Educational Benefits for Veterans/Dependents

Records & Registration is available to assist veterans eligible for any of the educational benefit programs administered by the Veterans Administration.

Students who believe that they are eligible for benefits may receive assistance in applying for them through this office. Students requesting VA Benefits should download, complete and forward the VA Benefits Request Form. 

For relevant updates direct from the Department of Veteran's Affairs, please visit their Education and Training Benefits page.


VA School Certifying Official

Sylvia Mitchell

Howard Hall - Second Floor

Phone: 239-590-7914 or 239-590-7980 

Fax: 239-590-7983

Veterans Entrepreneurship Program

Got an innovative idea to launch a product or business? Qualifying veterans can access tuition-free, online and on-campus instruction.

View details and apply

Important Information

  • View Veterans' Priority Registration Dates
  • Apply for V.A. Non-Resident Tuition Fee Waiver
  • Education Call Center Now Open Monday Through Friday
    • Effective immediately, VA's Education Call Center is now open Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm Central Time.  Please contact us at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) with any inquiries.
  • Not yet signed up for benefits: 
    • Before applying for Education benefits, review your options:
    • Active Duty Service Members, Reservists utilizing Tuition Assistance (TA) or National Guard utilizing Education Duty for Dollars (EDD state waiver), must speak with their Educational Services Officer (ESO) or counselor within their Military Service/ Unit prior to enrolling to Florida Gulf Coast University.


  • Remember that the Post-9/11 GI Bill housing and books and supplies stipends are paid "in arrears."  This means that your housing stipend for January won't be received until February.  Also, if you are starting school for the first time, your first payment may not be for a full month of housing because we pay from the actual day you start school.  So, if you start January 8th, your February payment will be for 23 days you attended in January.

  • Get to know your VA School Certifying Official (SCO).  FGCU's VA SCO can be located at the Department of Records & Registration (hint: check with the Financial Aid Department or Registrar at other schools).  They certify your actual enrollment (that's what triggers your payments).  We've noticed some schools wait until the drop/add period is over to certify your enrollment, so check out the guidelines for your school.

  • VA will need two things:
    • Your Application (VA Form 22-1990 or 22-1990E) - Submitted by you through eBenefits
    • Your Certificate of Enrollment (VA Form 22-1999) - Submitted by your school
  • Remember: The sooner you get these documents to VA, the sooner VA can begin processing your claim.

Types of Programs, Eligibility and Benefits:

  • The Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) is for individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days.  You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.  The Post-9/11 GI Bill will become effective for training on or after August 1, 2009.
  • Montgomery G.I. Bill (Chapter 30) - First entered active duty July 1, 1985, or later and completed initial obligated period of active duty of 2 years  or more or who completed 2 years of active duty and enters the selective reserve for 4 or more years.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31)- Must have a service connected disability rated at 20 percent or more which causes a demonstrable employment handicap.
  • Dependents Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35)- Spouse and/or child of a veteran with permanent and total service connected disability; or whose death was service connected; or who died of any cause while rated as having a permanent and total service connected disability.
  • Educational Assistance for the Selected Reserve (1606)- Enlisted Personnel: enlisted, re-insisted, or extended enlistment for a 6 year period after June 30, 1995. Officer: added 6 years to current obligation after June 30, 1985.
  • Scholarships for Children of Deceased or Disabled Veterans or Children of Servicemen Classified as Prisoners of War or Missing in Action- The Scholarships for Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans and Service members (CSDDV) provides scholarships for dependent children or un-remarried spouses of Florida veterans or service members who died as a result of service-connected injuries, diseases, or disabilities sustained while on active duty or who have been verified by the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs as having service-connected 100% permanent and total disability.
  • Congressman C.W. "Bill" Young Veteran Tuition Waiver Program - A person who is an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Armed Forces, the United States Reserve Forces, or the National Guard; or entitled to and uses educational assistance provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for a term beginning after July 1, 2015 and who physically resides in Florida while enrolled in the institution are eligible for a waiver of out-of-state fees. The veteran must present to the University a copy of the Department of Defense Form 214 (DD-214) and documentation as proof that the veteran physically resides in Florida. Other persons must present documentation as proof that they physically reside in Florida. Refer to Veteran Services for the waiver form.

  • Active Duty Military Waiver Program - A person who is an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States residing or stationed outside of the state is eligible for a waiver of out-of-state fees. The student must submit a copy of their military ID card and a copy of their current military orders. Refer to Veteran Services for the waiver form.

  • Tuition and fee waiver for recipients of the Purple Heart or other superior combat decorations who meet stated qualifications.

    • Senate Bill 122 was signed into law June 20, 2006, effective July 1, 2006. This legislation, which amended Florida Statute 1009.26, took effect at the beginning of the 2006-2007 academic year, and provided a fee waiver to recipients of the Purple Heart or other combat decoration superior in precedence if the recipient is enrolling in a Florida public community college or state university, and provided he or she meets specific criteria:

      • 1 - Admitted as a full-time, part-time, or summer-school student in an undergraduate program of study leading to a degree or certificate;
      • 2 - Is currently, and was at the time of the military action that resulted in the awarding of the Purple Heart or other superior combat decoration, a resident of Florida; and
      • 3 - Submits to the university Department of Defense Form 214 (DD-214), issued at the time of separation from service, as documentation that he or she has received a Purple Heart or other combat decoration superior in precedence. 

    • This waiver is applicable for 110 percent of the number of required credit hours of the degree or certificate program for which the student is enrolled.
    • The combat decorations that would qualify students for the provisions of this waiver include:
      • Purple Heart
      • Bronze Star (must be "V" designation or device)
      • Distinguished Flying Cross
      • Legion of Merit (must be "V" designation or device)
      • Silver Star
      • Air Force Cross
      • Navy Cross
      • Distinguished Service Cross
      • Medal of Honor 
    • To be considered a "combat decoration superior in precedence to the Purple Heart," the Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit must include the "V" designation or device.
  • Online Free Seat Waiver
    • Pursuant to CS/HB 1261, the state legislature created the Free Seat Program to encourage veterans, active duty military members of the US Armed Forces, active duty drilling members of the Florida National Guard and nontraditional students to enroll in an online baccalaureate degree program at a state university.

      Waivers are awarded on a first-come, first served basis as there is a maximum number of waivers allocated to Florida Gulf Coast University. This program has a maximum limit of 17 eligible students and is granted on a first come, first served basis
    • Eligibility
      • Students must be a Florida resident for tuition purposes under Florida Statute 1009.21 
      • Students must not have previously earned a bachelor's degree
      • Students must be enrolled in an online baccalaureate degree program
      • Students must enroll at least part time (6 hours) in the program during each academic year to remain eligible for the waiver.
      • Students must meet one of the following eligibility requirements

        • Is a Veteran

Students must provide a copy of their DD214 indicating honorable discharge and proof of Florida residency (current bill or lease in your name).

        • Is an Active Duty member of the US Armed Forces

Active Duty members of the US Armed Forces must provide a copy of their military orders or military ID card.

        • Is an Active Drilling member of the National Guard

Active drilling members of the National Guard must submit the Verification of Active Drilling Status/Florida National Guard from signed by your Unit Commander or designee.

        • Is a Non-traditional student

Students must have earned a Florida standard high school diploma (or comparable high school diploma, completed a home education program, or an equivalent), has been out of high school or home education program for at least 5 years.  Students must not have enrolled in a postsecondary institution in the last 5 years.

    • Application

The waiver application is available online - Free Seat Waiver application

    •  Renewal

To remain eligible for the Online Free Seats Program, students must be:

        • Enrolled in at least one eligible credit hour during the academic year; and
        • Remain in an eligible online baccalaureate degree program; and
        • Maintain good academic standing (not warning, probation, or dismissal)

Students who withdraw from the University or have been discontinued for three consecutive terms for non-enrollment will need to reapply to the Online Free Seats program; waiver is not guaranteed and may no longer apply.

Veterans who plan to attend FGCU should apply to the University early and contact the Records & Registration early. Students can expect a possible delay of 60 days before receipt of benefits for their first term of enrollment.

Students will also need to contact the Records & Registration VA Certifying Official when they register each semester if their semester hours change.

Records & Registration certifies school attendance to the Veterans Administration office in accordance with the following:

Veteran Attendance

Attendance Undergraduate Graduate
Full-time 12 hours or more 9 hours or more
Three-Quarter 9 to 11 hours 6 to 8 hours
Half-time 6 to 8 hours 4 to 5 hours
Less than Half-time 1 to 5 hours 1 to 3 hours

VA Work Study

Recipients of veterans’ benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31) and Veterans Educational Assistance Program, who are attending school at least 3/4 time, may be eligible for VA work-study positions. For more information contact the Records & Registration's Office.

For further information on VA educational benefits, go to the VA website: Veterans' GI Bill Benefits. You may also find useful information on the Definitive Guide to GI Bill Benefits and Eligibility page on the Chamber of Commerce website.

VA Education Programs

For information about programs offered by the VA, please see the links below:

College Credit for Military Training and Education Courses

For more information about how FGCU articulates Military Training and Education coursework, visit the Academic Catalog page on this topic. View the Military Experience Equivalency List for more information on College Credit for Military Training, Courses, and Occupations. For any questions, please contact Francisco Torres at