How Your Chapter 33 Non-Standard Term Benefits Are Certified - Graduate

When George Mason reports your enrollments to the VA, we provide the number of credits in which you are enrolled and the terms those classes fall under. We also tell the VA how many credit hours are considered full-time by the school for the term in which you are enrolled.

In a standard semester, this is usually 9 credits. In a non-standard term, you can generally estimate your rate of pursuit using the credit hour equivalent formula:

Credits x 18 / Weeks

Calculate the number of weeks in a term by taking the number of days in a term and dividing by 7. Round to the nearest week (for example, 8 weeks and 3 days is rounded to 8 weeks, while four weeks and 4 days is rounded to 5 weeks).

Multiply the number of credits you are taking in the term by 18. Divide this number by the number of weeks of the term.

Compare this credit hour equivalent to the below table to determine your rate of pursuit:

Credits

Rate of Pursuit

9+

100%

8

90%

7

80%

6

70%

5

60%

4.5

50%*

4

40%*

3

30%*

2

20%*

1

10%*

*Rate of pursuit must be greater than 50% in order to receive a monthly housing allowanc

Example:

You are a Chapter 33 graduate student in a modular program that consists of two 8-week modules. You enroll in one 3 credit class from 1/11 to 3/7. You enroll in two 3 credit classes from 3/15 to 5/9.

For your first term, which is 3 credits from 1/11 to 3/7, your rate of pursuit is 80%.

You can check this using the above formula: (3 credits x 18) ÷ 8 weeks = 6.75 (rounded to 7). 3 credits in eight weeks is the equivalent of 7 credits in a normal semester. This equates to an 80% rate of pursuit.

Your benefits during this period are charged at an 80% rate of pursuit, and you receive 80% of the monthly housing allowance (if applicable).

For your second term, which is 6 credits beginning on 3/15, you now have a 100% rate of pursuit.

Using the same formula, you can estimate your rate of pursuit: (6 credits x 18) ÷ 8 weeks = 13.5.

As 9 or more credits in a normal semester is a 100% rate of pursuit, your new rate of pursuit is 100%.

Your benefit is charged at the 100% rate of pursuit, and you receive 100% of the monthly housing allowance (if applicable).

If your classes are in overlapping terms, the VA will use whichever rate of pursuit calculation is highest during the overlap period. While this benefits you from a housing stipend perspective, you should be aware that your benefit is also being reduced at the higher rate.

Example:

You are a graduate student who enrolls in one 3 credit course over a 12-week term from 5/17 to 8/7. You also enroll in one 3 credit course over an 8-week term from 6/1 to 7/24.

When your first class begins on 5/17, you are in 3 credits. You can estimate your rate of pursuit using the formula above: (3 credits x 18) ÷ 12 weeks = 4.5. Looking at the table, 3 credits in a 12-week term is the equivalent of 4.5 credits is a full-length standard semester. This is a 50% rate of pursuit. Your benefit is charged at the 50% rate of pursuit. You do not receive a housing stipend.

Your next class begins on 6/1. When it begins, you will be in a combined total of 6 credits. During the overlap, we use the higher rate of pursuit calculation. As it is a shorter term, the 8-week term will have the higher rate of pursuit. (6 credits x 18) ÷ 8 = 13.5. Looking at the table, this means you have a 100% rate of pursuit. Your benefits are charged at the 100% rate, and you receive 100% of the housing stipend (if applicable).

When your 8-week class ends, you are again in 3 credits during a 12-week term, and your rate of pursuitreturns to 50%.