VA Educational Benefits

Students attending the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work using Veterans Education Benefits may receive assistance with enrollment certification at the SSW Office of Records and Registration at

All new and returning students interested in using VA Education Benefits must submit the following documentation and forms to the Office of Records and Registration prior to being certified:

*if applicable

Eligible students certified on a per semester basis. Benefits do not automatically roll over from one semester to another. Once registered, students must notify the Office of Records and Registration each semester that they would like to continue to use VA Educational Benefits.

The school is required to notify the Department of Veteran Affairs of any changes in a certified student’s status, which includes decrease in credit level for a semester, academic withdrawal, academic risk and change of address.

Student Health Insurance for VA Students

ALL full-time students (Graduate Level – 9 credit hours or more) are required to have health care coverage

This fee is automatically added to your VA enrollment certification, unless you notify Phyllis Pope or Danielle White at that you would like to opt-out of coverage. Learn more about the Student Healthcare Plan.

Points of Contact for Covered Individuals and Family Members Seeking Assistance with the following:

Academic Counseling: Alex Cosentino-Tich, Academic and Career Advisor, SSW at 

Financial Counseling: Peggy Buerhaus, Counselor, University Student Financial Assistance at 

Disability Counseling: Deborah Levi, Director, Educational Support and Disability Services at disability 

Course Offerings/Completion of Education: Danielle Y. White, Assoc. Dean, Admission and Enrollment and Phyllis Pope, Records and Registration Coordinator, SSW Office of Records and Registration at 

Student-Right-To Know

For any student using Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill or Chapter 31 Voc Rehab benefits, (even if the VA has not yet paid tuition and fees), the University of Maryland Baltimore policy will allow the following:  enrollment, no assessment of late fees or penalties, no requirement to secure additional funding, and access to the same school resources as other students who have paid. 

These students will be required to produce the VA’s Certificate of Eligibility by the first day of class, provide a written request to be certified, and provide any additional information needed to be properly certified with VA.

SSW VA School Certifying Official Contact Information:

Phyllis Pope / Danielle Y. White

(410) 706-6102 (office)

(410) 706-6108 (fax) 

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a variety of informational pamphlets, fact sheets, scholarship details, etc. available to students, click here.


Frequently Asked Questions regarding VA Educational Benefits  

If your question is not answered here, please contact

Where can I find more information about the education benefits available to veterans?
You can visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website,, or contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-888-442-4551 (1-888-GI-Bill-1) and speak with a veteran’s benefits counselor.

What VA Benefit Program should I choose and what is the payment rate?
A comparison of VA education benefit programs and their payment rates can be found at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website:

Before choosing a program, we recommended that you consult with your veteran’s benefits counselor through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

How do I apply for VA education benefits?
After consulting with your veteran’s benefits counselor, apply for benefits online at

If I will be using Chapter 31 benefits (Vocational Rehabilitation program), what guidelines must I follow?
Chapter 31 veterans are evaluated through the Baltimore Regional Veterans Office. Upon completion of the evaluation and determination of eligibility is established, a purchase order, VA Form 28-1905 (Authorization and Certification of Entrance or Re-entrance into Rehabilitation and Certification of Status Form); will be provided to the school and the student. The school can only certify the student for the specific program and dates listed on the VA Form 28-1905. Call the Baltimore Regional Veterans Affairs Office at 1-800-827-1000 for inquiries.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) has not received my VA payment yet. What should I do about my student bill?
Student Financial Services is available to assist with questions about your bill and VA payment. You can contact this office at

How long does it take the VA to submit payment to UMB once I am certified?
The VA takes 6-9 weeks to process your certification once the School of Social Work files it electronically.

Whom do I notify if I add or drop classes?
Email Phyllis Pope or Danielle White at  any time your enrollment status changes.

How can non-residents qualify for in-state status?
Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines are eligible for in-state tuition. If you are an active, full-time member of the Armed Forces, stationed in the state of Maryland, and have the appropriate documentation, you are eligible for in-state tuition charges. The UMB Office of the Registrar determines in-state status. For more information on how in-state status is determined, visit the Office of the Registrar's Residency web pages.

Who will provide me with my book stipend?
The VA will pay you directly for the book stipend and, if applicable, housing allowance.

How will I receive my “kicker” if I am eligible?
The VA will automatically pay the “kicker” funds once they have processed your semester enrollment certification. Contact the VA directly if you have any questions concerning this funding.

Will the VA reimburse me for taking the Social Work Licensing exam?
Yes, the VA offers reimbursement for licensing and certification. For directions on how to request reimbursement, click here.

How many months of VA education benefits do I have remaining?
You must contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-888-442-4551 (1-888-GI-Bill-1) or

Where do I submit my Tuition Assistance forms?
Tuition Assistance forms must be submitted to Student Account Help.

Can I use competency-based education and prior learning to fulfill prerequisite and degree requirements?

UMSSW does not accept competency-based education and prior learning to fulfill social work degree requirements.

How will I know if the SSW approves my enrollment certification?

You will receive an email from Phyllis Pope or Danielle White, via  confirming your certification.

What additional requirements, including training, experience, or examinations, are required to obtain the license, certification, or approval for which the Masters of Social Work degree is designed?

For Training (Field Education)/Experience: Contact the Office of Field Education at

For Examinations/Certifications:

Licensing Exam Prep Services (LEAP) – to help students prepare for the LMSW exam

  • MD & DC Board of Social Work Examiners Requirements Review workshop
  • Annual Job Fair
  • Career Development
    • Resume Review – Alumni Relations
    • Panels – Alumni Relations

Learn more about the SSW Office of Student Services

What can enrolled members of the Armed Forces, including reserve components and National Guard, do if they are called for service while in the MSW program? 

A Leave of Absence is to be used by students who, due to extenuating circumstances, do not plan to enroll for a semester or for registered students who want to drop all courses after the semester has begun.  A leave may be taken from the School at any time during semester, but not in order to preclude current or impending failures. Students may take a leave of absence for up to two regular semesters, after which they must apply for readmission through the Office of Admissions.   

Students should complete the form Request for a Leave of Absence. After the request is submitted, the Office of Records and Registration will either approve or deny the leave request.  Students are financially liable for the semester tuition and fees as outlined in the UMB “Refund Schedule for Withdrawal”. 

Are Transfer Credits accepted towards the MSW degree?

Yes. Under certain circumstances, students may receive a maximum of 30 credits for work completed at a CSWE-accredited graduate school of social work, and for which a grade of at least a “B” was earned. The coursework cannot be more than five years prior to the first registration at UMB. The entire MSW program, including transfer credits and UMB coursework, must be completed within five years. Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits at the University of Maryland School of Social Work to be eligible for the master’s degree.

Students currently or previously enrolled in another accredited master’s-level social work degree program who are seeking admission as transfer students are required to submit the following additional materials:  

A brief written statement describing why they are requesting a transfer   

A copy of their practicum/field work evaluation(s), if applicable;   

One of the recommendations must be from the applicant’s current/former faculty advisor and must address the applicant’s academic standing in the program.   

Under certain circumstances, a student may upon request receive a maximum of 6 transfer (elective) credits for a course in which a grade of “A” or “B” was earned in another discipline, within four years prior to enrollment here; each course will be individually assessed for social work relevancy. Official determination of allowable credit for coursework completed elsewhere will be made at the time of admission. A course that is considered to have content equivalent to the required course, but has only 2 credits, may be accepted for transfer. The student will be exempt from taking that course, but must take the additional credit in the specific sequence. Students transferring courses from a quarterly system must also make up the difference in credits.  

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