A-to-Z Index

MGIB Chapter 35

 Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (DEA)

Survivors and Dependents Benefits (Chapter 35) provide educational benefits to spouses and children of veterans who either died while in service, died as a result of a service-connected disability, or became totally and permanently disabled as a result of their military service.

For more information on Chapter 35 benefits, please visit the Veterans Affairs website or call VA at 1-888-442-4551.

Current Chapter 35 Rates

***Attention*** -  Receiving VA Benefits does not automatically qualify a dependent/spouse for in-state tuition/residency (if from out-of-state). There are certain requirements that must be met to qualify.  Please direct any questions to Admissions at 540-568-5681 if you are a prospective/in-coming student or contact Linda Combs in the Business Office at 540-568-3745 or combslc@jmu.edu if you are a current student (for reclassification). 

Chapter 35 recipients - Please pay all student account charges by the University Business Office deadlines each semester. Chapter 35 benefits pay a monthly stipend that goes directly to the student; therefore, JMU requires Chapter 35 recipients to make arrangements (monthly payment plan, check, loans, grants, financial aid, etc) to cover account charges by the traditional payment deadlines. If you are eligible for the Virginia benefit MSDEP, then that can be factored into covering your account charges (for tuition).


***Attention*** - You may also be eligible for the Virginia state tuition waiver benefit - Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (MSDEP).  Visit our website and  the Virginia DVS website for more information.

***Attention*** - If you are a dependent child, please inquiry about the Fry Scholarship to see if you would qualify. 

If you are requesting Chapter 35 MGIB benefits for the first time

Application Process: Eligibility for benefits begins with the "one-time only" application

Complete and submit to VA: VA Form 22-5490, Application for Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance, through the VONAPP website.

  • Print or save a copy for your records
  • Within 12 weeks after submission of application, VA will send a Certificate of Eligibility or denial letter.  Watch for: Letter of Eligibility or denial letter from VA.  Any questions about the content of either letter should be directed to the Veterans Affairs Office at 1-888-442-4551.
  • When notified by VA of eligibility, the dependent or spouse must have been accepted as a student by JMU, paid the required admissions deposit, and enrolled in classes before contacting the VA Certifying Official at JMU to begin the request for payment process. 
  • Enrollment in courses must meet major, GenEd, elective, or degree requirements, or an approved certificate or teacher licensure program to qualify.
  • All majors and minors must be declared on the transcript.

Once you have applied and received your Certificate of Eligibility from VA, please contact:

Trudy Ham/Kelly Burch
VA Certifying Official
Office of the Registrar - Student Success Center 5300



At your initial meeting with a JMU VA Certifying Official, please bring the following:

  • Certificate of Eligibility (or copy of VA Form 22-5490 if certificate has not arrived yet)
  • JMU form, Request for Veterans Educational Benefits
  • Institution of Higher Learning (IHL) transcript (if you've taken classes at another college)

If you have previously received MGIB Chapter 35 benefits while attending JMU

If you are a current JMU student wanting to continue using your Chapter 35 benefits for the upcoming/current semester, you need to:

  • Complete the JMU form for the requested term and submit to a JMU Certifying Official in Warren Hall 504.  This form is emailed to all VA students during registration for the upcoming semester.  Please contact Trudy for additional information.  Advisor signature is required for any courses for a major. VA will only pay for courses that meet graduation requirements (gen-ed, degree, major, minor, allowed electives).
  • If you have made changes to your JMU career (such as going from undergraduate to graduate), you will also need to complete VA Form 22-5495, Request for Change of Program or Place of Training.

If you are receiving  MGIB Chapter 35 benefits at a college or university other than JMU

If you've received Chapter 35 benefits at another college or university, you will need to provide:

What happens after I submit the requested forms to the VA Certifying Official?

JMU's VA Certifying Official will process a student's request for benefits and within 6-8 weeks, VA will generate and mail an active award benefit letter to the student.  Monthly payments are mailed to the spouse or dependent's address.