Apply For and Maintain Benefits
The Department of Veterans Affairs has set policies governing who qualifies for veterans' benefits, how to stay eligible, and what it will and will not pay for.
Who Is Eligible?
To collect VA benefits you must:
- Declare a program of study.
- Attend classes.
How Do I Stay Eligible?
A student will be considered in good standing as long as the classes taken are required for graduation in his/her program, the student is not repeating classes already successfully completed, the student has not been on Academic Probation for two consecutive quarters (of enrollment) and does not earn less than a 2.0 for the quarter, the student has not been Academically Dismissed by the College and does not earn a 2.0 GPA for the quarter. (See Grading and Academic Procedures in the College Catalogue).
Once a student has been reported to the VA for Unsatisfactory Progress, benefits will be suspended and the student will be notified. Students must reapply for their benefits by contacting the G.I. Bill Office.
Students who miss two or more weeks of classes will be administratively dropped from their classes. Once a class is dropped the VA will be notified to adjust rate payment accordingly. If you need to miss class, please make sure you notify your instructor to avoid administrative withdrawals.
What Will VA Benefits Pay For?
VA Benefits generally pay for classes required for graduation in a program.
One exception to this rule: VA benefits will pay for Vocational Rehabilitation students with Counselor approval.
VA benefits will not be paid for Auditing classes.
Veterans' benefits will pay for remedial classes as long as they are required to obtain a degree. Students determine which remedial classes they must take according to their scores on the COMPASS placement test. The VA considers all Columbus State’s DEVXXX classes and ENGL 100 as remedial.
To avoid a delay, suspension, or overpayment of your VA benefits, students must report all changes to the College G.I. Bill Office:
- Address changes
- Name changes
- Change in credit hours
- Withdrawal from school
- Program of study changes
- Apply for admission to college and be admitted.
- Complete an application with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, requesting educational benefits electronically through VONAPP
- Request College and Military Transcripts and submit to the Office of the Registrar. **NOTE: Only OFFICIAL transcripts can be evaluated for possible transfer credits.
- For Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard go to https://jst.doded.mil/smart/signIn.do to request your Joint Services Transcript
- For Air Force go to http://www.airuniversity.af.mil/Barnes/CCAF/Display/Article/803247/ to request your Community College of the Air Force transcript.
- Declare a program of study & verify state residency with the Office of the Registrar.
- Take College Placement Test(s), if required. Please go to https://www.cscc.edu/admissions/placement-testing/ for additional information.
- Meet with an Academic Advisor.
- Register for Classes.
Once a student has submitted their certificate of eligibility documentation to the G.I. Bill Office along with a Request for VA Certification Form, the college will forward certifications on to the Department of Veterans Affairs to be processed.
If a student is taking at least six (6) credit hours, he or she may be certified each academic semester. If a student is taking less than six (6) credit hours, is on active duty, or is attending as a transient student, he or she must be certified for benefits each academic semester after all tuition and fees are paid.
If a student withdraws during any academic semester, the student's benefits will be terminated and he/she must contact the G.I. Bill Office to restart benefits. If a student elects to change their program of study, the student must change the program of study with the Office of the Registrar, as well as the G.I. Bill Office to prevent interruption of educational benefits.
Once an application and enrollment certification is submitted to the Department of Veterans Affairs, it may take 6 – 8 weeks to start receiving a monthly VA benefit payment. Payment is direct deposited into the students’ banking account for the prior months training.
Direct Deposit is not available to Chapter #35 recipients.
Monthly VA payments will be based on the number of credit hours the student enrolls each quarter:
- 12 + credit hours = full time payment
- 9-11 credit hours = 3/4 time payment
- 6-8 credit hours = 1/2 time payment
- 1-5 credit hours = 1/4 time payment
To request Advance Payment, the student must be planning to take at least six (6) credit hours and sign an Advance Payment Request 60 days before the tuition & fees deadline.
Accelerated Sessions/Flex Term Classes
Columbus State offers several classes each semester that meet less than the regular 10 weeks (i.e. 1st term, 2nd term, * week term). These classes are called Accelerated or Flex term classes. If you choose to enroll in an accelerated term or flexibly scheduled class, your VA benefits may be adversely affected. The DVA will only pay benefits for the time you are actually enrolled in classes.
Tuition and Fee Payment
Students receiving VA education benefits are expected to pay fees by the deadline dates established by the College each semester. If you have not paid your tuition by the deadline your VA benefits will be terminated. If benefits are suspended, the student must contact the G.I. Bill Office to reapply for benefits after tuition is paid-in-full.
The VA will not pay education assistance to persons on active duty with the Armed Forces or the Public Health Services whose education or training cost are being paid by the Federal Government. This restriction also applies to persons receiving education or training under the Government Employees Training Act and being paid their full salary.