Q: I am currently receiving the Post 9/11 GI Bill. I am having one of the toughest times with this class that I'm taking at Kansas State University. The bottom line is, there is no chance of me passing this class this semester. What is going to happen in the event that I fail this class? I have heard that I will have to pay back my benefits for that class that I fail; I have also heard that I will no longer be eligible for GI Bill benefits. Which of these is true? Can you please shed some light on this subject? Thank you for your cooperation and understanding,
A: Actually both of what you have heard can be true, up to a point. Let me explain. If you fail as class, what determines whether you have to pay back the tuition/fees depends on why you failed the class. If you want to continue receiving your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, you have to maintain what the VA terms "satisfactory attendance, conduct, and progress". If you don’t meet your school’s standards, in your case failing a class, your certifying official must notify the VA. They. in turn, will stop your benefits until they are sure the cause of your unsatisfactory progress has been corrected.
They also will determine if your program is suitable to your abilities, aptitudes, and interests. The best thing you can do, once you know you failed a class, is contact the VA immediately and explain as much as you can. Being proactive helps, instead of the VA finding out about it first from your certifying official.
As far as your eligibility for GI Bill benefits, you will still have the eligibility; nobody can take that away from you. What can happen though is the VA might suspend any future payments, until they can be assured the reason you failed that class has been corrected. I'm sure you can see their point - they aren't going to keep paying for a class multiple times is it is one you can't pass.
If it is required for graduation, as part of your degree plan, then maybe you'll have to discuss with the VA about changing your degree plan to something not requiring that course. They need to be in on this discussion, because, if you suddenly switch to a different degree plan, they will see you enrolling in classes not in your degree plan on file and they will deny payment to your school for those classes. Always be proactive when dealing with the VA.