Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) sent an announcement to institutions regarding updates to the 85/15 rule reporting requirements. However, it appears that some colleges and universities did not receive the message due to email delivery system issues.
The announcement provides additional flexibilities and addresses some areas of concern regarding the recent 85/15 reset. Institutions will now have until July 1 to apply for the 35 percent exception and submit their 85/15 calculations. The VA also plans to review its guidance and provide additional training resources for institutions, including drafting a Frequently Asked Questions document with specific campus examples.
Additionally, the agency announced that it will permit schools to submit their 85/15 calculations using their own excel spreadsheet with some requirements, as opposed to the VA’s current cumbersome PDF application form.
See the full announcement below for additional information.
School Certifying Officials for Accredited Institutions of Higher Learning,
We have heard your feedback on areas of concern regarding your responsibilities to report under the 85/15 Rule requirements. We are providing the guidance below to address those concerns.
VA will provide additional training and publish additional guidance on the GI Bill website and in the School Certifying Official Handbook. This includes the following steps:
- We will review all current training products on these topics to ensure they are up to date and that there are multiple examples and FAQs.
- Additional training will be delivered through live training sessions that will also be recorded for later viewing or reference.
- We will review VA websites to ensure consistency with outward facing information on 85/15 and to update with any new or revised materials.
- We will develop more detailed scenario examples to further clarify the appropriate classification of supported versus non-supported students. Emphasis will be placed on the classification of students in receipt of institution aid (e.g., scholarship, grants, loans, tuition waivers) where the institutional policy for determining the recipients of such aid is equal with respect to Veterans and non-Veterans alike.
VA provides the following information to help you as you complete and submit the required forms:
1. VA Form 22-10215
- Complete questions 1-3 and 5-8.
- VA will accept an attached spreadsheet with the same element headers and calculations as listed on the 22-10215 (created with a program like Excel), saved as a PDF, and including on each page of the document (1) the signature of the individual who will be signing the VA Form 22-10215 and (2) a date stamp.
- For question 4, you may insert, on the first line of question 4 under “Program Name” the following: “Please see the attached signed and date stamped PDF spreadsheet.”
- You can submit the form and additional documents to VA through the already established methods.
- VA will accept the form and additional documents from Accredited Institutions of Higher Learning through June 30, 2022.
- Schools would also be expected to report 85/15 calculations within 30 days of the end of a calendar quarter (July 30) or the beginning of a term for fall (Aug 30), unless they qualify for a 35% reporting exemption. The 35% reporting exemption will be determined by the submission of VA Form 22-10216 (See Below).
1. VA Form 22-10216
- Apply for a 35% exemption of the reporting requirement if the total number of VA beneficiaries is less than or equal to 35% of the total student enrollment.
- Submit VA Form 22-10216 along with a completed VA Form 22-10215 and associated attachments to apply for the exemption and should be submitted to VA on or before June 30, 2022.
- The exemption is valid for 24 months. If there is reason to believe that the enrollment of Veterans and eligible persons in the programs exceeds 85% of total student enrollment in the course, the reporting exemption can be revoked.
Thank you for your time and attention. Please contact the designated VA Education Liaison Representative (ELR) for your locale or the SCO Hotline at 1-855-225-1159, if you have any questions.