Military Members, Veterans, and Family

The VA Approved Clock Hours and Rate of Pursuit Breakdown attachment below outlines the expected enrollment period for each rate of pursuit. The list also outlines the required weekly hours needed to qualify for Basic Housing Allowance (BAH) for Chapter 33 Post 9/11, non-active duty, benefit students. VA benefit students are required by the VA to make weekly progress in their programs. Please review the attached Satisfactory Academic Progress and Standard of Attendance policy agreement prior to registering:

Read:  Satisfactory Academic Progress & Attendance (PDF)

Review the VA Approved Clock Hours and Rate of Pursuit Breakdown (PDF)

Please note that for students using VA benefits, there are two completely separate timeframe calculations that occur when it comes to the VA benefit completion rate of pursuit and online program access. It is important that you understand the differences between these two calculations prior to registering – please let us know if you have any questions regarding the descriptions of the timeframe calculations listed below.

Due to VA policy active duty students will only be paid the cost of the course.  If you have additional questions with regards to payment amounts please contact the VA directly.

85/15 Regulation

You may notice that programs approved for VA educational benefits may require a wait list. For all approved programs of study, the VA requires that no greater than 85% of a program’s enrollments be comprised of students utilizing VA educational benefits. For example, if there are 100 students in a project management program, no more than 85 of those students can be using VA benefits to pay for the program. If a program exceeds the 85/15 ratio, the VA prohibits new enrollments into that program. The number of program enrollments (VA and non-VA students) is reported on an ongoing basis; the VA assesses those numbers to determine if a program is “approved” or “suspended.” Should a program be at capacity for VA students, you will still have the option of going on a wait list. As seats become available, eligible VA benefit students will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have any questions regarding this regulation, please contact us at or 1-888-647-2388 ext 118211.

NOTE: Chapter 31: Vocational Rehabilitation and Chapter 35 Survivor and Dependents are exempt from this enrollment restriction.

85/15 Rule

The Code of Federal Regulations (38 CFR 21.4201) states VA shall not approve the enrollment of any VA-eligible person, not already enrolled, in any course for any period during which more than 85 percent of the students enrolled in the course are having all or part of their tuition, fees, or other charges paid to or for them by an Educational Institution or VA.

Online Program Access

Center for Professional Development VA Approved programs have a completion time of six to twelve months, depending on the program – please review program descriptions for this information. Once you register for a program and receive your login credentials, your online program access clock starts. This means that you have six to twelve months, depending on the program, from your registration date to complete the program before losing online access. After your initial access has expired, you may be able to request a program extension; some programs require an extension fee payment which is not covered by VA benefits. The VA Approved Clock Hours and Rate of Pursuit Breakdown identifies the programs that include extension fees.

Offline study (including assignments, reading, research, or labs) is not calculated as part of your weekly time commitment. Students are encouraged to develop a study plan to help them progress through the course at their desired rate of pursuit. The Center for Professional Development staff and course facilitators are available to help with this process.

VA Completion Timeframe and Rate of Pursuit

As per the Department of Veteran Affairs, all benefit claims are processed at a half-time rate of pursuit (nine clock hours per week). This will ensure that you have the maximum amount of completion time available with the minimum amount of required coursework hours per week.

To determine your program end date at the half-time rate of pursuit, we take the total VA Approved clock hours for your program, and divide this by nine hours per week. The result is the number of weeks it will take you to complete the course at the half-time rate. You will be emailed your VA start and end dates after registering for your program.

Students who are eligible for Chapter 33 Post 9/11 benefits and successfully complete their program above a half-time rate of pursuit (nine clock hours per week) may be eligible for BAH. This amendment will be submitted to the VA upon successful completion of the program. Please note that any BAH that may be received will not be distributed to the student by the VA until the student has completed the program.

Please be advised that Department of Veterans Affairs regulations require the College to report weekly attendance for clock hour programs to ensure that students are completing a minimum of nine clock hours per week, as committed to on the Excelsior College Letter of Intention. Should you dedicate fewer than the minimum hours required for half-time status, your benefit claim may be amended to quarter-time. This adjustment to your rate of pursuit may result in a reduction or loss of VA financial benefits and, in some cases, a debt with the DVA may be created if payment has already been received.

Note on VA Claim Adjustments

Per VA regulations, you may not utilize your VA educational benefits for two different programs at the same time, regardless of the institution. This means that you cannot take classes at another institution or Excelsior College at the same time you are using your benefits for your Center for Professional Development program.

As a reminder, all claims are initially processed at a half time rate of pursuit. If you request an extension, or your studies continue beyond your initial end date, your VA Claim will be adjusted to reflect a reduced rate of pursuit. This will also impact your VA Claim end date.

Registration Instructions

When you are ready to register, please download the pre-registration Welcome Packet that corresponds with your VA educational benefit, and send the required documents to the Center for Professional Development for processing. Please be sure that you have read and comprehend all information on this page of our website prior to registration.

Welcome Packet Chapter 33 – Post 9/11 (PDF)

Welcome Packet Chapter 30, 1606, 1607 (PDF)

Welcome Packet Chapter 31 (PDF)

Welcome Packet Chapter 35 (PDF)

MGIB Enrollment Verification

Chapter 30, Chapter 1606 and 1607 benefits, users must verify their enrollment with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs beginning the last day of every month before receiving their benefit checks.

There are two ways of verifying your enrollment:

  • Telephone – Interactive Voice Response (IVR): Dial 1-877-823-2378 and follow
    instructions provided.
  • Internet – Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE).
    Please note:
    The Internet is the recommended method.