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.

Empire State University 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 more information, visit Veterans Benefits.

If you have questions about using Veterans Education Benefits at Empire State University, 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®. GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). Learn more about education benefits offered by the VA on the official U.S. government website:  

Also refer to information regarding Chapter 31 Benefits.

Sometimes federal and state aid do not fully cover your educational expenses with ] Empire State University. If you find that you still owe a balance after financial aid has been determined, you can 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% entitlement, paid directly to the school, which will be automatically initiated upon receipt of your certificate of eligibility (COE).

All students can enroll in the university's Time Payment Plan found on MySUNYEmpire 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 University
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. 

Service members 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 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

Additional information about grants, scholarships, and loan programs is available on the HESC website. The MERIT Scholarship is often of interest to military-affiliated students.  

Studying Abroad

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

To study at schools with a main campus in the U.S., your benefit is 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: Empire State University is classified as a distance learning institution, regardless of the course-delivery format, by the Veterans Administration. The SUNY Empire effective MHA (monthly housing allowance) amount is based on full-time enrollment (12 credits) and 100% entitlement of the Post-9/11 GI Bill®. This is half the national average BAH (basic allowance for housing) rate.

For more information:

More Information