38 CFR 21.4256 - Correspondence programs and courses.
(a) Approval of correspondence programs and courses.
(1) An educational institution desiring to enroll veterans under 38 U.S.C. chapter 30 or 32, spouses and/or surviving spouses under 38 U.S.C. chapter 35, and/or reservists under 10 U.S.C. chapter 1606 in a program of education to be pursued exclusively by correspondence, or in the correspondence portion of a combination correspondence-residence course, may have the program or course approved only when the educational institution meets the requirements of §§ 21.4252(e), 21.4253, and 21.4279, as applicable.
(2) The application of an educational institution for approval of a program of education to be pursued exclusively by correspondence or the correspondence portion of a combined correspondence-residence course must demonstrate that the program or course is satisfactory in all elements. The educational institution must certify to the State approving agency that at least 50 percent of those pursuing the program or course require six months or more to complete it. For applications for approval that are pending approval by the State approving agency on February 2, 1995, and for applications received by the State approving agency after that date, the required certification shall be based on the experience of students who completed the program or course during the six-month period immediately preceding the educational institution's application for approval.
(3) State approving agencies have the authority to review periodically the length of time needed to complete each approved correspondence program or approved correspondence-residence course in order to determine whether the program or course should continue to be approved. In implementing this authority, a State approving agency will examine the results over a prior two-year period reasonably related to the date on which such a review is conducted.
(b) Enrollment agreement.
(1) An educational institution offering a program of education to be pursued exclusively by correspondence must enter into an enrollment agreement with the veteran, spouse, surviving spouse, or reservist who wishes to receive educational assistance from VA while pursuing the program. The enrollment agreement shall disclose fully the obligations of the institution and the veteran, spouse, surviving spouse, or reservist, and shall display in a prominent place on the agreement the conditions for affirmance, termination, refund, and payment of the educational assistance by VA.
(2) A copy of the agreement shall be given to the veteran, spouse, surviving spouse, or reservist when it is signed.
(3) The agreement shall not be effective unless the veteran, spouse, surviving spouse, or reservist after the expiration of 10 days after the agreement is signed, shall have signed and submitted to VA a written statement, with a signed copy to the institution, specifically affirming the agreement.
(c) Mandatory refund policy.
(1) Upon notification of the educational institution by the veteran, spouse, surviving spouse, or reservist of an intention not to affirm the enrollment agreement, any fees paid by the individual shall be returned promptly in full to him or her.
(2) Upon termination of enrollment under an affirmed enrollment agreement for training in the accredited course by the veteran, spouse, surviving spouse, or reservist, without having completed any lessons, a registration fee not in excess of 10 percent of the tuition for the course or $50, whichever is less, may be charged him or her. When the individual terminates the agreement after completion of less than 25 percent of the lessons of the course, the institution may retain the registration fee plus 25 percent of the tuition. When the individual terminates the agreement after completing 25 percent but less than 50 percent of the lessons, the institution may retain the registration fee plus 50 percent of the tuition for the course. If 50 percent or more of the lessons are completed, no refund of tuition is required.
(3) Where the school either has or adopts an established policy for the refund of the unused portion of tuition, fees, and other charges subject to proration, which is more favorable to the veteran, spouse, surviving spouse, or reservist than the pro rata basis as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, such established policy will be applicable.
(4) Any institution that fails to forward any refund due to the veteran, spouse, surviving spouse, or reservist within 40 days after receipt of a notice of termination or disaffirmance, shall be deemed, prima facie, to have failed to make a prompt refund as required by this section.