Montana State Approving Agency (SAA)


Montana SAA's Duties and Responsibilities

The Montana SAA reviews, evaluates, and approves/re-approves educational and training programs, allowing eligible veterans and beneficiaries to utilize their VA education benefits while participating in or attending an approved program.  Federal law and VA policies require that all approved facilities comply with specific regulations and guidelines to ensure the credibility and quality of the training and education programs.  It is the SAA's responsibility to verify that provisions are met and to determine whether or not facilities meet approval criteria.

The Montana SAA also provides oversight and supervision of all approved programs by safeguarding veteran benefits.  This is done through technical assistance; direct communication with facility representatives; training; compliance surveys; and mandatory re-approvals.

Overview of the Approval Process

All facilities, such as an educational institution or employer, are required to submit an application for the program(s) they would like approved.  Once it is determined that the legal criteria and all approval requirements are met, programs can be approved or re-approved.  After VA accepts the approval, eligible veterans and beneficiaries may use their GI Bill® benefits while enrolled in an approved program.  Until education or training programs are approved by the SAA and accepted by VA, GI Bill® benefits cannot be used. 

Types of Programs

All programs approved for GI Bill® benefits must possess an educational or vocational objective. Programs fall under one of the following categories:

  • Institution of Higher Learning (IHL)
  • Non-College Degree (NCD)
  • Apprenticeship
  • On-the-Job Training (OJT)
  • Vocational Flight

For institutions, schools, or employers interested in pursuing program approval, please contact the Montana SAA at 406.444.4122 or via email at

For additional information and helpful links, please visit Resources 

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



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