Idaho State Approving Agency (SAA)
Montgomery GI Bill Information
The Idaho State Approving Agency (SAA) evaluates, approves, and monitors academic institutions, schools, and programs. These programs must lead to educational, vocational, and /or professional objectives so that veterans or other eligible persons can use the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB). The MGIB may be used for an undergraduate or graduate degree, a vocational certificate or diploma, a high school diploma, or GED (General Education Development certificate). Types of training that may be approved include high school equivalency diplomas, advanced flight training, correspondence training for college work only, or programs leading to a license or certificate required to practice a vocation or profession. The SAA creates and maintains a computer database listing all approved institutions and programs (courses of study) for Idaho schools.
The MGIB can be used for apprenticeship or on-the-job (OJT) training. Contact the Department of Labor Idaho Job Service local office for information.
The SAA operates under a contract with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as part of the Idaho Division of Veterans Services located in Boise, Idaho.
The Purpose of the SAA
SAA responsibilities under federal law are as follows:
- Inspect, approve and supervise schools and inspect the academic records of MGIB recipients
- Identify education and training programs that may be approved for veterans and other eligible persons
- Determine whether a school complies with established standards relating to the approved programs, including the equitable treatment of veterans
- Identify waste, fraud, or other abuse by persons, practices, or policy connected with educational institutions and training establishments where veterans are using MGIB benefits
- Report Idaho SAA activities to the VA in a timely fashion
SAA ensures that standards are set and maintained among schools and programs prior to allowing veterans or other eligible persons to enroll and use their MGIB benefits. The process includes approval of the following areas:
- Academic and training programs
- Structural facilities, equipment and teaching resources used for education or training
- Faculty credentials and standards of employment
- Schools' ownership, leadership, and administration reputation and competence
Other services performed include:
Technical assistance to approved schools and schools seeking approval
- Workshops and school visits to train new certifying officials
- On-site and group instruction for new procedures and policies
- Consumer protection for veterans as they use their VA benefits
- Outreach services to interested groups and organizations
- Liaison and referral to related agencies for MGIB recipient assistance
The SAA has approval and supervisory responsibilities for schools and programs where veterans and other eligible persons use the following benefits:
- MGIB - Active Duty (MGIB-AD)
- MGlB - Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
- Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)
- Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA)
- Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)
The Approval Process for Schools and Programs
The Veterans Representative or CEO of each institution must send the SAA a letter requesting approval to train veterans and other eligible persons under Title 38 U.S. Code of Federal Regulations. If the type of training is not obvious in the school or business title, the school should provide a brief description with the request. Within two weeks receipt of the letter, SAA will send an approval application packet or explain why the process should not be initiated. The forms and the requested data or information should be forwarded as soon as possible; if requested, the SAA can provide assistance in completing the application.
If a school is a proprietary institution that is either for profit or non-profit, the school must be in compliance and good standing with the appropriate State of Idaho licensing or approval agency. The school must have been in operation for a two-year continuous period. Rare exceptions to the two-year rule include federal government contracts, proximity to a military base, or lack of a comparable program within commuting distance (55 miles).
When the SAA has reviewed the application materials for completeness and compliance, it will make a preliminary decision as to the institution's ability to be approved. If the decision is positive, the SAA will contact the school to set up an on-site approval visit. During the visit, the SAA consultant may inspect the school facilities, examine school records, review licenses or permits, interview students and faculty, and examine program documentation. If approval seems imminent, the SAA consultant may provide on-site training and technical assistance to the school official that will serve as the school's Veterans' Coordinator, also known as the school's Certifying Official.
After completion of an approval visit without deficiencies, SAA will approve the institution for veterans' training. Upon receipt of the SAA approval, the VA will send a copy of the approval data to the approved facility and the SAA, as entered on the Web Enabled Approval Management System (WEAMS) at the Regional Processing Office (RPO) in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The VA will also provide further instruction to the school official for certifying enrollment of veterans or other eligible students for payment of educational benefits. This process generally takes 60-90 days depending upon the completeness of the packet, letters, etc. If eligible veterans are enrolled, SAA may make approval retroactive for up to one year from the date of application for benefits.
Insitutions and schools may contact the SAA to begin the approval process for training veterans under the MGIB within the State of Idaho.
Veterans Education Coordinator
Phone: (208) 577-2298
Phone: (208) 577-2299
State Approving Agency
Idaho Division of Veterans Services
351 Collins Road
Boise, ID 83702-4519
Telephone: (208) 577-2310
Fax: (208) 577-2311
All claims for the state of Idaho are filed with:
VA Regional Office
P. O. Box 8888
Muskogee, OK 74402-8888
Monthly Verification of Attendance
Other VA Benefits
GI Bill Website
Includes Veterans On-Line Application, under resources; find rates paid, Chapter 33 calculator, schools and training sites approved, and verify attendance (W.A.V.E.)
The project is a comprehensive and informative resource that helps prospective students navigate the increasingly complex world of higher education. One of the most important factors in choosing a college is a school’s accreditation status. Accreditation agencies review multiple aspects of an institution: insuring schools can guarantee adequate library resources, qualified faculty, solid student achievement rates and financial aid access, as well as the ability to receive a license to work in fields that require licensure for practitioners. This type of information is very valuable to today's students who are dealing with the rising costs associated with a diploma and may be tempted by the proliferation of unaccredited schools.
Idaho Department of Labor
Idaho State Department of Education
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