38 CFR § 21.7540 - Eligibility for educational assistance.

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§ 21.7540 Eligibility for educational assistance.

(a) Basic eligibility requirements. A reservist must meet the requirements for a secondary school diploma (or an equivalency certificate) before applying for educational assistance. VA will decide whether a reservist met those requirements before applying for educational assistance. If the reservist applies before completing the requirements, VA will disallow the application. A reservist's premature application will not prevent the reservist from establishing eligibility at a later time by applying for educational assistance again after having completed the academic requirements. The Armed Forces will decide whether a reservist has met all the other eligibility criteria needed in order to receive educational assistance pursuant to 10 U.S.C. chapter 1606. To be eligible a reservist:

(1) Shall:

(i) Enlist, reenlist, or extend an enlistment as a Reserve for service in the Selected Reserve so that the total period of obligated service is at least six years from the date of such enlistment, reenlistment, or extension; or

(ii) Be appointed as, or be serving as, a reserve officer and agree to serve in the Selected Reserve for a period of not less than six years in addition to any other period of obligated service in the Selected Reserve to which the person may be subject;

(2) Must complete his or her initial period of active duty for training;

(3) Must be participating satisfactorily in the Selected Reserve;

(4) Must not have elected to have his or her service in the Selected Reserve credited toward establishing eligibility to benefits provided under 38 U.S.C. chapter 30; and

(5) Must have met the requirements for a secondary school diploma (or an equivalency certificate) before applying for educational assistance.

(b) Eligibility requirements for expanded benefits.

(1) A reservist shall be eligible to pursue all types of training described in subpart L of this part regardless of whether he or she has received a baccalaureate degree or equivalent evidence of completion of study if -

(i) After September 30, 1990, he or she takes one of the actions described in paragraph (a)(1)(i) or (a)(1)(ii) of this section;

(ii) The reservist meets the criteria of paragraphs (a)(2) through (a)(4) of this section; and

(iii) The reservist does not have his or her eligibility limited as described in paragraph (c) of this section.

(2) A reservist shall be eligible to pursue all types of training described in subpart L of this part except the training described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section if -

(i) After June 30, 1985, but not after September 30, 1990, he or she takes one of the actions described in paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section;

(ii) The reservist has not received a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent evidence of completion of study;

(iii) The reservist meets all the other eligibility criteria of paragraph (a) of this section; and

(iv) The reservist does not have his or her eligibility limited by paragraph (c) of this section.

(3) The types of training which a reservist described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section may pursue, but which may not be pursued by a reservist described in paragraph (b)(2), are:

(i) A course which is offered by an educational institution which is not an institution of higher learning (to determine if a nursing course is offered by an institution of higher learning, see § 21.7622(f));

(ii) A correspondence course;

(iii) An accredited independent study course leading to a standard college degree. (See § 21.7622(f) concerning enrollment in a nonaccredited independent study course after October 28, 1992);

(iv) An accredited independent study course leading to a certificate that reflects educational attainment from an institution of higher learning. This provision applies to enrollment in an independent study course that begins on or after December 27, 2001. (See § 21.7622(f) concerning enrollment in a nonaccredited independent study course after October 28, 1992);

(v) A refresher, remedial or deficiency course;

(vi) A cooperative course;

(vii) An apprenticeship or other on-job training; and

(viii) A flight course.

(Authority: 10 U.S.C. 16131, 16132, 16136; sec. 705(a)(1), Pub. L. 98-525, 98 Stat. 2565, 2567; 38 U.S.C. 3680A)

(c) Limitations on establishing eligibility.

(1) An individual must elect in writing whether he or she wishes service in the Selected Reserve to be credited towards establishing eligibility under 38 U.S.C. chapter 30 or under 10 U.S.C. chapter 1606 when:

(i) The individual is a reservist who is eligible for basic educational assistance provided under 38 U.S.C. 3012, and has established eligibility to that assistance partially through service in the Selected Reserve; or

(ii) The individual is a member of the National Guard or Air National Guard who has established eligibility for basic educational assistance provided under 38 U.S.C. 3012 through activation under a provision of law other than 32 U.S.C. 316, 502, 503, 504, or 505 followed by service in the Selected Reserve.

(2) An election under this paragraph (c) to have Selected Reserve service credited towards eligibility for payment of educational assistance under 38 U.S.C. chapter 30 or under 10 U.S.C. chapter 1606 is irrevocable when the reservist either negotiates the first check or receives the first payment by electronic funds transfer of the educational assistance elected.

(3) If a reservist is eligible to receive educational assistance under both 38 U.S.C. chapter 30 and 10 U.S.C. chapter 1606, he or she may receive educational assistance alternately or consecutively under each of these chapters to the extent that the educational assistance is based on service not irrevocably credited to one or the other chapter as provided in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section.

(d) Dual eligibility. An individual who has established eligibility for basic educational assistance under 38 U.S.C. chapter 30 solely through service on active duty may establish eligibility for educational assistance under 10 U.S.C. chapter 1606 by meeting the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section.

(Authority: 10 U.S.C. 16132(d), 16134)
(The information collection requirements in this section have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 2900-0594)
[53 FR 34740, Sept. 8, 1988, as amended at 56 FR 9628, Mar. 7, 1991; 57 FR 57106, Dec. 3, 1992; 61 FR 20729, May 8, 1996; 61 FR 29301, June 10, 1996; 63 FR 45718, Aug. 27, 1998; 68 FR 59731, Oct. 17, 2003; 71 FR 1497, Jan. 10, 2006]