New VA Policy Regarding:
Drops/Withdrawals & Mitigating Circumstances

This is Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) policy regarding students using the Post-9/11 GI Bill® :

You are responsible for ALL debts resulting from corrections, reductions, or terminations of your enrollment even if the payment was submitted directly to the school on your behalf.

Beginning November 15, 2015, if you drop courses or withdraw after the add/drop period and receive a non-punitive grade, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is required by law to retroactively stop your payments to the beginning of the term--just as if you never attended. Any benefits paid from the beginning of the term will be considered an overpayment by VA, and you may owe money.

However, if you provide acceptable mitigating circumstances (or reasons beyond your control) that caused you to drop or withdraw, you will be responsible only for paying back money paid for the time period after you stopped attending. You will not be responsible for the entire term's fees.

To learn about this new policy, and especially, what constitutes "mitigating circumstances," read VA's information about Mitigating Circumstances.

You will be able to submit mitigating circumstances/documentation by:

  1. mailing them directly to the Department of  Veterans Affairs, VA Regional Office, PO Box 66830, St. Louis, MO  63166-6830;
  2. using the "Submit a Question" button on VA's website, https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/;
  3. or, by completing the UofM Veterans Educational Benefits & Certification "Drop/Withdrawal - Mitigating Circumstances" form. This UofM form also lists acceptable mitigating circumstances.
    Please Note: VA may require that additional documentation be sent directly to it.


(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 the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.)