Veteran Services

Logo for Military Friendly 2021-22

We are excited to welcome you to Fitchburg State University and appreciate your service to our nation. Managing your educational, military and personal responsibilities can be a challenge. We strive to provide the services and support necessary to achieve both your academic and social goals.

For assistance with your on-boarding process please connect with Gretchen Mayhew if you are an undergraduate student or Erin Turchetta if you are a Graduate and Continuing Education student.

Our Veteran Certifying Official, Jennifer Jimenez, is a liaison with the Regional Processing Office in Buffalo, NY and will be a main point of contact for submitting your enrollment certification to the Department of Veteran Affairs for VA education benefits.

If you need assistance with your Student Accounts and/or Financial Aid, please contact Monica Siart.

Finally, once a student, if you want to learn more about Veteran Services, the Veteran Center, and Student Life, contact Hank Parkinson.

How can we assist you?

Prospective and current students looking for further information regarding veteran related education benefits are encouraged to contact us./p>

Undergraduate students who have questions about the application process and admissions requirements, please contact Gretchen Mayhew in Admissions.

Graduate and Continuing Education students who have questions about onboarding, please contact Erin Turchetta in the School of Graduate, Online, and Continuing Education.

If you need assistance with filing for Veteran Benefits and/or need to certify your enrollment, please contact Jennifer Jimenez in the Registrar's Office.

Any questions about your student account can be directed to Monica Siart in Student Accounts.

Any questions about Veteran Services and Student Life can be directed to Hank Parkinson or Veteran Services in the Office of Student Development/Veteran Services.

Priority Enrollment

Student veterans enrolled in our daytime undergraduate programs receive priority enrollment. While registration time tickets are grouped by number of credits earned, veterans are able to register 24 hours prior to students with similar credits earned. Please note that priority enrollment cannot begin before the first day of registration for each term.

Delayed VA Payments

Under S2248 PL 115-407 Section 103, Fitchburg State University will not impose a late fee, denial of access to facilities, or other penalty against a veteran or eligible dependent due to a late payment of tuition and/or fees from the VA up to the certified benefits amount. Any portion of the student bill not covered by VA benefits is still expected to be settled by the due date.

Veteran Resources

Veterans Appreciation Event on quadrangle

Veterans Center

  • Lounge and Study Space
  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • Keurig
  • Water Cooler
  • TV
  • Computers
  • Workspace

Services

  • On-line Orientation
  • Peer Mentor Program
  • Veteran Affairs Work Study Jobs
  • Connection to Veteran Resources

Programs

  • Veterans Fair
  • Veterans Day Celebration
  • Virtual Lounges
  • Veteran Socials

Important Contacts

Additional Resources

Helpful Information

Chapters 30, 33, 1606, 1607

Once accepted into a degree program you will need to provide the Registrar’s Office with a Member-4 copy of your DD-214 and/or a copy of your Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE) in order for the University to begin your enrollment confirmations with the VA. Once received you must follow the steps below. The Registrar’s Office will thereafter check your enrollment status each semester and certify enrollment with the VA in Buffalo when applicable.

If you have never used your GI Bill® benefits:

If you have previously used your GI Bill® benefits at another institution:

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 benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (Chapter 30)

Chapter 30 is available for those who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. Under Chapter 30, Active Duty members enroll and pay $100 per month for 12 months and are then entitled to receive a monthly education benefit once they have completed a minimum service obligation. The monthly benefit paid directly to the student is based on the type of training you take, length of your service, your category and participation in “kicker” funding. Chapter 30 does not pay for cost of attendance or a book stipend. If you exhaust all 36 months of the Montgomery GI Bill you may be eligible for 12 months of the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Chapter 31)

Chapter 31 is available to full and part-time veterans who have at least 20% disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). A veteran who is eligible for an evaluation under Chapter 31 must first apply for services and receive an appointment with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC). Educational benefits include payment for tuition, fees and a monthly stipend.

Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)

The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides educational benefits to many veterans who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The percentage of tuition and fees is paid directly to the school and is based on your time on active duty (this does not include room and board or waivable fees except health insurance). It also includes a monthly housing stipend to those enrolled more than half-time and an annual books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000 all of which is paid directly to the student. This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits.

Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35)

Chapter 35 provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of a veteran who has died or is permanently disabled as a result of a service related injury. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits.

Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606)

The Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard.

Once accepted into a degree program you will need to provide the Registrar’s Office with a copy of the Certificate of Eligibility mailed to you by the VA which signifies the student’s eligibility to use CH 35 benefits (to receive this certificate if you have never used CH 35 benefits before follow the below instructions). The Registrar’s Office will thereafter check your enrollment status each semester and certify enrollment with the VA in Buffalo when applicable.

If you have never used Chapter 35 benefits:

Complete the Application for Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (form 22-5490) online.

If you have previously used your Chapter 35 benefits at another institution:

Complete the Change of Program or Place of Training Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (form 22-5495) online.

To be eligible for a Categorical Tuition Waiver, a student must:

  • Be a permanent legal resident of Massachusetts for at least one year prior to the opening of the academic year.
  • Be a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • Be able to provide a member 4 copy of your DD-214 indicating last discharge or release was under honorable conditions.
  • Not be in default of any federal or state loan or owe a refund on any previously received financial aid.
  • In accordance with institutional requirements, each student must present documentation of categorical waiver eligibility to the appropriate college officials. This form can be obtained in the Student Accounts Office located in the Anthony Building.
  • Enroll in at least three undergraduate credits per semester in state supported undergraduate degree or certificate program.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress in accordance with federal and institutional standards.

More information is available on the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education website.

To Request Military Academic Transcripts

All Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy: Active Duty, Reserve and Veterans transcripts are now requested via the Joint Services Transcript website.

Military Transcripts are reviewed by the Registrar in order to determine the appropriate transfer of credits. ACE credit recommendations are used in this review.

Transfer Credit Policies

In accordance with the VALOR Act, students may have their military experience, coursework or training reviewed to determine whether their training or actual job duties are commensurate with the content of courses offered at Fitchburg State University. Fitchburg State uses multiple methods for evaluating military occupation, training, experience and coursework for academic credit, including the ACE Guide to the evaluation of education experiences, CLEP and DANTES (DSST). All military transcripts are reviewed for transferability of credit in accordance with our university-wide policy. A maximum of 60 military credits can be applied to a degree at Fitchburg State. Students are aware of the VALOR Act credit evaluation policy through our website and college catalog.

Any questions related to the transfer of military credits can be directed to the Registrar, Barbara Cormier, at 978.665.4342.

For the full policy regarding undergraduate transfer credits, please refer to the University catalog.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), Defense Activity for Nontraditional Educational Support (DANTES), Departmental Examinations

Students entering Fitchburg State University with college level training or experience can be tested on college course material to earn credit toward their degree. The Fitchburg State University examination program is especially valuable for individuals who have had learning experiences outside the college classroom (employment experience, life experience, independent study, etc.) which may come to bear upon their formal academic training.

On the CLEP exams, Fitchburg State University adheres to the standards established by the American Council on Education granting credit for tests on which a score of 50 has been achieved. This credit is awarded only to students enrolled in degree programs at Fitchburg State University.

The nearest CLEP and DSST exam site is at the testing center of Mount Wachusett Community College (978.630.9244).

It is possible to gain up to 60 university credits through the program for all majors except criminal justice. Criminal justice majors can earn no more than 12 credits through examination.

For more information, refer to the list of CLEP exams and their Fitchburg State course equivalents (PDF).

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be an active member of the Massachusetts National Guard in good standing
  • Has not exceeded the 130 semester credit hours maximum when combined with Certificate of Eligibility (100% tuition waiver), prior to September 1, 2006

Procedure:

  • You will receive an automated email back to your AKO email account once your request has been approved. At that time, please log back into Military Records Online to print your Certificate of Eligibility. Please provide this certificate to the Registrar's Office. A new certificate must be requested and provided each semester.

For more information, please visit the Massachusetts National Guard website.

In accordance with the VALOR Act, students may have their military experience, coursework or training reviewed to determine whether their training or actual job duties are commensurate with the content of courses offered at Fitchburg State University. Fitchburg State uses multiple methods for evaluating military occupation, training, experience and coursework for academic credit, including the ACE Guide to the evaluation of education experiences, CLEP and DANTES (DSST). All military transcripts are reviewed for transferability of credit in accordance with our university-wide policy. A maximum of 60 military credits can be applied to a degree at Fitchburg State. Students are aware of the VALOR Act credit evaluation policy through our website.

Any questions related to the transfer of military credits can be directed to the Registrar, Barbara Cormier, at 978.665.4196.

  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline - The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides service for veterans in crisis. Contact them at 1-800.273.8255 or online at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
  • SAVE Program - the SAVE program assists veterans in need of referrals to services and seeks to prevent suicide and advocate on behalf of Massachusetts' veterans. Contact them at 617.210.5755 or 1.888.844.2838 or online at www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-veterans-services.
  • Vet Centers - Provides readjustment services in a caring manner, and assisting veterans and their family members toward a successful post-war adjustment in or near their respective communities. Contact them at 1.877.927.8387 or visit them online at  www.vetcenter.va.gov.
  • Veterans Inc. - Helps veterans to regain self-sufficiency through supportive services such as; housing, employment and training, case management, food security, health and wellness, family support programs, women, and child care services. Contact them at 413.582.3059 or online at www.veteransinc.org.    
  • VA health care - Veterans can learn about their health care benefits. Contact them at 1.877.222.8387 or online at www.va.gov/health-care.
  • VA education and training benefits - For information, contact 1.800.827.1000 or visit www.va.gov/education.
  • Military.com - Provides a variety of services, support, and information related to veteran jobs, spouse and family, VA loan benefits, military pay, etc. Go to www.Military.com to learn more.
  • Hire Heroes USA - Provides services and support related to helping veterans and military spouses get hired. Contact 1.844.634.1520 or visit www.hireheroesusa.org to learn more.