What should I know about the GI Bill?

Understand veteran eligibility requirements, benefits of the program towards tuition and housing, and the application process.

Does Divergence Academy accept the GI Bill®?

Divergence Academy (DA) proudly accepts GI Bill® funds. You can use your GI Bill® benefit for select immersive courses in Cybersecurity and Data Science. Participating in the GI Bill® at Divergence Academy typically uses six to eight months of entitlement. 

Veterans, reservists, and dependents are separated into different categories or “chapters” that define eligibility requirements and determine education benefits. DA accepts the following chapters: 

  • Post 9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33
  • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (Chapter 35
  • Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31
  • Montgomery GI Bill® (Chapter 30
  • Reserve Education Assistance Program (Chapter 1606 or 1607

Can I use my GI Bill® benefit for a non-immersive part-time course?

Unfortunately, no. GI Bill® benefits cover only the full-time, in-person courses offered at the DA campus in Addison, TX.

What if I’m not a veteran but a veteran’s spouse or dependent?

Veterans and military spouses can now use their GI Bill® benefit to learn Cybersecurity and Data Science. Additional paperwork is required, and we’ll walk you through every step along the way. 

What if my eligibility is not at the 100 percent benefit level?

If you aren’t eligible at the 100 percent benefit level, it’s a prorated percent. For example, an individual with 40 percent benefit eligibility could receive 40 percent of the tuition benefit, 40 percent of the monthly housing allowance, and a maximum $400 stipend for books and supplies.

What if my remaining benefits don’t cover the full cost of tuition and fees?

Our admissions team will guide you through DA’s additional financing options if you need to pay an amount not covered by your GI Bill® benefit. Also, please note that exhausting your benefits during a course will impact your housing allowance. 

How much tuition is covered by the GI Bill®?

Your benefits will depend on a few different factors. We encourage you to contact the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) for more information and to learn about your education benefits eligibility. 

For non-college degree programs that are based on clock hours, GI Bill® usage depends on the cost of tuition, which is billed as a percentage of the annual cap. For example, the VA’s calculator takes the annual cap and divides it by number of days in the year to determine a daily cost of GI Bill® benefits. (Note: The VA uses a 30-day month formula regardless of how many days are in the current month). For non-degree schools like DA, the annual cap is $24,477 from August 1, 2019–July 31, 2020. This translates to the VA equating $67.99 per one day of GI Bill® education benefits. 

To calculate the cost of your GI Bill® for the Immersive course you’re considering, the VA divides the total tuition costs by the daily costs ($67.99) to determine how many days of a GI Bill® education benefit a program uses. 

Will I qualify for and receive a housing allowance?

If you use your GI Bill® for an eligible Immersive program, you’ll receive a monthly housing allowance (MHA).* An MHA is based on the ZIP code for the campus where you’re enrolled. The housing allowance is usually paid on the first of the month for the month prior (e.g., March 1 if you started classes February 5). However, if you start classes late in the month (e.g., after March 16), your housing allowance may be delayed. 

*Note: The only exception to this rule is for GI Bill® students who are on active duty. Active duty service members will not receive MHA. Recently discharged veterans must submit the DD Form 214 (Member Copy 4) to confirm their military release date before being paid a housing allowance. GI Bill® students are eligible for an MHA the day after their official release date. 

How much is the book stipend?

You’ll receive $83 per month for books and supplies (prorated for partial months). Most of our class resources are online and it’s up to you on how to spend the stipend. For example, some students use the funds to contribute to the cost of a new laptop. Helpful tip: Several Military Small Computer Program contractors offer special discounted rates for military service members.

What happens if I withdraw from the program?

Because the VA pays based on attendance, if you fail to attend class, you’re not entitled to benefits. You are required to report all cancellations, transfers, withdrawals and changes of enrollment status to DA’s School Certifying Official and DA is required by law to notify the VA of any change in enrollment.  Academic dismissal will be reported to the VA and may result in a reduced payment and student debt owed. 

Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, the VA pays you a monthly housing allowance and sends tuition payments directly to your school. If you withdraw from a DA course or stop attending classes, the VA will immediately stop paying education benefits and you will have a debt with the VA for your housing allowance. If the VA only partially covers your tuition, you are responsible for any remaining tuition and/or fees. To ensure you’re in compliance with federal regulations, please be sure to contact your School Certifying Official if you decide to cancel or withdraw from a DA course. 

When there’s an overpayment, the VA will ask for repayment of the overpaid benefits and bill you for the money it paid for the course unless very specific circumstances beyond your control prevent you from continuing the program. DA will refund you in accordance with the law. You should use this refund to settle any tuition overpayments or debts owed to the VA. 

What’s the veteran community like at Divergence Academy?

During your time on campus, you can attend Career Service sessions and lunch & learns, which connects veteran learners with those who have graduated from Divergence Academy programs as well as those who have transitioned successfully into civilian work life. Students using their GI Bill® funds to finance their education at DA also have access to the robust offering of job search resources, including one-on-one access to a dedicated career coach. 

All of this sounds great! What’s next and how long will the process take?

Step 1: Apply and confirm your GI Bill® eligibility.  To find out how many months of education benefits you have remaining, call the VA Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551. If this is your first time using your benefit, apply to use your GI Bill® with the VA.

If you’ve used your GI Bill® at another school, you’ll need to fill out the VA Form 22-1995 to change schools. Be sure to designate “Divergence Academy” on the form.

It usually takes two to three weeks to be approved by the VA, but it can take up to 30 days for approval (processing times run longer during the spring and fall). You’ll receive a Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) once you’re approved. For Post 9/11 GI Bill® students, your education enrollment status is available via ebenefits and can be used in place of the CoE. GA requires either the CoE or your education enrollment status, which outline the details of your awarded GI Bill® benefit.

This part is important: Be sure you apply for DA’s program and your VA benefits simultaneously. Each process can take up to a few weeks to complete, so apply as soon as possible. To use your GI Bill® benefit, DA requires that you submit all your documents no later than three weeks prior to your course start date.

Step 2: Tell our admissions team you’re ready to explore more! There are some required documents we need to certify your GI Bill® benefit. Our admissions team will help you navigate each step of the process so you’re able to activate, certify, and receive your education benefits.