Military and Veteran Services

Color guard at undergrad commencement holding flags in front of Edgerly
Logo for Military Friendly Silver 2023-24

We are excited to welcome you to Fitchburg State University and appreciate your service to our nation. Managing your educational, military and personal responsibilities can be a challenge. We strive to provide the services and support necessary to achieve both your academic and social goals.

Prospective and current students looking for further information regarding veteran related education benefits are encouraged to contact us.

Veteran Resources

Benefits questions? Contact our Veteran Certifying Official, Jennifer Jimenez at 978.665.3139 or jjimene5@planetballroomonline.com.

Veterans Center

  • Lounge and Study Space
  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • Keurig
  • Water Cooler
  • TV
  • Computers
  • Workspace

Programs

  • Veterans Fair
  • Veterans Day Celebration
  • Virtual Lounges
  • Veteran Socials

Services/Resources

Military Transcripts and Transfer Credit Information

VALOR Act Academic Credit Evaluation Policy

In accordance with the VALOR Act, students may have their military experience, coursework or training reviewed to determine whether their training or actual job duties are commensurate with the content of courses offered at Fitchburg State University. Fitchburg State uses multiple methods for evaluating military occupation, training, experience and coursework for academic credit, including the ACE Guide to the evaluation of education experiences, CLEP and DANTES (DSST). All military transcripts are reviewed for transferability of credit in accordance with our university-wide policy. A maximum of 75 military credits can be applied to a degree at Fitchburg State. Students are aware of the VALOR Act credit evaluation policy through our website and university catalog.

Any questions related to the transfer of military credits can be directed to the Registrar, Barbara Cormier, at 978.665.4342.

All Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy: Active Duty, Reserve and Veterans transcripts are now requested via the Joint Services Transcript website.

Military Transcripts are reviewed by the Registrar in order to determine the appropriate transfer of credits. ACE credit recommendations are used in this review.

Students entering Fitchburg State University with college level training or experience can be tested on college course material to earn credit toward their degree. The Fitchburg State University examination program is especially valuable for individuals who have had learning experiences outside the college classroom (employment experience, life experience, independent study, etc.) which may come to bear upon their formal academic training.

On the CLEP exams, Fitchburg State University adheres to the standards established by the American Council on Education granting credit for tests on which a score of 50 has been achieved. This credit is awarded only to students enrolled in degree programs at Fitchburg State University.

The nearest CLEP and DSST exam site is at the testing center of Mount Wachusett Community College (978.630.9244).

For more information, refer to the list of CLEP exams and their Fitchburg State course equivalents (PDF).

If you have questions about transferring To Fitchburg State, contact Transfer Admissions.

Policies

Student veterans enrolled in our daytime undergraduate programs receive priority enrollment. While registration time tickets are grouped by number of credits earned, veterans are able to register 24 hours prior to students with similar credits earned. Please note that priority enrollment cannot begin before the first day of registration for each term.

Under S2248 PL 115-407 Section 103, Fitchburg State University will not impose a late fee, denial of access to facilities, or other penalty against a veteran or eligible dependent due to a late payment of tuition and/or fees from the VA up to the certified benefits amount. Any portion of the student bill not covered by VA benefits is still expected to be settled by the due date.

As amended, 38 U.S.C. 3679(c) requires that the following individuals be charged the in-state resident rate:

  • A veteran using educational assistance under either Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill® – Active Duty Program), Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation) or Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 G Bill), of 38 U.S.C. who lives in the state in which the institution is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence).
  • Anyone using Chapter 35 (Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program) benefits who lives in the state in which the institution is located (regardless of their formal state of residence).
  • Anyone using transferred Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits (38 U.S.C. § 3319) who lives in the state in which the institution is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence).
  • Anyone described above while he or she remains continuously enrolled (other than during regularly scheduled breaks between courses, semesters, or terms) at the same institution. The person must be using educational benefits under Chapter 30, Chapter 31 or Chapter 33 of 38 U.S.C.
  • Anyone using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (38 U.S.C. § 3311(b)(9)) who lives in the state in which the institution is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence).

No staff member in the Fitchburg State University Office of Admissions involved in the recruitment of military service members will receive any additional compensation or commission for the enrollment of any such applicant.

In addition, any attempts to make unsolicited contact with a military service member will not exceed three attempts to contact by either phone or electronically. All electronic communication (email) will include a link to allow the recipient to opt-out of future communication. If contact is made with a service member that notifies the Fitchburg State Office of Admissions via phone, email, or other communication that they do not wish to be contacted, that person’s record will be updated to reflect they have opted out of future communication. Based upon this action, all communication will cease immediately with the service member. This will remain in effect until such a time that the party otherwise indicates they wish to communicate with Fitchburg State University for the purpose of enrollment.

Quick Access Veteran and Military Resources

  • Mental Health Resources - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers a number of programs to help those experiencing difficult life events or challenges after leaving the military. 
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline - The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides service for veterans in crisis. Contact them at 1-800.273.8255 or online at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
  • SAVE Program - the SAVE program assists veterans in need of referrals to services and seeks to prevent suicide and advocate on behalf of Massachusetts' veterans. Contact them at 617.210.5755 or 1.888.844.2838 or online at www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-veterans-services.
  • Vet Centers - Provides readjustment services in a caring manner, and assisting veterans and their family members toward a successful post-war adjustment in or near their respective communities. Contact them at 1.877.927.8387 or visit them online at  www.vetcenter.va.gov.
  • Veterans Inc. - Helps veterans to regain self-sufficiency through supportive services such as; housing, employment and training, case management, food security, health and wellness, family support programs, women, and child care services. Contact them at 413.582.3059 or online at www.veteransinc.org.    
  • VA health care - Veterans can learn about their health care benefits. Contact them at 1.877.222.8387 or online at www.va.gov/health-care.
  • VA education and training benefits - For information, contact 1.800.827.1000 or visit www.va.gov/education.
  • Military.com - Provides a variety of services, support, and information related to veteran jobs, spouse and family, VA loan benefits, military pay, etc. Go to www.Military.com to learn more.
  • Hire Heroes USA - Provides services and support related to helping veterans and military spouses get hired. Contact 1.844.634.1520 or visit www.hireheroesusa.org to learn more.
  • Veteran Care Guide - This guide helps veterans, their surviving spouses, and dependents determine their Financial and Clinical Eligibility requirements for VA Benefits. Additionally, it explains how to apply for benefits and it also covers the various veteran care options.

First Time Using Benefits

Chapters 30, 33, 1606, 1607

Once accepted into a degree program you will need to provide the Registrar’s Office with a Member-4 copy of your DD-214 and/or a copy of your Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE) in order for the University to begin your enrollment confirmations with the VA. Once received you must follow the steps below. The Registrar’s Office will thereafter check your enrollment status each semester and certify enrollment with the VA in Buffalo when applicable.

If you have never used your GI Bill® benefits

Once accepted into a degree program you will need to provide the Registrar’s Office with a copy of the Certificate of Eligibility mailed to you by the VA which signifies the student’s eligibility to use CH 35 benefits (to receive this certificate if you have never used CH 35 benefits before follow the below instructions). The Registrar’s Office will thereafter check your enrollment status each semester and certify enrollment with the VA in Buffalo when applicable.

If you have never used Chapter 35 benefits

Complete the Application for Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (form 22-5490) online.

If you are a new student and have questions, connect with our admissions team

Additional Educational Benefits

Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (Chapter 30)

Chapter 30 is available for those who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. Under Chapter 30, Active Duty members enroll and pay $100 per month for 12 months and are then entitled to receive a monthly education benefit once they have completed a minimum service obligation. The monthly benefit paid directly to the student is based on the type of training you take, length of your service, your category and participation in “kicker” funding. Chapter 30 does not pay for cost of attendance or a book stipend. If you exhaust all 36 months of the Montgomery GI Bill you may be eligible for 12 months of the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Chapter 31)

Chapter 31 is available to full and part-time veterans who have at least 20% disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). A veteran who is eligible for an evaluation under Chapter 31 must first apply for services and receive an appointment with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC). Educational benefits include payment for tuition, fees and a monthly stipend.

Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)

The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides educational benefits to many veterans who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The percentage of tuition and fees is paid directly to the school and is based on your time on active duty (this does not include housing and meal plan / food or waivable fees except health insurance). It also includes a monthly housing stipend to those enrolled more than half-time and an annual books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000 all of which is paid directly to the student. This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits.

Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35)

Chapter 35 provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of a veteran who has died or is permanently disabled as a result of a service related injury. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits.

Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606)

The Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard.

To be eligible for a Categorical Tuition Waiver, a student must:

  • Be a permanent legal resident of Massachusetts for at least one year prior to the opening of the academic year.
  • Be a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • Be able to provide a member 4 copy of your DD-214 indicating last discharge or release was under honorable conditions.
  • Not be in default of any federal or state loan or owe a refund on any previously received financial aid.
  • In accordance with institutional requirements, each student must present documentation of categorical waiver eligibility to the appropriate college officials. This form can be obtained in the Student Accounts Office located in the Anthony Building.
  • Enroll in at least three undergraduate credits per semester in state supported undergraduate degree or certificate program.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress in accordance with federal and institutional standards.

More information is available on the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education website.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be an active member of the Massachusetts National Guard in good standing
  • Has not exceeded the 130 semester credit hours maximum when combined with Certificate of Eligibility (100% tuition waiver), prior to September 1, 2006

Procedure

  • You will receive an automated email back to your AKO email account once your request has been approved. At that time, please log back into Military Records Online to print your Certificate of Eligibility. Please provide this certificate to the Registrar's Office. A new certificate must be requested and provided each semester.

For more information, please visit the Massachusetts National Guard website.

If you have previously used your Chapter 35 benefits at another institution

Complete the Change of Program or Place of Training Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (form 22-5495) online.

Who to Contact

Jennifer Jimenez, Veteran Certifying Officer and liaison with the Regional Processing Office in Buffalo, NY Registrar's Office at jjimene5@planetballroomonline.com 978.665.3139, Anthony Building, Room 110

  • If you need assistance with filing for Veteran Benefits and/or need to certify your enrollment with the Department of Veteran Affairs for VA education benefits.
Portrait of student Christopher Shaddock

Undergrad and Grad Students

Scott Fournier in Admissions
sfourni8@planetballroomonline.com, 978.665.3148, Anthony 106A

  • Undergraduate students who have questions about the application and onboarding process or admissions requirements

Peter August in the School of Graduate, Online, and Continuing Education (SGOCE) paugust@planetballroomonline.com, 978.665.3860, Anthony Building

  • Graduate and Continuing Education students who have questions about onboarding or the admission process
Students and staff talking in Veterans Center

Current Students

Monica Siart in Student Accounts
msiart1@planetballroomonline.com, Anthony 108

  • Any questions about your student account or financial aid

Shanna Sallah in Student Affairs
ssallah@planetballroomonline.com

  • Current students who want to learn more about veteran services, the veteran center, and student life