George Mason University Office of Military Services

Certificates

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) pays for non-credit certificates differently then normal collegiate level coursework because VA benefits are paid out based on the length of the class and the number of contact hours per week a student is in class.

George Mason operates on the semester system, and all academic credit is given in semester units As such, one (1) semester unit is defined as fifteen (15) credit/contact hours. The Office of Continuing Education operates on Continuing Education Units (CEU) a such, one (1) CEU is defined as ten (10) contact hours. Therefore, one and half (1.5)CEUs is equal to one (1) semester unit.

Based off this equation a non-credit certicate student would need to take 18 CEUs in order to receive the maximum education benefit rate for a full time undegraduate student.

For example: If you fall under Chapter 30, the maximum amount a veteran is eligible for is $1368.00 a month which breaks down to $45.60 a day for attending school full time or 12 semester hours. Education benefits are paid based on the number of contact hours not the cost, so hypothetically if your non-credit certifcate is two days long or 16 contact hours and costs $3,000 then the VA would pay you $91.20 because that is what the VA would pay a full time student attending school for two days.

Depending on the VA education benefits the veteran is eligible for would determine the amount of money the VA would be responsible for paying.

If you have questions about VA education benefits as it pertains to non-credit certifcates, please contact the Office of Military Services.

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