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Catalog 2007-2008
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Military and Veteran's Information

MILITARY PERSONNEL
UWF recognizes that many active duty military personnel face formidable barriers in their pursuit of a college degree. As part of the University?s continuing commitment to educational opportunities for military personnel, UWF offers a program designed to assist active duty military men and women in their quest for bachelor?s, master?s, specialist or doctoral degrees. Many departments have agreed to offer degrees through a system tailored to the specific needs of active duty military personnel. Previous college credits, work experiences, service schools, and other forms of nonacademic experiences will be considered for college credits. For further information, contact the Office of Admissions.

SERVICEMEMBERS OPPORTUNITY COLLEGES
UWF has been designated as an institutional member of Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC), a group of more than 1800 colleges and universities providing voluntary postsecondary education to members of the military throughout the world. As a SOC member, UWF recognizes the unique nature of the military life-style and is committed to easing the transfer of relevant course credits, while crediting learning from appropriate military training and experiences. SOC has been developed jointly by educational representatives of each of the armed services, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and a consortium of 12 leading national higher education associations. It is sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

VETERANS? BENEFITS
The University of West Florida is approved by the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) for the education of veterans, active duty personnel, reservists, and eligible dependents under current law. UWF?s Office of Veterans Services is part of the Office of the Registrar, not the DVA. This office is the main point of contact for students receiving benefits from the DVA. It has a professional staff augmented by veteran peer counselors to assist in providing information about entitlements, filing claims to the DVA, and certifying enrollments at the University.

The office also monitors the academic progress of students receiving DVA educational benefits. Students who receive DVA benefits are subject to stricter academic regulations and should be aware that auditing courses, enrollment status, withdrawals, repeating courses, changing degree programs, adding majors and minors, grade forgiveness, and other actions may affect eligibility for educational benefits.

ACADEMIC PROGRESS
University academic standing is discussed in the academic policies section of this Catalog. Students receiving veterans benefits are held to the stricter requirements set forth below.

Undergraduate Standard: A student with a semester grade point average (SGPA) or cumulative grade point average (CGPA) below 2.0 will be placed on VA academic probation. If, at the end of the next semester, SGPA is above 2.0, but the CGPA remains below 2.0, the student will be continued on VA academic probation for one additional semester. If, at the end of the second semester of VA academic probation, the student?s CGPA is below 2.0, the DVA will be notified of the student?s unsatisfactory progress. Likewise, if a student is placed on VA academic probation one semester, and both the SGPA and the CGPA are below 2.0 the second semester, the DVA will be notified of the student?s unsatisfactory progress. However, a student who receives consecutive SGPAs below 2.0 will be continued on VA academic probation if the CGPA remains at least 2.0.

Graduate Standard: A student with a SGPA or CGPA below 3.0 will be placed on VA academic probation. If, at the end of the next semester, the SGPA is above 3.0 but the CGPA remains below 3.0, the student will be continued on VA academic probation for one additional semester. If, at the end of the second semester of VA academic probation, the student?s CGPA is below 3.0 the DVA will be notified of the student?s unsatisfactory progress. Likewise, if a student is placed on VA academic probation one semester, and both the SGPA and the CGPA are below 3.0 the second semester, the DVA will be notified of the student?s unsatisfactory progress. However, a student who receives consecutive SGPAs below 3.0 will be continued on VA academic probation if the CGPA remains at least 3.0.

Benefit Re-establishment: Benefits may be re-established only if there is reasonable likelihood that the student will be able to attain and maintain satisfactory progress for the remainder of the program. Based upon correspondence from the student?s major department chair, a recommendation will be made to the DVA.

ADVANCE PAYMENT
Advance payment of DVA benefits may be available to new students and those students who were not enrolled in the previous semester. Application should be made through the UWF Office of Veterans Services no later than 45 days before the first day of classes of the affected semester.

CLASS ATTENDANCE
It is the student?s responsibility to inform the instructor(s) of absence from classes prior to, or as soon as possible after, the absence. Students must check with their respective instructor(s) regarding the attendance policy for each class. When a student receiving DVA benefits is found in violation of the policy, the DVA will be notified and benefits reduced accordingly.

COURSES FOR WHICH VA WILL NOT PAY
Courses not meeting University requirements for graduation cannot be certified to the DVA for benefits payment. Although not all inclusive, the following list reflects types of courses that will not be certified to the DVA:

  1. Courses not on the students SASS audit or Program Description Sheet (PDS) unless an addendum is provided before the last day of the drop/add period;
  2. Repeated courses that have been previously completed with a grade of ?D-? or higher unless the student?s program requires a higher grade; this includes courses transferred from other colleges;
  3. Courses taken to fulfill requirements at another institution unless a transient authorization is received;
  4. Courses taken on an audit or noncredit basis or courses in which the permanent grade is ?non-punitive,? (e.g., ?W? or ?V?);
  5. Courses for which an ?I? or ?I*? was assigned, but not changed to a letter grade (A through F) within one year of the completion of the semester; in this case, the DVA will be notified retroactively.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVE
To receive educational benefits from the DVA, the student must be pursuing an approved bachelor?s, masters, specialist, doctoral, or certificate program at the University. VA will pay benefits for classes required for graduation or for completion of an approved VA certificate program. Required courses must be reflected in your SASS before they can be certified for VA benefits. Substitutions to the SASS audit must be made prior to VA certification. To prevent delays in a certification it is your responsibility to ensure that you are taking required classes. Failure to do so may prohibit certification of classes for future semesters. Students who do not have an on-line SASS audit will need a signed program description sheet.

CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS
Not all certificate programs are approved for VA benefits. Check with the Veteran Services Office for further information.

OFF-TERM COURSES
Off term courses are those beginning and/or ending on other than the regular semester dates. These are referred to as B, C, D or E term courses. Students should be aware that the DVA review is made on a term-by-term basis and not by semester. Taking B, C, D or E term courses may affect the student?s training rate for pay purposes and eligibility for break pay.

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
Recertification of benefits is not automatic and must be requested each semester. It is the responsibility of each student to keep the UWF Office of Veterans Services informed of the following.

  1. Class Registration. After registering, eligible beneficiaries must visit the UWF Office of Veterans Services to complete necessary paperwork. In most cases the earlier a student registers and provides the registration information to this office, the earlier certification paperwork can be forwarded to the DVA.
  2. Changes to Schedule. Any additions, drops, withdrawals, or other interruptions must be immediately reported to the UWF Office of Veterans Services by the student.
  3. Failure to Attend Class. Routine class attendance is required for those receiving DVA benefits. Students who are unable to attend class(es) for an extended period of time should notify the instructor(s) and the Office of Veterans Services.
  4. Change of Major. The DVA must be notified when a student changes a major. These changes are generally approved if there is only minimal loss of credit hours previously earned.
  5. Change of Address. If a student?s address changes, both the DVA and UWF must be notified.

To prevent overpayment and subsequent indebtedness to the Federal Government, it is important to notify the Office of Veterans Services immediately of changes that may affect the student?s eligibility for benefits.

TUITION DEFERMENT
Florida law generally provides for one semester?s deferment of tuition per academic year for those students applying for or receiving veterans benefits. For further information, see the section on Veterans Fee Deferments.

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