The University of Otago accepts students who are eligible for the GI Bill US Veterans Affairs education benefits.
- Check that your intended degree at the University of Otago is approved by VA, you can do this before you have received an offer of place at Otago.
- The US Department of Veterans Affairs will pay eligible student education benefits for approved programmes of study only.
- The University of Otago will not act as a guarantor to confirm Veterans Affairs funding tuition and fees to be paid at a later stage.
- The amount you receive might not cover your entire tuition fee. If the benefits you qualify for are insufficient to meet your expected costs, then you can apply for Direct Loans or a Sallie Mae private loan.
- The VA cannot award benefits for distance learning or independent study courses at the University of Otago. All students must be in residence (on campus) and all courses must be attended in person in a formal classroom setting (taught programs). This does not pertain to Research programmes as they are considered in-residence programs.
How to apply for a Veterans Affairs education benefit
Follow the steps below. You can start some of the steps before you have received your offer of place from the University of Otago.
1. Check that your intended degree at the University of Otago is approved by the VA
You can check whether your degree is approved by entering the following details in the Department of Veterans Affairs portal:
- Institution name: University of Otago
- Program type: Institution of Higher Learning
- Yellow Ribbon school: Leave this field blank.
- Country: New Zealand
If your degree is not yet approved, email us as soon as possible.
The degree approval process may take up to 12 months, so apply as early as possible.
If your programme is approved already, or we have since received approval, please follow the next steps:
2. Apply online for VA education benefits
You can check whether you qualify and apply for the Veterans Affairs education benefit by following the instructions on the US Department of Veterans Affairs website:
The University of Otago VA faculty code is 1-1-200399.
3. Provide confirmation to the University of Otago
The US Department of Veterans Affairs will issue you with a Statement of Benefits or Certificate of Eligibility. Email a copy of this certificate to us:
4. Enrolment certification
Once we have all the information we required, we will certify your Veteran Affairs funding within 30 days of the beginning of the semester.
For 100 per cent eligible students, use the Post-9/11 GI Bill Statement tool on the Veterans Affairs website to find out what funding amount you have available for education.
You need to be mindful of how the current exchange rate fluctuation may affect funds received. Veterans Affairs Benefits are certified in New Zealand Dollars (NZD) and disbursed in United States Dollars (USD).
Your tuition fee payment is sent directly from VA to the University of Otago via Western Union.
The University only accepts payment in NZD. Any payments will be converted from USD to NZD using the effective exchange rate on the day of delivery.
Revisions cannot be made to reflect any changes in the currency exchange rate. Neither the University nor the US Department of Veterans Affairs can lock exchange rates.
Financial Aid Administrator
Ground Floor, Clocktower Building
90 Union Place East
We recommend that you contact us to make an appointment so that we can ensure the Administrator will be available to see you.