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Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families

Isakson and Roe

Section 1018 of Public Law 116-315

Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 ("Isakson and Roe"), adds new requirements for educational institutions participating in the educational assistance programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These new provisions became effective June 15, 2021, and will apply to Institutions of Higher Learning and Non-College Degree institutions beginning August 1, 2021. Many of the requirements are consistent with the requirements of the Principles of Excellence, currently in Executive Order 13607; however, there are requirements in addition to those embodied in the Principles of Excellence which schools must also satisfy to maintain approval for GI Bill® participation.  See the VA Isakson & Roe web page for additional information. For additional information about the requirements of Section 1018, see the VA Isakson & Roe Section 1018 web page

Benefits Available at USM

After applying and being accepted to USM, contact the Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families to file your application for benefits by calling 601.264.4629 - Hattiesburg, 228.214.3244 - Gulf Park or emailing VAFREEMississippi.  See our FAQ for additional information.   

QUESTIONS: For general questions concerning your education eligibility and benefits, contact the Department of Veterans Affairs at 1.888.442.4551 or visit the GI Bill® website.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION: These estimates shall not be binding on the Secretary of Education, the Institution of Higher Education, or the State. These estimates do not represent a final determination, actual award of financial assistance, or a final net price.  Costs, including, but not limited to, the cost of attendance and availability of financial assistance, may change year to year. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be eligible for, and receive, an actual financial aid award that includes Federal grant, loan, or work-study assistance. For more information on applying for Federal student aid, go to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ 

ESTIMATED VETERANS BENEFITS ARE LISTED ON THE COLLEGE FINANCING PLAN (CFP) based on data provided by the student (i.e, Certificate of Eligibility (COE) or Benefits Intake Form (BIF).  

FINAL AWARD OF VETERANS BENEFITS IS DEPENDENT UPON APPLYING DIRECTLY WITH THE VA. 

APPLYING FOR VETERANS BENEFITS

  • Find out what benefits are available. 
Chapter 30 - Montgomery GI Bill
Chapter 31 - Veteran Readiness and Employment 
Chapter 33 - Post 9/11
Chapter 33 - Transfer of Entitlement (TOE)
Chapter 33 - Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship
Chapter 35 - Survivors and Dependents Assistance (DEA)
Chapter 1606 - Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve

 

  • Apply by going to the GI Bill and Related Veterans Benefits web page.
  • Obtain a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility and provide that to our office.
  • Fill out the USM Benefits Intake Form (which must be completed every semester to prevent auto enrollment for subsequent semesters of attendance) using the button below

Benefits Intake Form

 

The Financial Aid College Financing Plan (CFP)

The College Financing Plan is a consumer tool designed to notify prospective students about costs and financial aid so they can easily compare institutions and make informed decisions about where to attend school. The CFP can be accessed within your Southern’s Online Accessible Records (SOAR) account after the student has been offered a financial aid award package.

For veterans benefit estimated benefits to reflect on the CFP, you must first complete the Benefits Intake Form


SHOPPING SHEET DISCLOSURES

Schools must provide a covered individual (a student using benefits under chapter 30, 31, 32, 33, or 35 of title 38, U.S.C., or chapter 1606 of title 10, U.S.C.) with a personalized shopping sheet that contains:

Estimated total cost of the course that includes tuition, fees, books, supplies and any other additional costs.

Estimated cost of living expenses.

Estimated Costs-The estimated budget for students is called the Cost of Attendance and are  based on tuition, fees, housing, meal plans, and other estimated costs associated with attending the university. Actual costs may vary based on their preferences for housing, meal plans, and other variables.  For estimated costs click the button below: Net Price Calculator

Estimated amount of student loan debt the individual would have upon graduation.

Student Loan Debt

Information regarding the acceptance of transfer credits including military credits.

Transfer Credit Policies 


RELATED POLICIES

Alert the individual of the potential eligibility for other federal financial aid before packaging or arranging student loans or alternative financing.

The Financial Aid Office meets with students, including walk-ins every day.  Newly admitted students receive an estimation sheet by both mail and email.  Students are required to accept their loans in SOAR. 

See the USM Financial Aid Overview web page for additional information about loan types, etc. 

 

Other types of Federal financial aid, not administered by VA that is offered by the institution, that the individual may be qualified to receive.

See The Office of Financial Aid- Financial Aid Overview web page

Prohibited automatic renewal of a covered individual in a course and/or program.  Ensure each covered individual approves of the enrollment in a course. 

Enrollment Certification Renewal for upcoming semesters/terms is NOT automatic. If you plan to use GI Bill® Benefits, you must submit the Benefits Intake Form as soon as you register for the following term to reactivate your benefits and prevent a lapse in payment.  Without the completion of a new form, your payments will stop. You can obtain the Benefits Intake Form from the Resources section of the website. 

Ensure each covered individual approves of the enrollment in a course.

USM requires students to apply for program admission. Each semester the students must submit a Benefits Intake Form after enrolling and each semester thereafter. 

Accommodate short absences for such services in the Armed Forces.

Military Short-Term Absences

When a service member receives unexpected military orders during a semester that will require a short-term absence from their course, they can apply for an accommodation allowing them additional time to complete assignments. To begin this process, the student must complete the Request for Academic Notification form in Maxient and submit a copy of their military orders.  Accommodations for Absences are at the discretion of the professor depending on the length of time of deployment. The Office of Student Outreach and Support will then verify the authenticity of the Orders and send a letter to each of the student's professors requesting that they accomodate the absences. The student is then responsible for following-up with the instructor to discuss accommodations. 

Should the accommodation not be granted, service members who provide verified orders for the absence can file a Tuition Appeal. See Tuition Appeals section below for more information. 

Withdrawal

Read the following information to understand all the considerations to undertake relative to withdrawal:

    • Do not withdraw from class before first speaking with your professor.
    • Remember to keep going to class until you are official withdrawn.  
    • If you need assistance or guidance, please reach out to the Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families at VAFREEMississippi or call 601.266.8387 - Hattiesburg, 228.214.3244 - Gulf Park.
    • Your academic advisor will assist you in withdrawing, but you will need your Official Orders for withdrawal, not just a Standby notification or other communication verifying you are going on standby. 
    • After you complete your withdrawal, you will need to apply for a Tuition Appeal to obtain a refund of tuition and fees. See the tuition appeals section below for additional information.
    • Any payments made toward housing costs will be retained as a credit toward the student’s account for future housing. 
    • Instead of withdrawing, you can opt to take an incomplete, which provides you one semester to complete the class.  Should you not complete the class in one semester, you will receive a failing grade of ‘F’. 

Tuition Appeals

Military service members may file a tuition appeal with a copy of military orders that match the dates of the semester for which an appeal is requested.  The Tuition Appeal Committee reviews appeals monthly. 

Readmission 

USM complies with DOD/EO expectations to promptly readmit a service member into the same academic status he or she had when last attended or accepted for admission, when program attendance was interrupted due to service obligations. USM allows enrolled members of the Armed Forces, including reserve components and National Guard to be readmitted if such members are temporarily unavailable or must suspend enrollment by reason of serving in the Armed Forces.

Schools must provide covered individuals the requirements for graduation and a graduation timeline.

Provide a covered individual enrolled in a course of education at the educational institution with information regarding the requirements to graduate from such a course, including information regarding when required classes will be offered and a timeline to graduate.

USM Bulletin select the year in which you matriculate

Accredited educational institutions agree to obtain approval of the respective accrediting agency for each new course or program

With respect to an accredited educational institution, obtain the approval of the accrediting agency for each new course or program of the institution before enrolling covered individuals in such courses or programs if the accrediting agency determines that such approval is appropriate under the substantive change requirements of the accrediting agency regarding the quality, objectives, scope, or control of the institution.

Substantive Change Policy


ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

PROFESSIONAL LICENSING

Any additional requirements including training, experience, or examinations that are required to obtain a license, certification or approval for which the course of education prepares the individual.


COUNSELING RESOURCES

Schools must designate an employee of the educational institution to serve as a point of contact for covered individuals and family members seeking assistance- in each of the following areas:

Accommodations

Office of Disability Accommodation
Susie Murphy, Assistant Director of ODA
susie.murphyFREEMississippi 
601.266.6305

Finances, etc.

Office of Financial Aid
Financial Aid Counselors  
601.266.4774 
financial.aidFREEMississippi    

Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families
Michael McGee, Veteran Outreach Coordinator
m.a.mcgeeFREEMississippi 
601.266.8387

 
Academic Program Advisors
For Undergraduate advisors, contact the University Advisement Center
By phone- 601.266.4626
By Contact Form- https://www.usm.edu/ask 

For Graduate advisors, contact the Graduate School at 601.266.4369 or by email at graduateschoolFREEMississippi
 

 


COMPARISON DATA

Other information to facilitate comparison by the individual about aid packages offered by different educational institutions.

To compare costs, a student can log into their SOAR account to view their College Financing Plan ("CFP"/formerly known as the "Shopping Sheet").  See the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet web page for more information about the CFP. 

COMPARATIVE FACTORS

Graduation Rates

The U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard lists graduation rate and student loan debt figures which are updated annually.  Graduation rates for several academic classifications are also listed on the Institutional Research Student Achievement web page.  This data is not disaggregate by program of education.

Job Placement Rates (if available)

Information regarding job-placement rates for graduates are not available from a comprehensive standpoint. Some programs are listed on the Institution Research site- https://www.usm.edu/institutional-research/usm-student-achievement.php   

Licensure Exam Passage Rates

Data on the passage rate for licensure for certain programs is listed on the Licensure Exam Passage Rates web page. 

Retention Rates

Retention rates for several academic classifications is listed on the Retention Rates web page.

Additional data may be available upon request from individual programs. 

 

COMPARISON TOOLS

The ‘Paying for College’ Web Page

This site can be used by prospective students to enter the names of up to three schools and receive detailed financial information on each one and to enter actual financial aid award information. The tool can be accessed at: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/paying-for-college 

The College Scorecard

A consumer planning tool and resource to assist prospective students and their families as they evaluate options in selecting a school. The College Scorecard is located at: http://collegecost.ed.gov/scorecard 

The College Navigator

A consumer tool that provides school information to include tuition and fees, retention and graduation rates, use of financial aid, student loan default rates and features a cost calculator and school comparison tool. The College Navigator data for USM is located at: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=university+of+southern+mississippi&s=all 

The Net Price Calculator

By completing our Net Price Calculator, you will be able to estimate your costs to attend USM, as well as explore the grants, scholarships, and other aid programs you may be eligible to receive. The Net Price Calculator is located at:  https://www.usm.edu/financial-aid/net-price-calculator.php  

GI Bill® Comparison Tool

A helpful tool to explore the right fit for your educational goal and benefits use. The tool is located at: https://www.va.gov/gi-bill-comparison-tool/ 

Military Service Member Enrollment Guidance

Other information regarding completing a course of education at the education institution.
Additional information is listed in the Academic Catalog known as the Bulletin which can be accessed at  https://catalog.usm.edu/ 
 

QUESTIONS

 
Please contact The Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families using one of the following methods: 
Phone:  601.266.8387
VAFREEMississippi 
 

Contact Us

Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families
200 North 35th Avenue
Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map

Email
VAFREEMississippi

Phone
601.266.8387

Contact Us

Hardy Hall 235
730 East Beach Boulevard
Long Beach, MS 39560

Gulf Park Campus

Campus Map

Email
VAFREEMississippi

Phone
228.214.3244