Certificate of Understanding (COU) - Chapter 31 Only

VA Vocational Rehabilitation (865) 692-0711
ETSU Main Campus (423) 439-1000     ETSU OVA (423) 439-6819     Fax (423) 439-6604
  1. I understand that I must comply with ETSU and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) policies.
  2. I understand it takes approximately six (6) to eight (8) weeks for the DVA to process initial certifications. If I have questions about the status of my certification, I should call the VA Regional Office in Nashville at 1-800-827-1000.
  3. I have been advised that questions regarding the amount of entitlement should be directed to the DVA.
  4. I have received a copy of the DVA Summary of Vocational Rehabilitation pamphlet.
  1. I understand that application for benefits does not constitute admission to the University.
  2. I understand that ETSU does not guarantee a tuition deferment plan for veterans and that I am responsible for paying all tuition and fees to the University, even if I have not received any payments.

I understand that upon completion of registration, I must submit an Enrollment Certification Request Form (ECRF) to the OVA. I will not be certified until I have submitted the ECRF and any other documentation required to certify my courses in accordance with DVA regulations.

Unsatisfactory Progress
  1. I understand that courses repeated as part of the 'Fresh Start' program may not qualify for DVA benefits.
  2. I understand that if placed on academic suspension, VA Vocational Rehabilitation benefits will be terminated for the duration of the suspension.
Attendence Policy
  1. I understand that I must attend the courses for which I enroll.
  2. I understand that receipt of a 'FN' grade requires repayment of funds.
Degree Pursuit
  1. I understand I will receive benefits only for those courses that apply to my degree and are certified by the OVA. The OVA will not intentionally certify courses that are not part of my declared program of study.
  2. I understand that DVA benefits cannot be paid for repeat courses for which I have already received a passing grade. Payment for such a course results in overpayment.
  3. The OVA may terminate or adjust previous certifications, even if I have successfully completed the course.
Developmental Courses
  1. I know that I can be certified only for developmental/remedial courses that are required by the University.
  2. Per DVA regulations, remedial/developmental courses taught on-line may not be certified for DVA payment. Remedial/developmental courses must be taught as conventional resident courses (in the classroom) in order to be certified to DVA.
  3. I understand that a Developmental Studies (DSP) suspension results in suspension of my DVA educational benefits.
Prior Credit
  1. It is my responsibility to request and have submitted to the ETSU Admissions Office official transcripts for institutions previously attended. This includes credit for college courses; tests scores from CLEP, DANTES, and similar examinations; my DD-214 or DD-295/AARTS transcript, if I am active duty. Failure to submit will result in the termination of my benefits.
  2. I understand that if I have completed basic training I will not be certified for Hlth & PE/Recreation courses, until a transfer credit evaluation is completed.
  3. I realize that once I have received a written evaluation of transfer credit from the Office of Admissions, I must meet with my advisor and complete a Prior Credit (PC) Evaluation.
  1. I realize that I will be paid for breaks between academic terms, unless i request otherwise, if the break does not involve the passage of a calendar month and:
    1. Prior to the start of the break, I was enrolled in the previous term for at least one half time.
    2. I am enrolled at least half time for the following term.
    3. I do not change place of training.
  2. I understand that if I accept break payment and do not enroll for the following term, it will create an overpayment.
Changing Curriculum
  1. If I decide to change any part of my program of study (major, minor, or cognate), I must seek approval from my VA Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and notify the OVA.
  2. I must submit a new PC within two (2) terms of a change in major.
Training Time
  1. If I decide to change any part of my program of study (major, minor, or cognate), I must seek approval from my VA Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and notify the OVAI understand that a VA Vocational Rehabilitation (CH 31) student must be enrolled in at least halftime (1/2) training to receive the monthly living stipend.
  2. I understand that any reduction in training time after the drop/add period creates an overpayment and generates a reduction or termination of my monthly stipend.
Non-Punitive Grades
  1. A non-punitive grade, i.e., AU(Audit), FN(Failure for Non-attendance), W (Withdrawal), is defined as any grade, which does not count toward the GPA.
  2. I understand that receipt of a non-punitive grade results in overpayment.
  3. Overpayments may be waived, if I submit evidence of mitigating circumstances that explain why I could not complete a course in which I receive a grade of 'W'.
  1. I understand that if overpaid, DVA will notify me of the overpayment and acceptable appeal procedures.
  2. I understand that I may be assessed interest and administrative collection cost on outstanding debts.
  3. Examples of actions which may result in overpayments are:
    1. Withdrawing from a course
    2. Receiving a grade that does not count towards graduation
    3. Repeating and accepting DVA payment for a course in which you have already received a passing grade
    4. Receiving a FN grade in violation of the attendance policy
  4. I understand that the DVA may collect an overpayment out of future educational benefit checks.
Keeping the OVA Informed
  1. I understand that I must notify the OVA of changes in my enrollment within five (5) working days. The OVA will notify the DVA, and my benefits may be adjusted or terminated.
  2. I understand that I am responsible for resolution of overpayments with DVA.
  3. In addition to the information above, I have been informed that, in accordance with guidelines set forth by the DVA, it is my express responsibility to keep the OVA informed of change(s) in my dependent/family status, address, phone number, and/or enrollment and PC status. I understand that any failure, on my part, to observe ETSU and DVA policies could result in overpayment for which I agree to hold ETSU harmless should I be required to repay entitlements as the result of my own intentional and/or negligent actions.
NOTE: The ETSU Office of Veterans Affairs is not part of the US Department of Veterans Affairs. It is a department of East Tennessee State University (ETSU) under the direction of the Office of the Registrar.


Student ID Number


VA File Number
The above signature indicates that you have read and understand this Certificate of Understanding; and that one will remain in your VA file at ETSUs OVA.

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