Tuition Benefits for Veteran and Military Students

Tuition benefits are available at both the state and federal level. The benefits vary based on whether you are a veteran or on active duty.

Review SUNY Empire State College tuition and fees for veteran and active-duty undergraduate and graduate students.

NYS Veterans Tuition Awards (VTA) are awards for full-time study and part-time study for eligible veterans matriculated at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution, or in an approved vocational training program in New York state.

For further information, please go to Veterans Benefits.

If you have questions about using Veterans Education Benefits at SUNY Empire State College, please contact the Office of the Registrar at

Please see our Quick Guide, Understanding the Post 9-11 GI Bill, to find out whether you qualify for benefits under the new GI Bill.

Also refer to information regarding Chapter 31 Benefits.

Sometimes federal and state aid do not fully cover your educational expenses with Empire State College. If you find that after financial aid has been determined you still owe a balance, you may pay the remaining balance in full or through a payment plan.

Tuition deferrals are for veterans using Chapter 31 or Chapter 33 benefits and have 100 percent entitlement, paid directly to the school, which will be automatically initiated upon receipt of the student's certificate of eligibility (COE).

Veteran students who are eligible for and using chapter benefits other than 31 and 33 may sign up for a fee-free payment plan that allows eligible veterans to defer payment until the third and fourth months of the term, at which time one half of the veteran’s deferral will be due by the first of the month. To sign up, please complete and submit the Veteran Request for Deferral of Payment (PDF 66kB) form online by navigating to MyESC and clicking "Forms" > "Veteran's Request for Deferral".  (Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download and view the file. If Acrobat Reader is not installed on your computer, you can download it from the Adobe site. If you are still unable to view the file, please contact us at or call 800-847-3000, ext. 2779.)

All other students may enroll in the college's Time Payment Plan found on MyESC under "My Records".

If you are applying for federal tuition assistance (TA), provide a copy of your approved TA document to the student accounts office as soon as you receive it at:

Student Accounts
Empire State College
111 West Avenue
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Phone: 800-847-3000, ext. 2285 | Fax: 518-581-2782

Active Duty Students

Active duty students receiving TA and using "Top Up" must send an approved copy of their TA document to the Buffalo Regional Processing Office immediately upon receipt. 

Servicemembers who have never used MGIB benefits must complete VA Form 22-1990 (indicate "Top-Up" on the VA application in item 1A under the MGIB-Active Duty block), and have the form certified by a Military Education Counselor. A fully signed TA Authorization Voucher with the words "TOP-UP" printed in the top margin and the VA Form 22-1990 must be sent directly to the Regional VA processing center.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Buffalo Regional Office
130 S. Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202-2478
Phone: 800-827-1000 / Fax: 716-857-3396

New York State Higher Education Services Corporation

Students needing additional information on grants, scholarships and loan programs should visit the HESC website.  Scholarships like the MERIT Scholarship would be of interest to military affiliated students.  

Studying Abroad

Students who may be planning to study abroad should be aware of the VA’s rules regarding payment of study abroad charges.

For studying at schools with a main campus in the U.S., your benefit would be as follows:

  • Established charges: You are eligible for the full tuition and fees paid by an in-state student at the main campus of the school's stateside location for a public IHL or the lesser of the annual maximum rate or the actual cost of tuition and fees for a private IHL.
  • Housing allowance: SUNY Empire State College has been classified as a distance learning institution, regardless of the course delivery format, by the Veterans Administration. The ESC effective MHA (monthly housing allowance). This amount is based on full-time enrollment (12 credits) and 100 percent entitlement of the Post-9/11 GI Bill; this is half the national average BAH (basic allowance for housing) rate.

For more information:

For More Details

See the frequently asked questions pages:


We’re here to help.

SUNY Empire’s Veteran and Military Education staff is ready to work with you to make earning your degree possible and affordable.