Military Students

Serving Your Country and Your Faith

Whether you are active duty, reserve, National Guard, or a dependent of a service member, FST is committed to serving you. FST is proud to provide support on Post-9/11 GI Bill®, active duty tuition assistance, and veteran education benefits. Our knowledgeable admissions team takes great pride in helping you from start to finish so that you can continue your mission of service to your country and your faith.

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 at

Types of VA Education Benefits

All students* wishing to use VA education benefits of any kind must fill out a “Request to Certify” form each semester, even if they are currently or have previously processed benefits.

Education Services Officer (ESO)

A person is assigned to advise servicepersons of the educational opportunities available to Active Duty personnel. This includes civilian ESOs, military career counselors, and other employees of military education offices. An ESO must sign the application of a claimant applying for VA benefits while on Active Duty.

If you served in the military, please visit the Department of Veterans Affairs to learn more about your benefits. You may be eligible for the following educational benefits:


FST accepts Tuition Assistance and GI Bill/Post 911® Educational Benefits. The Chief Financial Officer is FST’s certifying official for veterans’ affairs. Veterans and eligible family members need to submit their certificate of eligibility to the CFO. Policies related to students eligible for Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits may be found at the US Department of Veteran Affairs website.

US Code 3679(e)

In accordance with Title 38 US Code 3679 subsection (e), FST adopts the following additional provisions for any students using US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Post 9/11 G.I. Bill® (Ch. 33) or Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Ch. 31) benefits, while payment to the institution is pending from the VA.

FST will not:

  • Prevent the student’s enrollment;
  • Assess a late penalty fee to;
  • Require student secure alternative or additional funding;
  • Deny their access to any resources (access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities) available to other students who have satisfied their tuition and fee bills to the institution.

However, to qualify for this provision, such students may be required to:

  • Provide Chapter 33 Certificate of Eligibility (or its equivalent) or for Chapter 31, VA VR&E’s contract with the school on VA Form 28-1905 by the first day of class.

Note: Chapter 33 students can register at the VA Regional Office to use E-Benefits to get the equivalent of a Chapter 33 Certificate of Eligibility.

  • Provide written request to be certified;
  • Provide additional information needed to properly certify the enrollment as described in other institutional policies

Return of Unearned Military Tuition Assistance (TA)

Part 1. Policy Statement: Military Tuition Assistance (TA) is awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of TA funds originally awarded. To comply with the Department of Defense (DOD) policy, FST will return any unearned TA funds on a prorated basis through at least the 60% portion of the period for which the funds were provided. TA funds are earned proportionally during an enrollment period, with unearned funds returned when a student stops attending. When a Service member stops attending due to a military service obligation, FST will work with the affected service member to identify solutions that will not result in student debt for the returned portion in compliance with the DOD policy.

Part 2. Rational or Purpose: This policy serves to fully inform students receiving military tuition assistance (TA) of the required actions the College must take to comply with the DOD Memorandum of Understanding Return Policy for Military Tuition Assistance (TA) funds rules and align with the return of unearned student aid rules applicable to the Federal Student Aid as required under section 484B of the Department of Education Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Part 3. Scope: This policy applies to all students receiving Military Tuition Assistance (TA) for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.

Part 4. Definitions: Military Tuition Assistance (TA) is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Congress has given each service the ability to pay up to 100% for the tuition expenses of its member. Each service has its own criteria for eligibility, obligated service, application processes, and restrictions. This money is usually paid directly to the institution by the individual services. This policy only applies to this type of educational benefit. The TA program is a benefit that is available only while the student is in the service. This policy does not apply to Veterans or Veterans benefits.

Part 5. Procedures: To remain in compliance with the Department of Defense’s policy, FST will return any unearned TA funds through at least 60% of the semester on a prorated basis. The amount of unearned TA that is returned is based on the date of withdrawal from the course. After 60% of the semester has passed, TA will not be evaluated for a return to the DOD. As an institution, the DOD will be billed after 60% of the semester has passed to reduce the amount of incorrect TA funds being disbursed by the DOD to FST. We will only bill for the amount the student earned given their enrollment.

Schedule for returning unearned TA: Bold type identifies the 60% complete point

15-week Course Withdraw submitted
Before or during weeks 1-2 100% return
During weeks 3-4, 90% return
During weeks 5-6, 75% return
During weeks 7-8, 50% return
During weeks 9, 40% return (60% of the course is completed)
During weeks 10-15, 0% return

Military Leave of Absence Policy

Under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), institutions are required to readmit an individual who left school or did not accept an offer of admission in order to perform military service.

The following sections explain the eligibility and readmission requirements of this policy.


This policy applies only to US military veterans seeking readmission to the program they previously attended; it does not apply to individuals seeking admission to FST. Veterans are eligible if they began their leave of absence on or after Aug. 14, 2008.

You are eligible for readmission under this provision if, during your leave, you performed or will perform voluntary or involuntary active duty service in the US armed forces, including active duty for training and National Guard or Reserve service under federal authority, for a period of more than 30 consecutive days, and received a discharge other than dishonorable or bad conduct. In general, the cumulative length of absence and all previous absences for military service (service time only) must not exceed five years.

Requirement of Notice

If you are planning to take a leave for military service, you must give advance written or verbal notice of military service to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, unless such notice is precluded by military necessity. To be readmitted, you must give notice (written or verbal) of your intent to re-enroll to the Vice President of Academic Affairs no later than three years after the completion of the period of your service. If you are recovering from a service-related injury or illness, you must notify the school no later than two years after your recovery.

A student who does not submit a timely notification of intent or provide an attestation within the designated time limits may not be eligible for the benefits outlined herein.

Tuition and Fees

For the first academic year in which the student returns, he or she must be readmitted with the same tuition and fees charges the student was or would have been assessed for the academic year when the student left unless there are sufficient veterans’ educational benefits or institutional aid to pay the increased amount of tuition and fees. For subsequent academic years, the student may be charged the same tuition and fees as other students in the program.

Readmission Requirements

The Franciscan School of Theology allows students to re-enroll in the next class or classes in the same program, with the same enrollment status, number of credits, and academic standing as when he or she was last in attendance at FST. The student may also request a later date of admission or, if unusual circumstances require it, the institution may admit the student at a later date. If the school determines that the student is not prepared to resume the program where he or she left off, the school must make reasonable efforts at no extra cost to the student to enable the student to resume and complete the program. Such reasonable efforts include, but are not limited to, providing a refresher course and allowing the student to retake a pretest, as long as they do not place an undue hardship on the school. If reasonable efforts are unsuccessful or the school determines that there are no reasonable efforts that the school can take, the school is not required to readmit the student.

If the program to which the student was admitted is no longer offered, the student must be admitted to the program that is most similar, unless the student requests or agrees to admission to a different program.


Tuition Assistance

The Department of Defense (DoD) Tuition Assistance (TA) program provides financial assistance to Service members for voluntary off-duty education programs in support of professional and personal self-development goals. TA is available for courses that are offered in the classroom or by distance learning and are part of an approved academic degree or certificate program. The courses must be offered by schools that are recognized by the US Department of Education and are signatories to the current DoD Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (DOD MOU).

Navy- For Active Duty Navy, please visit the Navy College Program website or call 877-838-1659. There, you will be given information on the Navy Voluntary Education (VOLED) Process, which includes applying for tuition assistance. The steps to the VOLED Process can be found at the bottom of the page.

Marine Corps- For Active Duty Marines, please visit or call the MCRD San Diego Education Center (Lifelong Learning Center): 4025 Tripoli Avenue, Bldg. 111, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, CA 92140-5293 or by calling 619-524-8158 / 619-524-1275; Monday-Friday 7:30 AM-4:00 PM. http://www.mccsmcrd.com/lifelong-learning-center



All four service branches and the US Coast Guard offer financial assistance for voluntary, off-duty education programs supporting service members’ personal and professional goals. The program is open to officers, warrant officers, and enlisted active-duty service personnel. In addition, members of the National Guard and Reserve Components may be eligible for TA based on their service eligibility. To be eligible for TA, an enlisted service member must have enough time remaining in service to complete the course for which he or she has applied. After completing a course, an officer using TA must fulfill a service obligation that runs parallel with – not in addition to – any existing service obligation.


Coverage amounts and monetary limits

The Tuition Assistance Program may fund up to 100% of your college tuition and certain fees with the following limits.

  • Not to exceed $250 per semester credit hour or $166 per quarter credit hour.
  • Not to exceed $4,500 per fiscal year, Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.


Each military branch has its own TA application form and procedures. To find out how to get started, visit your local installation education center, go online to a virtual education center or click on the following links for each service branch:

  • Army
  • Marine Corps
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Before your course enrollment, you may be required to develop an education plan or complete TA orientation. Your service’s education center must approve your military tuition assistance before enrolling in a course.


All service members can meet with a financial aid advisor who will make appropriate loan counseling, including disclosing FST’s student loan Cohort Default Rate (CDR), the percentage of our students who borrow, and how our CDR compares to the national average.

FST provides one-on-one financial aid meetings with all military students, which can be done virtually via Zoom or in person.

Franciscan School of Theology Cohort Default Rate Policy: If the Franciscan School of Theology’s student loan Cohort Default Rate (CDR) is greater than the national average CDR, the institutional policy is to disclose that information and provide the student with loan repayment data. FST reviews student loan CDR after each term start to ensure the institutional rate is below the national average.

Franciscan School of Theology Cohort Default Rate:

FY 2017 FY 2016 FY 2015
Default Rate 4.7 4.7 4.3
No. in Default  1 1 1
No. in Repay 21 21 23
Enrollment figures 54 46 49
Percentage Calculation 38.8 45.6 46.9


Additional Resources for Military Students 

For access to Financial Aid and Student Accounts visit One Stop Student Center.

Military and Veterans Program

The Military and Veterans Programs is responsible for the administration of all US Department of Veteran Affairs education benefits processing and is dedicated to serving military-connected students. We are the central place for resources, involvement, networking, and the Student Veterans Organization. We also work with other offices on campus and in the community to connect students with appropriate services and advice.  For more information please visit the link below.

Our program provides student-focused services to all FST military-connected students, including student veterans, active-duty, dependent children, and spouses. Our center is currently working remotely; services have been adjusted to support students virtually.

Military and Veterans Program

For all other inquiries, contact:

Louis Cruz
Director of Enrollment Management

Send Materials to:
Office of Admissions
Franciscan School of Theology
5998 Alcalá Park San Diego, CA 92110
Fax: (619) 849-8431


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