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Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families

USM Resources

Start Using Your VA Educational Benefits!

We are honored you have chosen Southern Miss and look forward to guiding you on your journey to activate your VA Educational Benefits.

Still need to apply to the university? No problem! Click here to become a Golden Eagle! 

GI Bill® Information

The President signed into law the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act also known as the “Forever GI Bill,” which will bring significant changes to Veterans education benefits. The law is named after the American Legion national commander who wrote the original GI Bill language in 1944, and will allow more Veterans to use the GI Bill and more time to use it. Some of the changes will go into effect immediately, and some are written to go into effect shortly after...Please click here to read more from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.   

Follow the link to view our Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Guidance

Joint Services Transcript for Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard

All veterans and service members of the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard who are active duty, National Guard or Reserve can order an official transcript through the Joint Services Transcript online system or fill out the Joint Services Transcript Permission Request Form and we'll request it for you.

Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) for Air Force
 
All veterans and service members of the Air Force who are active duty, National Guard or Reserve can order an official transcript through the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) online system.

Official transcripts should be mailed to:
The University of Southern Mississippi
Office of the University Registrar
118 College Drive #5006
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

  • Fax: 601.266.5816. Verify if fax received @ 601.266.5006.
  • In person in Hattiesburg: Kennard-Washington Hall (map), Room 110

The Benefits Intake Form (Replaces VA Advisement Form) must be completed each semester to use your GI Bill benefit.

The Golden Eagle Tuition Program is intended for the Mississippi Air and Army National Guard.

Military-Eligible applicants who are engaged in or honorably discharged from active duty in the United States Armed Services including academically eligible current or surviving spouse and dependent children, including stepchildren, would receive an exception of the non-resident surcharge. The student does not have to be using the GI Bill to receive this exception.

Students who qualify for an exception of the non-resident surcharge should:

  • Complete and submit the Veteran, Service Member, Dependent, Spouse Non-Resident Tuition Exception form
  • If you are the Veteran or Service Member and using one of the GI Bill benefits then all that would be needed is your Certificate of Eligibility along with the exception form.
  • If the applicant is a spouse or dependent and using Chapter 33 - Transfer of Entitlement or Chapter 35 - DEA, a Certificate of Eligibility would be all that is needed along with the exception form.
  • If the GI Bill is not being used then be sure to secure the required documentation.

Armed Forces Tuition Assistance (TA) Programs and Tuition Top-Up Program

The Armed Forces Tuition Assistance (TA) Programs offer eligible Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reservist members a benefit that pays up to 100% of tuition expenses for voluntary higher education courses taken during off-duty hours in support of professional and personal self-development goals.

In addition to the Armed Forces Tuition Assistance benefits, active-duty service members may also be eligible for the Tuition Top-Up Program, which allows those eligible for Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) and Post 9/11 benefits to receive supplemental funding to pay for tuition and fees not covered by their respective TA program. Please access the following link to lean more - Tuition Assistance - Top Up.

In addition, students may also receive federal financial aid while receiving VA educational benefits provided they meet the eligibility requirements. To apply or receive more information, please access the following link - https://fafsa.ed.gov/

The University of Southern Mississippi offers Tutorial Assistance through university resources. For additional information contact the VA Certifying Official at VAFREEMississippi or by phone:

  • Hattiesburg Campus - 601-264-4629
  • Gulf Park Campus - 228-214-3244

The VA also offers Tutorial Assistance. For additional information please click here.

If you are using FTA and/or SEAP please notify our office by fill out the Notification Form

The Hattiesburg Campus offers a limited library of textbooks that can be loaned out to Military Veterans, Service Members and their Families.

Requirements:

  • You must present your USM Student ID and Military documentation
  • Maintain at least a 2.5 GPA

The proper documentation must be filled out at the time the book is loaned. Email VAFREEMississippi if you have any questions.    

The Consent to Release of Student Information form must be completed and submitted before information can be released to a third party. 

  • Benefits Intake Form (required every semester)
  • VA Parent Letter (only when attending another institution)
  • Military Residency Exception Request Form (non-MS resident)
  • Certificate of Eligibility (not required, but preferred)
  • Authorization and Certification of Entrance or Re-Entrance into Rehabilitation and Certification of Status (28-1905 - Veterans can only obtain this form by contacting their VR&E Counselor.)
  • Joint Services Transcript (JST) - USA, USCG, USMC, and USN (required for compliance)
    Community College of the Air Force Transcript (CCAF)-USAF (required for compliance)
  • Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE)
  • DD-214 (Member 4)

For the most up-to-date information from the university on COVID-19 visit the USM Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response website.

Campus Action Referral and Evaluation System (CARES) (http://www.usm.edu/cares)

USM CARES are a team of campus professionals who respond to reports of concern regarding the academic progress and well-being of students.

HOW CARES CAN HELP?

By using the portal (usm.edu/cares), you enable CARES to proactively respond to concerns about any disruption to a safe and productive living and learning community. We reach out to students quickly and make sure they connect with the resources useful in their situation.  We address issues including (but not limited to) situations of self-harm, family difficulties, stress management, mental health concerns, academic performance problems, addictions, Code of Conduct violations, Title IX issues, Clery Act related issues and/or issues of academic integrity (e.g. plagiarism).

View the Outside Resources that have been gathered for your consideration.

Contact Us

Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families
3503 Morningside Drive
Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map

Email
VAFREEMississippi

Phone
601.264.4629

Contact Us

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

Gulf Park Campus

Campus Map

Email
VAFREEMississippi

Phone
228.214.3244