a Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA).  These funds can be used for the housing cost while abroad. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all housing expenses are paid according to designated deadlines.

Academic Credit

While abroad, students are enrolled in study abroad placeholder courses at UIU until the transcript has been processed from the institution that was attended abroad. The placeholder courses will equate the number of credits that were decided on for enrollment prior to departure by yourself and the Education Abroad Office. If the amount of credits received change due to a change in courses, or the credits are not used towards your degree, then the VA will be notified and you might owe the difference.

 

Types of Programs

UIU Faculty-led, UIU International Campuses, UIU Exchange Partners, & ISEP Exchanges

Post 9/11 GI Bill – Chapter 33

·         Tuition and fees up to the national maximum ($22,805.34) paid directly the University

  • Fees paid are limited but include the annual Fayette campus student fee, certificate fees and graduation fees.

·         Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA)**

·         Books and Supplies up to $1,000 each academic year.

  • The stipend amount is paid proportionately based on enrollment.


Vocational Rehabilitation – Chapter 31

·         Approval from the student’s Vocational Rehabilitation counselor is required for funding.

·         Tuition, books, needed supplies and fees are paid directly the University.

·         Subsistence allowance (paid monthly) based on status (full time, ¾ time or ½ time), number of dependents and type of training.

o   If the student qualifies for Chapter 33, he/she may be eligible to receive the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rate for subsistence.

 

Montgomery GI Bill – Chapter 30

Educational Assistance Allowance (paid monthly) based on type of training, length of service and any funds the DOD puts into the student’s MGIB fund, such as kickers.

 

Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve – Chapter 1606

Educational Assistance Allowance (paid monthly) based on type of training taken.  Your payment is also based on student status (full-time/part-time).

 

Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) – Chapter 35

Educational Assistance Allowance (paid monthly) for trainees under the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program.  Payment is based on student status (full-time/part-time).

 

VA educational benefits will NOT cover:

·         NOT fees specific to studying abroad. If the fees and tuition are listed as one, they must be itemized and report the charged tuition.

·         NOT pay directly to host (international) institution

·         NOT airfare

·         NOT amenities fees or host (international) school fees

 

ISEP Direct

The institution must be VA-approved in order for the benefits to be applied. You can search to see if an institution is already approved on http://inquiry.vba.va.gov/weamspub/buildSearchCountryCriteria.do

This is a list of what the VA can cover for this program type. This list should be confirmed, as it could vary based on the categorization of VA benefits that you fall under:

·         The tuition and fees, up to the resident maximum tuition and fees charges. Fees can NOT be specific to studying abroad.

·         Books and supplies stipend

·         Would pay tuition directly to host (international) school

·         NOT application fees

·         NOT airfare

 

Affiliate Programs

Veterans are not currently able to apply military benefits to pay for programs organized by third-party providers (affiliate programs). This includes the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

 

Contact Information

 

Education Abroad Office

Tricia Lawrenz
Coordinator for Education Abroad
Phone: (563) 425-5831

Office: Student Center – Student Life Suite
educationabroad@uiu.edu

Military and Veteran Service Center

Cook, Chad
Director of Military & Veteran Services
Phone: (563) 425-5507
Office: Garbee Hall – Fayette/Upper Iowa Rooms
cookc30@uiu.edu

Yauk, Kari

Veterans Benefits Specialist (School Certifying Official)
Phone: (563) 425-5946
Office: Garbee Hall – Fayette/Upper Iowa Rooms
yaukk27@uiu.edu


Student Accounts

Andrew Ransom
Coordinator of Student Accounts
Phone: (563) 425-5234

Office: Garbee Hall - IEC
ransoma@uiu.edu


Resources

Information About Study Abroad Programs – US Department of Veterans Affairs

Post 9-11 Study Abroad Fact Sheet – US Department of Veterans Affairs

UIU Military and Veteran Service Center – UIU

Using Veteran’s Benefits for Education Abroad – NAFSA

GI Bill Comparison Tool – US Department of Veteran Affairs

Upper Iowa University Upper Iowa University - Education Abroad