§ 21.7120Courses included in programs of education.
(a)General. Generally, VA will approve, and will authorize payment of educational assistance, for the individual's enrollment in any course or subject which a State approving agency has approved as provided in § 21.7220 of this part and which forms a part of a program of education as defined in § 21.7020(b)(23) of this part. Restrictions on this general rule are stated in § 21.7222(b) of this part, however.
(b)Avocational and recreational courses are restricted.
(1) VA will not pay educational assistance for an enrollment in any course—
(i) Which is avocational or recreational in character, or
(ii) The advertising for which contains significant avocational or recreational themes.
(2) VA presumes that the following courses are avocational or recreational in character unless the veteran or servicemember justifies their pursuit to VA as provided in paragraph (b)(3) of this section. The courses are:
(i) Any photography course or entertainment course, or
(ii) Any music course, instrumental or vocal, public speaking course or courses in dancing, sports or athletics, such as horseback riding, swimming, fishing, skiing, golf, baseball, tennis, bowling, sports officiating, or other sport or athletic courses, except courses of applied music, physical education, or public speaking which are offered by institutions of higher learning for credit as an integral part of a program leading to an educational objective, or
(iii) Any other type of course which VA determines to be avocational or recreational.
(3) To overcome the presumption that a course is avocational or recreational in character, the veteran or servicemember must establish that the course will be of bona fide use in the pursuit of his or her present or contemplated business or occupation.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, effective October 29, 1992, VA may pay educational assistance to a veteran or servicemember who is enrolled in a nonaccredited course or unit subject offered entirely or partly by independent study only if—
(i) Successful completion of the nonaccredited course or unit subject is required in order for the veteran or servicemember to complete his or her program of education,
(ii) On October 29, 1992, the veteran or servicemember was receiving educational assistance for pursuit of the program of education of which the nonaccredited independent study course or unit subject forms a part, and
(iii) The veteran or servicemember has remained continuously enrolled in the program of education of which the nonaccredited independent study course or unit subject forms a part from October 29, 1992, to the date of enrollment by the veteran or servicemember in the nonaccredited independent study course or unit subject.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (d)(1) of this section, VA may pay educational assistance to a veteran or servicemember for enrollment in a course or unit subject offered by independent study which, though part of an approved program of education, is not required in order for the veteran or servicemember to complete the program of education (i.e., an elective) when—
(i) The veteran or servicemember was enrolled in and receiving educational assistance for the course or unit subject on October 29, 1992, and
(ii) The veteran or servicemember remains continuously enrolled in the course or unit subject.
(3) Whether or not the veteran or servicemember is enrolled will be determined by the regularly prescribed standards and practices of the educational institution offering the course or unit subject.