How to Get Started

In order to receive your benefits, you must contact our office. We will collect information based on your service so we can report your enrollment to the US Department of Veteran Affairs

Following the steps below will ensure that you get the maximum amount of aid for funding your education:

1. Apply for Admission to Indiana University South Bend 

  • Applying to Indiana University South Bend is the first step. Please see the Office of Admissions to learn more about how you can apply today! 

2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is a form that determines your eligibility for student loans as well as grants at the federal and state level. 
  • Completing the FAFSA will ensure that you receive the maximum financial aid, even if you plan on using your VA education benefits.
  • You should complete the FAFSA before March 10th of each year in order to be considered for the maximum amount of financial aid. 
    • For questions and/or concerns with completing FAFSA or financial aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid

3. Submit Military Transcripts or DD Form 214

4. Attend New Student Orientation

  • By attending new student orientation, you can learn about student organizations and popular activities around campus. You will also have the opportunity to meet with an academic advisor who will help you plan your first semester and academic career. If you are unable to attend orientation sessions due to military commitments, please let us know.

5. Apply for Veterans Education Benefits

  • Visit the official GI Bill® website to go through a step-by-step process to get an idea of what benefits work best for you. If you have any questions, please contact us and we will guide you through the process.
  • Please note that the VA will determine your eligibilty based on the information you provide during the application process; our office does not determine your chapter and eligibilty rating. 
    • To apply for benefits electronically, you can use eBenefits.
      • If you do not have an eBenefits account, register today.
      • In eBenefits, apply using the Veterans On-line Application (VONAPP) to complete and submit your application online.
    • Once you are ready to apply for benefits and have your VONAPP account, please complete one of the following forms:
      • VA Form 22-1990:
        • Initial Application for Education Benefits for military members or veterans
          • MGIB-CH 30, Post 9/11-CH 33, MGIBSR-CH1606, or REAP-CH1607
      • VA Form 22-1995:
        • Change in Program/Place of Training; for those who have used the GI Bill at another institution
      • VA Form 22-1990e:
        • For dependents to whom Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility has been transferred
      • VA Form 22-5490:
        • For children of disabled veterans applying initially for the Dependent Education Assistance Program (Chapter 35)
      • VA Form 22-5495:
        • Dependents' Request for Change of Program or Place of Training 
        • (Under provisions of Chapters 33 and 35, Title 38, U.S.C.)
    • After applying for benefits, the VA will send you a Certificate of Eligibilty (CoE) via U.S. mail which will detail your VA education benefits (chapter eligibility and rating).
    • Depending on your GI Bill chapter eligibility, some require you to verify your attendance on a monthly basis. Please note that the Office of Veterans Student Services cannot verify your attendance with the VA; you will need to verify your attendance directly with the VA. 

6. Visit the Office of Veteran Support Services

  • Most importantly, you must visit the Office of Veteran Support Services (located in the Education & Arts Building (EA) 2101 to complete registration in-processing for using your VA education benefits at Indiana University South Bend.
    • Please bring the following items:
      • Letter of Acceptance from the Indiana University South Bend Office of Admissions 
      • Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) / Notification of Basic Eligibility (NOBE)
      • DD Form 214 

Please note: 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