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US Veterans Affairs

Thank you for your interest in utilising your US Veterans Affairs benefits for study at JCU.

Please check with JCU whether the program you wish to study is currently approved for VA funding before proceeding. There have been significant changes in the US Veterans Affairs Department affecting the process for foreign schools to continue participating in the US VA program.  Lengthy delays for any new program approvals currently apply.  We are currently unable to provide any guarantees in relation to the length of time required for or the success of any application to have Veterans Affairs funding apply to a program at JCU.

If you wish to proceed, please follow the steps below.

For more information, please contact

VA Program Approval Requirement

The current JCU program approved by the VA are:

  • Bachelor of Science, Aquaculture Science & Technology major
  • Bachelor of Science, Marine Biology major
  • Bachelor of Science, Zoology & Ecology major
  • Bachelor of Science, Chemistry major
  • Bachelor of Marine Science
  • Bachelor of Psychological Science
  • Bachelor of Geology
  • Master of Science (Professional)
  • Master of Science, Environmental Earth Science major
  • Master of Marine Biology

If the program you wish to study is not listed here, please contact us to determine whether the program you wish to undertake is eligible.  If eligible, JCU will apply to the VA for program approval.

The VA approves JCU programs on a case-by-case basis. We cannot seek blanket approvals for all programs, and JCU cannot apply for program approval unless requested by a veteran.

Applications to the VA for program approval are currently taking an extremely protracted amount of time. JCU is unable to make any guarantees in relation to program approvals and recommend that you do not proceed with accepting your offer to study at JCU unless the program has already been approved, or you are willing to accept that you may be unable to use your VA benefits whilst studying at JCU.

Ineligible Programs

It is important to note that not all programs are eligible for VA approval. There are two regulations in particular that restrict the program eligibility at foreign schools:

1/ The Code of Federal Regulations (S21.4260) stipulates that 'the course leads to a standard college degree or its equivalent'.

This equates to any undergraduate program which is not a degree, and therefore makes JCU programs such as the Diploma of Higher Education ineligible. Most Bachelor and graduate programs will qualify for approval, with the exception of those that fall into the category 2 below.

2/  The Code of Federal Regulations (S21.4253 & S21.4267) also stipulates that to approve a distance learning course at a school outside of the United States, the program must be accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency. A nationally recognized accrediting agency will appear on the list published by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

At JCU, 'distance learning' equates to both external programs AND external subjects undertaken within an internal program. Some JCU internal programs incorporate external (online) subjects into the delivery method which unfortunately makes the entire program ineligible.  This includes programs such as the Bachelor of Nursing Science and Master of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, for example.

Application for VA education benefits

You must apply to the VA before you can receive your Certificate of Eligibility (or its equivalent).   This document will confirm which benefit you are eligible for, the length of time for which you can receive benefits, and the percentage of benefits available.

When applying, the preferred option is to apply online through the Veteran Online Application website, commonly referred to as VONAPP or you can download a paper application form from the VA website.

Once you have applied to the VA and received your Certificate of Eligibility, a copy must be sent to JCU's Financial Aid office.

Prior Credit Transfer

As outlined in Step 3, an additional step applies for US Veteran Affairs beneficiaries which relates to "prior credit review", including.

- You must provide evidence of all education completed after high school

This is required regardless of whether or not you intend to apply for prior credit transfer, and should be provided to the in the first instance.  An evaluation of prior education will be undertaken by JCU and recorded. You will be notified if a credit transfer application is required.

JCU will maintain a written record of your previous education and training, and grant appropriate credit in accordance with the JCU credit transfer procedure.

Applying to study at JCU

Additionally, you must lodge an application to study at JCU in your chosen program.  If successful you will receive a Letter of Offer from the JCU admissions office detailing the program fees, duration etc.

To proceed further you will need to formally accept the offer, which involves returning all required paperwork and any other documentation specified.  You will also be required to pay an “Advance Payment” to secure your place.  You cannot use your benefits to cover this deposit.   Depending on the amount of VA benefit you are entitled to, you may be eligible to apply to reduce the Advance Payment - please contact for more information.

Certification of your Enrolment with the VA

Once you have been admitted to your course, you should go ahead and enrol in your subjects.  JCU will certify your enrolment with the VA at the beginning of each Study Period, but first:

a/ Your program MUST be already approved by the VA

b/ Provide your VA Certificate of Eligibility (only required once provided your eligibility does not change)

c/ Complete a  JCU confirmation of enrolment  for VA form (each study period)

Please email at the start of each study period to receive your JCU confirmation of enrolment for VA form for the relevant study period.

You must notify JCU if you make any later changes to your enrolment.

JCU will undertake 2-step certification with the VA. That is, we will certify your enrolment status first and then certify your fees upon reaching the relevant census (add/drop) date.   Any school fees which remain payable after the VA payment has been received, will become payable by you within 7 days.   JCU does not have any control over currency fluctuations and therefore does not take any responsibility toward adverse outcomes relating to currency changes.     JCU does not participate in the yellow ribbon program.

Title 38 USC 3679(e) 

JCU has adopted the following provisions in accordance with Title 38 USC 3679(e) which affects any student using US Department of Veteran Affairs Post 9/11 GI Bill (Ch. 33) or Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Ch. 31) benefits.

While payment to the institution is pending from the VA, JCU will not:

- Charge a late payment fee penalty

- Apply a sanction which prevents access to enrolment materials or any other resources normally available to students

- Require students to secure alternative funding to pay school fees

However, to qualify for this provision, eligible students must have completed the requirement above (provided the VA Certification of Eligibility AND completed a JCU confirmation of enrolment for VA form) and have been certified for the relevant study period.

Isakson & Roe Act (Section 1010)

In addition to JCU certifying your enrolment, students are required to verify their own enrolment on a monthly basis to continue receiving their Post 9/11 GI Bill monthly housing allowance (MHA).  Please contact the VA directly if you require more information about this requirement.

If you have specific questions on any of the chapters or eligibility requirements, please contact the VA directly:

Ask a Question and Get Answers

Ask VA is available worldwide 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Call Us

888-GIBILL-1 (888-442-4551). Call between 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. Central Time, Monday-Friday.

Call Us From Overseas

Students and School Certifying Officials calling from outside the United States can contact us by phone at 001-918-781-5678 during business hours, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.  CST,  Monday - Friday.  This is not a toll-free number, but the caller will be routed to the next available customer service representative.  This is for overseas customers only, all others should call the toll-free number or contact us at the Questions and Answers section of this website.

If you would like to contact the JCU Financial Aid office:

James Cook University
Townsville, Queensland, 4811


Phone: 61 7 47815507

We also appreciate suggestions and improvements for our site to make it more informative and useful to interested students.