Veterans Affairs Benefits FAQs 

Who qualifies for benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)?

Educational benefits are available for U.S. veterans, family members of veterans, and active military personnel. These programs have different benefits packages and eligibility requirements. Please visit this page to read more about benefit eligibility.

How can I confirm the program I am applying to is approved by the VA?

Each Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education (HKS Exec Ed) program is submitted to the VA for approval, but the timing can vary. All programs that are approved are listed in the VA’s public Web Enabled Approval Management System (WEAMS). To confirm, visit the WEAMS website and follow the steps below:

WEAMS Navigation

  • For Institution Name type in “Harvard”
  • Select “Non College Degree” for Program Type
  • Select MA from the list of States (bottom of screen)
  • Click on “Harvard University” under Institution Name
  • Click on “Programs” (right hand side of screen)
  • Click “Non College Degree” under description
  • The list of approved Non College Degree programming appears. This list includes programs offered by all Harvard schools, please ensure to choose Harvard Kennedy School.

Are the HKS Executive Education programs fully funded by the VA?

The Educational Benefits provided by the VA to Harvard covers only the tuition portion of a program, not lodging or meals. Please note that participants are responsible and will be invoiced for any portion of the total program fee not covered by the VA. HKS Executive Education can estimate but not confirm the amount for which a participant is responsible.

Participants must let the program director know upon being admitted if they want to use Educational Benefits provided by the VA. Program director contact information is listed on each program’s webpage - use the program finder to search.

How many clock hours are considered full time?

HKS Executive Education is professional development and this criterion does not apply. This clause is applicable only to degree-program students.

How do I apply for an HKS Executive Education program?

Find the program you would like to attend from our website.

  1. Click into the title of the program and select the red “Apply” button.
  2. Create your application in the application portal.
  3. Go to the Financial Information section of the application and please answer the question, “Who is the Financial Sponsor of your Application?” Check the box to indicate you are using VA Educational Benefits.
  4. Complete the application, save it, and submit it.

The VA requires that we certify the dates of enrollment for veterans seeking educational benefits. After you have been admitted into the program, you will provide the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education finance office with three required documents (see below).

What is the process to use my VA Educational Benefits?

After you are admitted to your program, please forward the required documents to your School Certifying Official (SCO), Frank Poniatowski in the HKS Executive Education Finance office.  Please send your forms to exed@hks.harvard.edu.

  1. A copy of your most updated Certificate of Eligibility form (CEO) which documents your percentage benefit
  2. A copy of the Notice of Participant Enrollment form (NPE)
  3. Please call in your SSN to the Executive Education finance office 617-496-9000 option # 2.  We do not accept faxed or emailed SSN’s.  The VA utilizes the participant SSN as the VA file number.

Where do I get my Certificate of Eligibility (COE) form?

You can submit a benefits application through the VA website. The VA will provide you with a COE.  The VA will pay the tuition portion of the program fee up to the percentage on the COE.

How long will it take to receive my Certificate of Eligibility from the VA?

The VA typically provides the Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in approximately 30 days, depending on the VA's backlog. Please start this process as early as possible to ensure you are certified in a timely manner.

Where do I get my Notice of Participant Enrollment form (NPE)?

Please follow this link to download the NPE form. This form allows you to enter the information needed to complete the required Veteran's Notice of Participant Enrollment for Harvard University.

When will I hear back if the VA approved my payment?

The VA will provide direct notification to the participant when payment has been processed. This typically happens within 30 days of the end date of the program.

What happens if the VA doesn’t pay the tuition amount by the program start date?

Individual participants are solely responsible for the cost of a program. If the VA doesn’t provide the anticipated payment before the program start date, then the participant will be asked to pay the outstanding balance. Once payment is received from the VA, the Executive Education office will reach out to the participant to arrange for a refund.

When will the HKS Executive Education VA catalog be approved?

HKS Executive Education submits a catalog of programs to the VA for approval annually, however the timetable for approval varies. All approved programs are listed within WEAMS.

Need more help with VA Educational Benefits?

If you have hearing loss, call TTY: 711
GI Bill Hotline: 888-GIBILL-1 (888-442-4551)               
VA benefits hotline: 800-827-1000
Outside the U.S.: +1-918-781-5678                  
MyVA411 main information line: 800-698-2411