Earlier, when I said I got paid, I meant it literally. My account at school said that my tuition and fees had been paid. I wasn’t speaking of the BAH/stipend, as I knew that would come in time. Today, however, I learned, quite literally, that I have not been paid. In fact, my tuition and fees have not been paid, but deferred. And today’s truth is starting to sink in—my tuition and fees will come in time, and there’s no hurry for that, lucky me and my credit card. No, the harder truth is that my BAH/stipend won’t be coming until 1 November if I am lucky.
You see, the VA is pretty damned particular about this whole process. They wanted to know specifically how much tuition and fees were going to be. Unfortunately, the fucked-up California Budget Crisis wasn’t resolved until late August. That means that the University of California had not yet finalized the end-cost for per-unit tuition and fees.
Big “uh-oh” brewing, right?
So, even though I had submitted my paperwork to my VA coordinator in early August, she wouldn’t be able to submit my Quarter’s classes until the fees issue had been resolved. The UC would not resolve these issues until the Governor and State Senate had resolved the budget.
I don’t know where my paperwork is right now. It has been submitted, hopefully in the first grouping of paperwork that went up in early September. With an 8-10 week backlog due to California fees fiasco, I might not see that money until even December! Sure, backpay is great, once it comes, but I hadn’t budgeted for this big of a fuck-up. No, I budgeted my savings and grant/scholarship money to get me to October, not November or December.
I have at least one thing working to my advantage that most do not: I live in poor people housing, and pay roughly $350 a month for my mortgage. However, I also have to pay childcare, and diapers are not cheap. Secondly, I foolishly spent a majority of my Fall Quarter grant money almost paying off the wife’s vehicle. The last 2.5 payments were setting us up nicely for January 2010, where we could start fast tracking on my car, as well as saving! Now, I just don't know where the money will come from to meet these necessities.
I wasn't planning on taking the emergency loan, and I'm not sure what’s going to happen now, but Mrs. 13 is standing over my shoulders with tweezers in her hand. She’s just plucked three white hairs from the top of my head, and this has become a regularly occuring event in the last few weeks...
Q&A from my University's VA Coordinator:
Q: How will I receive the BAH and Book Stipend?
A: Both of these will be issued directly to the student from the VA.
If you provided direct deposit information on your application to the
VA then that is the method you will receive it. If you did not then
you will receive a hard copy check to the address listed on your
Q: When will I start to receive the payments?
A: The VA is currently in a 8-10 week delay. Due to the issues with
the California max Fees, if you submitted your stuff early to me, it
was not submitted to the VA until late august. Thus if you submitted
your paperwork before september then you should not expect to see
anything until November. If you submitted it in September then
December would be the first time you will be seeing your payments. I
DO NOT receive any communication from the VA letting me know when your
check is coming or if your certification has even been processed by
them, please DO NOT COME AND ASK ABOUT THIS, unless it is December
10th and you have not received anything.
Q: I noticed there is a credit on my ZotAccount or there was Veteran
waiver . What is it? and how do i get the money?
A: UCI issued a courtesy deferment of your fees, if you submitted your
paperwork before Sept 15th. UCI has not been paid by the VA, but is
incurring the cost in the meantime as we wait to be paid by the VA.
You may see a credit because you paid your fees or other financial aid
paid your fees. If you still have a credit on your account you should
contact the Financial Aid office to pick up your check (technically,
the windows across the hall from the main Financial Aid, is the one
that issues the checks.)
Q: Do i Have to call into WAVES or verify that I am in classes like
the other GI Bills?
A: You no longer have to do any of that.