Veteran and Military Student Services
Changes to Post 9/11 Tuition and Fee Debt for Drops and Withdrawals
On January 24th, the VA notified institutions of new legislation that was signed into law earlier this month: Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 [Public Law 116-315:https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/7105]
Section 1019 of this legislation, effective immediately, changes how the VA administers debts for tuition and fee payments made to the school for beneficiaries that drop or withdraw from classes. Previously, when a student dropped or withdrew after the first day of the semester the VA would notify the student that there was a tuition and fee overpayment for the course/s that were dropped or withdrawn from and that it was the responsibility of the student to repay the VA for reducing credits hours.
What has changed:
This is now the responsibility of the school to repay the tuition and fees that were paid by the VA. The school must return payment to the VA for courses dropped after the 100% refund period or withdrawn from and the student will now be responsible for paying the school the tuition and fees for the courses dropped or withdrawn from.
Book stipend and monthly housing allowance debts that are due to drops or withdrawals will still be the student’s responsibility to pay back to the VA. Section 1019 only changes the tuition and fee debt procedure. Essentially, the VA has made the school the debt collector for tuition and fees and puts the burden on the student to pay the school.
For withdrawals or administrative withdrawals that are due to extenuating circumstances (VA Mitigating Circumstances) or for first time withdraws, up to 6 credit hours, the VA will take that into account and a debt would be avoided or reduced. In these instances we would also encourage a tuition and fees appeal in the instances a debt is established.
What this means for you: there will need to be more careful consideration when reducing credits after the 100% drop deadline or submitting for a withdrawal without extenuating circumstances. We encourage you to consult with MSU Denver’s Veteran and Military Student Services Office if you are considering reducing your credits after the 100% drop deadline. The VA has more debt repayment options than we do as a school so we would discuss available options, such as a payment plan, should the decision to withdraw occur.