The State Approving Agency (SAA) is contracted by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide approval, oversight, training, and outreach to ensure programs of education are of good quality and properly administered.  The SAA’s role is to ensure that veterans and other GIBill® participants have access to a range of high-quality education and training programs at which to use their benefits.  This role is accomplished through the review and approval of quality programs of education as well as through compliance surveys to determine if the programs comply with applicable statutory, regulatory, and policy provisions.

 

ORIGINAL APPROVALS

All original approvals begin with a Request for an Application.  This form serves as a pre-screen document that allows for confirmation of minimum VA requirements, determination of the appropriate forms, and establishment of a placeholder in the State’s Facility database and tracking of the application process.

Once approved to proceed, the password to unlock the appropriate form(s) below will be sent, along with initial instructions for the next steps and expected timeline of the review process.

  • VA FORM 22-8794
    *Required with all original approval applications.  VA School Certifying Official (SCO) Designation form.
  • STATEMENTS OF ASSURANCE
    *Required with all original approval applications.  State of Texas Statements of Assurance document.

UPDATE EXISTING APPROVALS

 

  • CHANGE OF NAME OR ADDRESS
    Use this form if you are updating school name or physical/mailing address.  A site relocation will require a compliance visit prior to approval.
  • UPDATE SCO(s)
    Use this form to change or update the designated School Certifying Officials (SCOs).  An updated submission will supercede all previous forms, so you must include EVERY designated official, including past SCOs you wish to retain on the list.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

  • When should I submit updated catalogs?
    Updated catalogs are required on a yearly basis.  However, if a change takes place that effects tuition or course curriculum, before the catalog publishing date, these changes must be reported as an addendum to the catalog immediately.  All other changes can be submitted annually.
  • How long will it take to get an approval?
    The SAA’s processing time is 30 days from the receipt of the final document/item that will allow for complete processing of your approval request. The VA also has a 30-day processing window from the date of receipt.
  • When do I need to submit a full application?
    A full application is required one year after your last approval. This requirement is in place to ensure changes made are updated at least once a year.
  • If I only need to update fees and my application was approved within the past 12 months, do I need to submit a new approval packet?
    Only a partial packet is required when updating changes to an approval dated within 12 months. This rule is in place to provide a streamlined process for updating a current approval. Submit the first two pages of the application, a letter stating the actions you are seeking and supporting documents required to execute the change(s).
  • What items may be sent directly to VA Waco vs. sending to the SAA?
    Once an approval has been approved: VA Form 22-8794 (Designation of Certifying Officials: If there is a change to the Certifying Officials on file), Electronic Funds Transfer form (EFT: If there is a change in bank information), and the Air Agency Certification to update expiration date.
  • Are continuing education and or professional development programs approvable?
    SAAs (State Approving Agencies) may not approve programs designed to attain a higher level of competency and proficiency or to keep abreast of current developments. VA may award benefits for such programs only if they are required for approved degree programs or approved postdoctoral certificates being pursued by VA students. For example, the Naval War College offers a Naval War College diploma to enhance the knowledge of commissioned officers. This program may not be approved because it does not lead to an educational, professional, or vocational objective. However, programs that add skills required for a profession or vocation may be approved. For example, SAAs may approve training in transmission servicing for auto mechanics who have not received training in transmission servicing.
  • VA will only pay for courses measured in Clock Hours or Credit Hours?
    In accordance with 38 CFR 21.4270, the VA will not pay for any coursework measured in Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
  • What are Vocational Objectives for certificate programs?
    Per 38 CFR 21.3021(j), a professional or vocational objective is “one that leads to an occupation. It may include educational objectives essential to prepare for the chosen occupation. When a program consists of a series of courses not leading to an educational objective, such courses must be directed toward attainment of a designated professional or vocational objective.”
Examples:
Name of the programVocational Objective
Automotive Collision Repair TechnologyAutomotive Collision Technician
Web Applications Development SpecialtyWeb Developer
Facial Specialist (Esthetician)Cosmetologist
  • Can the application be emailed or faxed?
    No. Unless you have received explicit permission from a SAA to submit individual documents via email or fax, all documents must be mailed for processing.
  • Does my application need to have original signatures?
    The documents within the packet must have either wet/ink or digital signatures by an authorized facilty representative. Digital signatures must include an electronic date stamp and be legible.
  • Does my Apprenticeship or OJT program need to be approved by the DOL?
    No. Although there are some basic guidelines for On-The-Job Training programs, the rules governing OJT and Apprenticeship Training Outlines were designed for flexibility to allow business owners to tailor a training program which would be better suited for their business model.
  • I am a new Institute of Higher Education (IHL) seeking approval, are all my programs approvable?
    By the authority of 38 CFR 21.9590(b), yes, if…
    Approval of the selected program of education. Subject to paragraph (a), VA will approve a program of education under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 33 selected by the individual if:
    (1) The program meets the definition of a program of education in § 21.9505;
    (2) Except for a program consisting of a licensing or certification test, the program has an educational, vocational, or professional objective as described in § 21.7020(b)(13) or (22);
    (3) The courses, subjects, or licensing or certification tests in the program are approved for VA training; and
    (4) Except for a program consisting of a licensing or certification test designed to help the individual maintain employment in a vocation or profession, the individual is not already qualified for the objective of the program. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3034(a), 3323(a), 3471, 3689)
  • Does a full program list have to be submitted if only a few changes have been made… like removing / adding one or two programs?
    If your last approval was approved within 10 months of date the of change or update, then a Quick-Change Application and an Addendum to the Catalog, may be submitted.
    A Quick-Change Form allows the facility to make limited minor changes without submitting a full approval packet. If your annual approval packet is due for approval within two (2) months of the date of submission, your facility must submit a complete approval packet.
    Example:
    Last approval date: 1/1/2019
    Change made to catalog: 8/25/2019
    Date of Submission of requested changes/updates: 10/1/2019
    Outcome: A Quick-Change Application can be used because the submission date falls within the 10-month submission period.
    Last approval date: 1/1/2019
    Change made to catalog: 8/25/2019
    Date of Submission of requested changes/updates: 11/1/2019
    Outcome: The Quick-Change form cannot be used because the date of submission falls outside of the 10-month submission period and is due for an annual.
    Annual submissions should be submitted, if possible, at least two months before the catalog takes effect or the date of the last approval date.
  • What is the two-year rule?
    By the authority of 38 CFR 21.4251(b)(c)(d), the minimum period of operations for educational institutions.- Some educational institutions must be in operation for 2 years. Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, when a proprietary educational institution offers a course not leading to a standard college degree, VA may not approve an enrollment in that course if the proprietary educational institution
    (1) Has been operating for less than 2 years;
    (2) Offers the course at a branch or extension and the branch or extension has been operating for less than 2 years; or
    (3) Offers the course following either a change in ownership or a complete move outside its original general locality, and the educational institution does not retain substantially the same faculty, student body, and courses as before the change in ownership or the move outside the general locality unless the educational institution, after such change or move, has been in operation for at least 2 years.
    (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3680A(e) and (g))– Exception to the 2-year operation requirement. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section, VA may approve the enrollment of a veteran, servicemember, reservist, or eligible person in a course not leading to a standard college degree approved under this subpart if it is offered by a proprietary educational institution that
    (1) Offers the course under a contract with the Department of Defense or the Department of Transportation; and
    (2) Gives the course on or immediately adjacent to a military base, Coast Guard station, National Guard facility, or facility of the Selected Reserve.
    (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3680A(e) and (g))

– Operation for 2 years. VA will consider, for the purposes of paragraph (b) of this section, that a proprietary educational institution (or a branch or extension of such an educational institution) will be deemed to have been operating for 2 years when the educational institution (or a branch or extension of such an educational institution)
(1) Has been operating as an educational institution for 24 continuous months pursuant to the laws of the State(s) in which it is approved to operate and in which it is offering the training; and
(2) Has offered courses continuously for at least 24 months inclusive of normal vacation or holiday periods, or periods when the institution is closed temporarily due to a natural disaster that directly affected the institution or the institution’s students.
(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3680A(e) and (g))