VA - Course and Degree Approval

Students may only receive VA Educational Benefits if they are pursuing a program approved by the State Approving Agency (SAA) for the VA.  The course descriptions below give more information about what is covered by VA Educational Assistance.  If you have questions regarding course and degree approval, please contact James Beel in the Financial Aid Office.

Course Descriptions

  • Developmental/remedial courses: Per VA and State Approving Agency regulations, remedial and developmental courses must be taught as conventional resident courses (in the classroom) for payment of educational assistance (§21.4265, 4267; and THEC/State Approving Agency).

  • Audit courses: VA shall not pay educational assistance for an enrollment in an audited course (§21.4252).  The school’s certification shall exclude courses which are being audited by the veteran or eligible persons since no educational assistance allowances shall be paid for such courses (38 U.S.C. 3680(a)). 

  • Repeat courses:  Previously passed courses, including those dropped under the CARE or Fresh Start Policy programs; do not qualify for VA educational assistance (VA School Certifying Handbook, 2003).   

  • Electives:  VA will not pay educational assistance for an enrollment in any course which is not part of the program of education; unless required refresher courses, deficiency courses, or other preparatory courses necessary to pursue an approved program of education.  (38 U.S.C. 3002(3), 3034, and 3452(b); Pub. L. 98-525)

NOTE: A course of education, including the class schedules of a resident course not leading to a standard college degree, offered by a school must be approved by the State Approving Agency for the state in which the school is located, or by the State Approving Agency which has appropriate approval authority, or, where appropriate, by the Department of Veterans Affairs (38 U.S.C. 3672)

The State Approving Agency, upon determining that a school has complied with all the requirements for approval will notify the school by letter setting forth the courses which have been approved, and will furnish to the Department of Veterans Affairs an official copy of the letter and attachments and any subsequent amendments.  The letter of approval for each school will be accompanied by a copy of the catalog or bulletin of the school, as approved by the State Approving Agency (§21.4258).