Veterans Services

Who is a veteran?

A veteran is a former member of the Armed Forces of the United States (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) who served on active duty and was discharged under conditions, which were other than dishonorable. There is no minimum number of days a student must have served on active duty to be considered a veteran.

However, periods of active duty for training, pursuant to an enlistment in the National Guard or Reserves, do not qualify a student as a veteran. Thus, former or current members of the National Guard or Reserves are not considered to be veterans unless they had prior or subsequent service with an active component of the Armed Forces. (Reservists called to active duty by Executive Order qualify as veterans.)

Since the DD Form 214 is issued to those leaving the active military as well as to members of the National Guard and Reserves completing their initial active duty for training, possession of this document does not necessarily mean the student is a veteran.

Applicants who meet the criteria of the definition should check "yes" to the vet question on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Department of Education and the Department of Veterans Affairs have varying criteria for individuals to claim veteran status. Please note, the criteria listed here are specifically addressing the requirements of the Department of Education to direct students how to answer the question regarding veteran status on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who meet these criteria are considered independent for the purposes of federal student aid.

How to use GI Bill® Benefits at Penn State Hazleton

To use veterans’ education benefits, please submit a certification request form, your VA Certificate of Eligibility, and your degree audit through your LionPath account. The form can be accessed by going to your LionPath Student Home Base, selecting the “My Information” icon, and then “VA Enrollment Cert Request” in the menu.

If you have not yet received your VA Certificate of Eligibility, you may submit a statement of your eligibility printed from Benefits Portal. When we receive your Certification Request Form and supporting documents, we will submit your enrollment certification to VA so that your benefits can be processed. You must submit a Certification Request Form each semester you want to use your benefits.

Transferring Credits from Military Experience to Penn State

Transfer students who have received VA education benefits at other institutions should complete VA 22-1995 Change in Place of Training Form.

A veteran or member of the active armed services or the selected reserves may be eligible for credit from educational experiences in the armed forces. Get more information.

In-State Tuition Rates for Veterans & Others Eligible for VA Education Benefits

Individuals or veterans eligible to receive any VA educational benefit will receive the in-state tuition rate, regardless of service time. All cost of attendance elements can be viewed at this webpage after selecting the location "Hazleton."

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website.

Priority Course Registration

Newly admitted students schedule their courses for their first semester at Penn State Hazleton during New Student Orientation the summer before the start of their fall semester. After that, enrolled veterans are eligible for priority (early) course registration.

Penn State Hazleton recognizes those who have honorably served or are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces by awarding priority registration and a red, white, and blue honor cord at graduation in recognition of their duty and sacrifice. Priority registration allows veterans to schedule classes ahead of the general student population.

To receive priority course registration, send a copy of your DD214 Member 2 or 4 copy (if you are a Veteran), or a letter from your command including dates and characterization of service (if you are actively serving) along with your Penn State I.D. number and Penn State email address to:

Office of Veterans Programs
The Pennsylvania State University
325 Boucke Building
University Park, PA 16802-5901
Phone: (814) 863-0465
Fax: (814) 865-3815

For more information about Priority Registration, visit: