Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a broader group of military students and veterans and support staff at UMD?

Of course! More information on the main campus Veteran Student Life office and their services can be found online.

How do I learn more about VA benefits?

A very thorough explanation and comparison for different VA benefits can be found on the VA website. Please note: if you are attempting to look up the current monthly housing allowance rate for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, use this website and find the rate for an E-5 with dependents for zip code 20742.

How do I apply for VA benefits?

There are several ways to start the application process for VA benefits. VA has a main website for the beginning of this process. You can also jump straight to the eBenefits website to begin applying, or the Veterans Online Application, or VONAPP for short, to start applying. Generally, the VONAPP website is more reliable, but whichever website you are able to submit your application on will work.

I used some of my VA benefits at another school. How do I transfer them to the Smith School?

If you’ve already received some benefits at another school, you will need to use VONAPP or eBenefits to complete a form transferring those benefits to the University of Maryland. The form is very short and is called VA Form 22-1995 Change of Program or Place of Training.

You do not need a new Certificate of Eligibility or to re-apply for the benefit in question. The 22-1995 form, when successfully processed, simply lets VA know that you wish to use your benefits at Smith, rather than your previous school.

I’m out of VA benefits or am not eligible for them. What other financial aid options are there?

A good primer for the financial aid process can be found on the Veteran Student Life website. Additionally, this page has a useful list of scholarships that are specific to military and veteran students at UMD, including students of Smith.

Graduate programs at Smith may have financial aid available for well-qualified and competitive candidates. The best thing you can do if you are facing financial uncertainty in paying for a program is to apply for the program you wish to enter, and make contact with an Admissions member for that program. Letting those staff members know about your financial need and VA or other benefits status will give them an opportunity to weigh all factors and make the best offer possible.

What is the process of using VA benefits at Smith?

When attempting to use VA benefits, applying for the benefit and receiving a Certificate of Eligibility from VA is only part of the process. The university will still need to know from you that you intend on utilizing the benefit in question in a given semester so that the correct information can be sent each semester from the school to VA.

For your first semester, as soon as you have enrolled for courses, send a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility to the Office of the Registrar, at vabenefits@umd.edu. Additionally, each and every semester, as soon as possible, you will need to complete and send a UMD VA Enrollment Certification Request form. It is important to do this as soon as possible, as students are certified by the Registrar’s Office on a first come, first served basis. A primer on this process can be found online.

The staff of the Smith military and veterans initiative will be happy to assist you in fact-finding, gathering and submitting paperwork, and anything else you may need as part of this process.