nd.gov - The Official Portal for North Dakota State Government
North Dakota: Legendary. Follow the trail of legends

Education (SAA)

Benefit Category: State

Our Mission

The State Approving Agency, together with the federal government, manages veterans' education benefits. The State Approving Agency's (SAA) role is to approve and supervise the programs of education and training for eligible veterans, dependents, National Guard members, and reservists. The SAA must specifically approve each plan of education or training in which a veteran or eligible person wishes to use GI. Bill® benefits.  Other responsibilities include: 

  • Reviewing, evaluating and approving programs based on state and federal criteria
  • Conducting on-site inspection visits to facilities requesting program approval
  • Conducting on-site compliance visits to approved facilities
  • Providing technical assistance
  • Engaging in outreach activities that foster the use of the GI Bill
  • Helping military installations provide base personnel with educational opportunities ​​​​​

Federal/Types of GI Bills 

How to apply for your GI Bill 

  • Online (https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/apply.asp) or in person at the Fargo Regional Office (www.benefits.va.gov/fargo) or by calling 1-888-GI BILL-1 (VA Hotline)
  • Once approved, the member will receive their GI Bill Certificate of Eligibility.  The Certificate of Eligibility (COE), also known as your award letter, in the mail if and when you are approved.  Once you received your Certificate of Eligibility, you will need to bring it to your school.

GI Bill Questions

State of North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs information can be found

Web-Enabled Approved Management Systems (WEAMS) 

More information for parents and students is the WEAMS, an internet tool that students can use to research the school(s) they are interested in attending.  As a side note, WEAMS does not go in-depth about the schools).  Use is at your discretion.  There are three sections to focus on in WEAMS.  Those are:  Institutions of Higher LearningList of Non-College Degrees; and List of Approved OJT/APP Facilities.

What is On-the-Job Training

Training you receive while performing a job and earning wages, as well as getting your GI. Bill benefits. OJT programs typically range from six months to two years in length. Some examples of OJT are Welder, Painter, Cook, Pressman, and Auto Mechanic.  Contact the Fargo ND Department of Veteran Affairs Office at (701) 239-7165, for more information.

Apprenticeship Training

Is on-the-job training coupled with related theoretical instruction. You receive your GI. Bill benefits while working full time and earning wages. Apprenticeship programs are generally from two to five years in length. Some examples of currently approved apprenticeship programs are Carpenter, Electrician, Brick Layer, Asbestos Worker, Plumber, Iron Worker, Corrections Officer, Machinist, and Maintenance Mechanic.

How to Begin

  • If you do not have a job, or if you are not working in the occupation you want, contact your local Job Service. The Veteran's Employment Representative should be able to find an employer who can offer the kind of training you need to reach your occupational goal.
  • Next, either you or your employer should contact the North Dakota State Approving Agency at 701-298-4667, so that the necessary steps can be taken to approve the training program or visit the GI Bill Answer Page for more information.

Reimbursement for Licensure and Exams

Veterans can get reimbursed for the cost of a state licensing or certification exam.  Veterans Affairs will pay for the cost of the tests, up to $2,000 for each test.  For an application:  http://www.va.gov/vaforms/form_detail.asp?FormNo=22-0803

State Contributions

  • State of North Dakota provides actively drilling guardsmen in the Army and Air National Guard up to 25% off of tuition at any of the eleven University System Schools in the state.  The University of Mary also honors this program.  The program is called the National Guard Tuition Waiver program.
  • Most veterans receiving the Gi bill and other benefits receive the in-state resident rate even if they are residents of other states.


Several Veteran Organizations offer scholarships and funding, those organizations are: 

    • AMVETS National Scholarship Program:  The AMVETS National Scholarship Program is available to financially assist veterans who have exhausted government aid, or who might not otherwise have the financial means to continue their education.
    • AMVETS Scholarship and Tuition Discounts: ​AMVETS annually awards scholarships to veterans/active military, their sons, daughters, or grandchildren. A son, daughter, or grandchild of a deceased veteran is also eligible and can be awarded based on academic excellence and financial need, and the scholarships go to deserving high school seniors, high school JROTC students and veterans pursuing higher education.
  • Dr. Aurelio M. Caccomo Family Foundation Memorial Scholarship:  The Dr. Aurelio M. Caccomo Family Foundation Memorial Scholarship is awarded to veterans, including members of the National Guard and Reserves. They are seeking new skills to be competitive in the job market.
  • AFCEA Educational Foundation Afghanistan and Iraq War Veterans Scholarship:  Scholarships of $2,500 are offered to active-duty and honorably discharged US military veterans and reservists and National Guard personnel of the Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan or Iraqi Freedom Operations.  Candidates must be actively pursuing an undergraduate degree in an eligible major at accredited two- or four-year institutions in the United States.  Distance-learning or online programs affiliated with a major U.S. institution are eligible.
  • Allied Van Lines Scholarship: Annually, two recipients will be awarded $1,000 towards their education. Any servicemen, Veteran, or military dependent majoring in logistics, as well as equivalent majors such as business, operational business management, and other like majors, can apply for this scholarship.
  • Army Women's Foundation:  The Foundation's Legacy Scholarship program recognizes the importance of education and helping recipients to achieve their educational goals. The Legacy Scholarship program offers financial support to Army women and their lineal descendants in four areas: Technical Certificate programs, Community College coursework, Undergraduate Degrees, and Graduate Degrees.
  • Approved Schools: A non-profit education group and website that helps active duty and military veterans find approved schools so they can use their military education funding at a quality school. We partnered with the Wounded Warrior Project and have a lot of new scholarships that can be presented to as many people as possible. 
  • ASU Veterans Education Fund:  Through the gifts of anonymous donors, the ASU Veterans Education Fund was established to offer multiple scholarships. The contributors are devoted to the success of veterans nationally and at Arizona State University. Awards will be based on a student's financial need, level of effort and the potential to complete his or her program of study. 
  • Medical Financial Aid opportunities: ACLS Medical Training has compiled a list of various scholarship and financial aid opportunities to help in paying for healthcare education.
  • Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship
  • Military.com Search for Scholarships: While looking for money for school, many servicemembers, veterans, and their families tend to overlook more than $300 million of the military -- and Veteran -- related scholarships and grants. These scholarships often go unclaimed. Don't let "scholarship mythology" stop you from applying for education money. Find millions of dollars in scholarships and grants exclusively for the military community!
  • North American Van Lines Scholarship: Any serviceman, Veteran, or military dependent majoring in logistics, business, or management can apply for this scholarship. This scholarship will award two students with $1,000 to the school of their choice.
  • The Purple Heart Scholarship: The Purple Heart Scholarship is available to the recipient of a Purple Heart; a direct descendant of a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart or of a veteran killed in action or who died of wounds; or a spouse or widow(er) of a recipient of the Purple Heart.
  • VA Mortgage Center Scholarship:  Strives to enhance lives by recognizing the selfless contributions of service members and their families through the support of such individuals in need.  Despite the aid of benefits like the GI Bill, the ever-increasing expense of a post-secondary degree is one of the greatest challenges facing so many of our nation's finest. In an effort to address this need, Veterans United Foundation has established the Veterans United Foundation Scholarship program.
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars: VFW and Sport Clips Haircuts have again partnered to help our veterans and their families. The VFW "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" program will provide service members and veterans with the financial assistance they need to help complete their educational goals without incurring excessive student loan debt. It's just another way to say "thank you" to those who deserve it the most!. Visit the site to learn more or contact your local VFW.
  • Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund: Do you know a low-income woman 35 or older working to complete her college degree? Since 1976, Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund has helped more than 750 low-income women attend college. In fall 2016, Rankin Fund will award scholarships to 100 women across the US We would like to invite students who meet the requirements below to apply for our scholarship program.
    • A Rankin Fund scholarship applicant must be A woman, A US citizen or permanent resident,  age 35 or older, as of March 18, 2016, Low-income (financial guidelines are available on our website), Enrolled in or accepted to a regionally or ACICS accredited school, Pursuing a vocational education, an associate's degree, or a first bachelor's degree.
    • Eligible students can apply online starting January 1, 2016, at www.rankinfoundation.org/students/applications. The deadline is March 18, 2016.
    • We appreciate your efforts in sharing this information with women who may be eligible to apply and others who share an interest in our mission. Please feel free to contact April Greene, our Program and Operations Manager (april@rankinfoundation.org, 706-208-1211), with any questions.
  • Runnerclick Scholarship.  Apply to receive one of three $2,000 scholarships given away every year.  Stay active and get extra money to go to school!

Questions can be directed to the State Approving Authority at ND. Department of Veteran Affairs Office questions at (701) 239-4667.

Discharge Requests

Most Veteran’s benefits require that applicants provide a copy of their Form DD 214 or discharge record, which is evidence of their veteran status. This is an important document and must be safeguarded. In the State of North Dakota separation documents are considered confidential and privileged NDCC 37-18-11 (13). National Guard members may receive a NGB22 and/or NGB23 upon obtaining 20 years of satisfactory service (20 year letter).