Military Education Benefit Certification

New and transitioning students that have questions about the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) processes or benefit entitlements should contact the Veterans Resource Center or the Department of Veteran Affairs.

The Office of the Registrar is the School of Mines designated certifying official. This means that the Office of the Registrar certifies your enrollment at Mines to the VA every semester and can assist you with the processes for certifying your benefits with the VA.

Non-Resident Students

If you are a military veteran from out of state, attending South Dakota Mines and using Military Educational Benefits, you are entitled to receive in-state tuition rate.

If you are a dependent (child or spouse) of a military veteran from out of state, attending South Dakota Mines and using Military Educational Benefits, you are entitled to receive in-state tuition rate.

Establishing Military Education Benefits

Students who have never received benefits must fill out the Application for Education Benefits (VA Form 22-1990) to establish their eligibility. Form 22-1990 may be filled out online at

If you are transferring your benefits, you must fill out a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training (VA Form 22-1995). Once these forms are processed, via, you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility via regular mail. You must provide a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility to the Office of the Registrar with your Mines student ID number in person or via email at

Who can be certified to receive military education benefits?  

  • Post 9/11 GI Bill recipients (active duty, veterans, dependents)
  • Students approved for Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment)
  • Students using Tuition Assistance
  • Students using other military education benefits

    Military Education Benefits Authorization (MEBA)

  • Submit a MEBA for each semester of enrollment after your registration is finalized and no more changes are anticipated. If you make changes to your registration after the initial submission of your MEBA, you must resubmit an updated MEBA as soon as possible.

    To ensure continued benefit payments, update your address with the VA by calling 888-442-4551.

    Military Education Benefits – Post 9/11 GI® Bill

    Procedures for Post 9/11 GI Bill applicants and recipients  

    Active Duty and Veterans:


    Military Education Benefits – Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment)

    To begin the transition to the School of Mines, contact the Veterans Resource Center located on the lower level of the Surbeck Center.

    Since the VA only pays for classes that are required for a student’s approved degree program, students should carefully review their degree audit on Banner and work closely with their academic advisor to be sure all registered classes apply to their degree requirements.

    After registration is finalized, students should submit an online Military Education Benefits Authorization (MEBA). The MEBA prompts the school certifying official to submit an enrollment certification to the VA which is required to start military education benefit payments for the term.

    The university sends official communications only to your South Dakota Mines email account. Please check your account often and use it anytime you communicate with the university.

    Military Education Benefits – Tuition Assistance and Top Up

    Student Accounts handles Tuition Assistance (TA) for military members.

    Will you be applying for SD State Tuition Assistance?

  • How to Apply:
    • Contact: CPT Travis Tipton at
    • Application
      • Opens 60 days BEFORE semester starts
    • Deadline
      • 7 days AFTER the semester begins

  • Will you be applying for Federal Tuition Assistance?

  • Tuition Assistance funds are a unique, distinct source of financial aid available to eligible Service members and is the first payer.
  • Prior to enrolling please contact your Educational Officer for approval.
  • Contact: CPT Travis Tipton at

       How to Apply for Federal Tuition Assistance (TA)

  • Application
    • Opens 60 days PRIOR TO semester beginning
  • Deadline
    • 8 days PRIOR TO semester beginning

Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) is a federally funded program that pays South Dakota Mines directly for the cost of tuition for Active Duty and National Guard members from all branches of service. This money is usually paid directly to the institution by the individual services. FTA pays 100% of your tuition cost up to $250 per credit hour, up to 16 credit hours, and up to $4,500 per fiscal year (1 OCT - 30 SEP). Fiscal years determined by class start date. FTA pays for tuition only. FTA cannot be used for books.

FTA can be used towards one Bachelor's degree and one Master's degree at South Dakota Mines. Service members are limited to 16 credit hours per fiscal year and 130 total credit hours towards an undergraduate degree.

Prior to registering for classes, you will need to visit with an Education Service Officer to determine your eligibility for Federal Tuition Assistance.  For Active-Duty Students you will also need to get authorization to apply for FTA. Each service has its own criteria for eligibility, obligated service, application processes and restrictions.

You will first need to visit with your Education Service Officer to determine your eligibility. For Active Army or Army National Guard students, contact CPT Travis Tipton:

South Dakota Army National Guard
2823 West Main Street
Rapid City, South Dakota 57702
Phone: (605) 737-6520
CPT Travis Tipton

If you are deemed eligible by CPT Travis Tipton, you can then register for your classes. If you do not plan to use FTA, you are fine. You would not have to wait to get approval.

To start the application process, you will need to set up an FTA account at Once you have that set up, please follow the following guidance below so you can begin requesting tuition assistance.   

Create IgnitED Account

Education Support Programs

Federal Tuition Assistance

Create Tuition Assistance Request (TAR)

Create an Education Goal

Tutorial- Institution Search

Tutorial- Messages

Tutorial- Out of Pocket Tuition Assistance Request

Viewing an Approved TAR

Waiver and Recoupment Process

The next thing you'll need to do is contact Hallie Vigil at South Dakota Mines at:

She will review your file and submit any documentation to ArmyIgnited 2.0 to complete your request for Fed TA.

YOU MUST REQUEST FED TA and GET APPROVAL WITHIN 8 DAYS prior to the class start date. If you do not, you will not get approval. So, it is recommended to start this process at least 60 days prior.

Important Info to Know:

If a soldier/student changes credit hours classes after submitting a TAR for FTA, they need to send a student message in Army Ignited and it needs to be done prior to the end of add/drop.

  • They will need to resign the TAR

If a soldier/student changes/withdraws credit hours/classes after add/drop they will be responsible for the recoupment with Army Ignited.

  • The credits will still count toward their allotment.

If a soldier/student submits a TAR with more than 6 credits it will need to be manually approved by CPT Tipton or Dr. Perry.

If a soldier/student submits a TAR with less than 6 credits it will automatically be approved.

      Will you be applying for MilTA (Air Force Tuition Assistance)?  

Military Tuition Assistance


The Air Force Military Tuition Assistance (MilTA) program is an important quality of life program that provides tuition for college courses taken by active-duty personnel during off-duty hours. MilTA is capped at $250 per semester hour (or $166 per quarter hour) and is restricted to a maximum of $4500 per fiscal year. The program is one of the most frequent reasons given for enlisting and re-enlisting in the Air Force.

General Rules

Air Force Military Tuition Assistance is authorized for active-duty Airmen pursuing an educational goal. An education plan must be on file with the base education office. Military Tuition Assistance is authorized for college goals up to the master’s level. MilTA is not authorized for courses leading to a lateral or lower-level degree than already possessed. For additional information please contact your base education office.


  • TA will be provided for a CCAF degree regardless of your current education level.
  • Airmen apply for Military Tuition Assistance online via AFVEC during the school's registration period. Airmen may also call their base education office and discuss other options for applying when on TDY.
  • Airmen are expected to discuss their schedule with their supervisor to ensure that participation has his/her support.
  • After completing a tuition assistance request form and registering for class, Airmen may still drop/change courses without penalty as long as the course has not started, and the base education office and the academic institution are notified. If Airmen drop a course after the drop / add period, they must still notify the base education office and the academic institution but are liable for the cost of tuition, unless they qualify for a waiver of tuition assistance reimbursement.
  • If an Airman receives a grade of incomplete from an academic institution, he/she must clear the incomplete or reimburse the government for the full amount of tuition assistance.

If you plan on using tuition assistance in conjunction with other military education benefits:

Tuition Assistance Top Up  

To be eligible for the Top-up benefit, you must be approved for federal Tuition Assistance by a military department and be eligible for MGIB-Active Duty benefits or the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The amount of this benefit can be equal to the difference between the total cost of a college course and the amount of Tuition Assistance that is paid by the military for the course.

See the GI Bill website for Tuition Assistance Top-Up details including application procedures.

Military Education Benefits – Other Benefit

If you plan on using any other benefits:






Office of the Registrar

O'Harra Building, Room 201

Office Hours

Academic Year:
7:30 am to 4:30 pm
7:30 am to 4:00 pm
Phone: (605) 394-2400

Registrar's Office
Email the Registrar