Certification Process

GW certifies GI Bill®* benefits in a two-cycle process. The first cycle is the student's enrollment, leaving the tuition at $0.00. The first cycle triggers the housing and book stipends to begin on time. Military and Veteran Services has nicknamed this process the "zero-cert."

The second cycle begins the day after the drop/add period, at which point Military and Veteran Services reports tuition and fees to the VA. Students are able to adjust their schedule up until this period. The second cycle is completed within the week following the last day of the drop/add period. Our office refers to this cycle as "cert week."

*GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Why does GW use this process?

We "zero-cert" students before the semester starts so that students receive their Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) as soon as possible. We do not initially certify tuition and fees to allow students the flixibility to adjust their schedules during the add/drop period without tuition funds going back and forth between GW and the VA. 

How does it affect my benefits? 

Students will be certified for credit hours and not tuition. Students will still get their BAH on time. 

How will this process affect students?

If a student requests certification before the term begins, our office will coordinate with Student Accounts to prevent any late fees or finance charges while we wait for VA funds to arrive.

Holds might be placed on accounts if your tuition is not fully covered by VA education benefits. If all out-of-pocket expenses are paid, including housing, dining, study abroad fees, etc., our office can review your account for a hold removal.

If you are unsure what your out-of-pocket expenses might be, please contact our office.

What are the advantages to this process?

  • No tuition and fee debt letters
  • Less confusion with scholarships
  • Does not affect BAH

If you have any questions about this process, please email Military and Veteran Services at [email protected] or call us at 202-994-9570, or come by our office on the Marvin Center Ground Floor.