Veterans' Education Benefits
South Puget Sound Community College is an approved institution for the education and training of veterans, reservists, the children and spouses of deceased or 100% “total and permanently” (with no further exams pending) disabled veterans and eligible dependents who have received transferred benefits. The college’s Veterans Office helps those who are eligible to obtain Veterans Educational Benefits. Our Veterans Office staff will help guide you through the application process, and work as an instructional and advisory aid between the Department of Veterans Affairs and you as a student of South Puget Sound.
Hours and Location
To obtain VA Education Benefit application materials or to submit them for review and certification, contact the college Veterans Office. The Veterans Office is located in bldg 22, Center for Student Success, on the 2nd floor.
The Veterans Office staff members are listed below. They are available Monday – Friday from 8am – 4pm for Drop-In/Walk-In appointments. Sign in at the computer kiosks located near the One Stop desk.
Veterans Office Services
The Veterans Office staff will provide you with the following:
- Assistance throughout the education benefit application process
- Notification of enrollment and enrollment changes to the VA
- Help in interpreting, explaining and implementing VA policies and college regulations
Veterans Office staff generally do not provide academic advising, however academic decisions may impact your educational benefits so we will help you with this decision making process! You will need to meet with your program advisor or an academic advisor on a regular basis to make sure that you are making progress toward graduation.
The Veterans Office is not the Department of Veterans Administration (VA). The college cannot override VA policies or determine VA eligibility, nor does the college control the issuance of VA Educational Benefits. The VA requires 30-45 days to process any paperwork submitted to them.
Applications for VA education benefits and additional benefit information are available at the following locations:
- Links are located on the right hand margin of this web page
- Hard copy forms are available through the One Stop desk in bldg 22.
- The VA has an online application available through www.gibill.va.gov.
Applicants completing a hard copy application are encouraged to return it to the Veterans Office for review and submission to the VA. Include supporting documentation as indicated on the application. Applicants completing an online application will be required to complete additional paperwork to start their benefits through the Veterans Office.
All applicants must be prepared to provide the Veterans Office with a copy of their Certificate of Eligibility Letter, after their application has been processed and approved by the VA, whether the application is submitted online or by mail.
All applicants must complete the admission process including applying for Admission, completing the Placement Test and/or Transcript Evaluation and attending New Student Advising. Additional information regarding admission to the college can be found here.
Upon completing the registration process, students must submit the online Enrollment Confirmation Form. This process must be completed every term. This allows the Veterans Office to review courses for degree/certificate compliance and to pre-certify the student for benefits.
When the quarter begins, students must complete the Attendance Verification Form, with instructor’s signatures, and return the form to the Veterans Office. This process must also be completed every term. Failure to submit the Attendance Verification Form may result in administrative withdrawal from class and/or termination of benefits.
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 Web site at: www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.
The Veterans Office assists students using the following benefits:
Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits. Generally, benefits are payable for 15 years following your release from active duty.
For students attending South Puget Sound Community College, the Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay resident tuition and fees, based upon your eligibility percentage as determined by the VA. The VA will no longer pay non-resident tuition charges. The Post 9-11 GI Bill will pay eligible individuals:
- A Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) based on the Basic Allowance for Housing for an E-5 with dependents at the location of the school.
- An annual books & supplies stipend of $1,000, paid proportionately based on enrollment.
- Payment amounts will be prorated for active duty service that is less than three years and for enrollment that is less than full-time.
The student is responsible for paying any balances not paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs including but not limited to non-resident tuition charges, balances remaining beyond the percentage of eligibility payment received from the VA, balances for classes not covered by VA benefits and remaining balances due to exhausted entitlement.
NOTE: If you are enrolled exclusively in online or hybrid courses, you will receive 50% of the national average of the MHA (for 2013-2014, this amount is $714.50).
If you are on active duty, you will not receive the housing allowance or books & supplies stipend.
This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits, generally benefits are payable for 15 years following your release from active duty.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill also offers some service members the opportunity to transfer their GI Bill to dependents.
Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship
Public Law 111-32, the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, amends the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Ch 33) to include the children of service members who have died in the line of duty after Sept. 10, 2001. Eligible children attending school will have the resident portion of the allowable tuition and fees paid to the institution plus a monthly living stipend and book allowance under this program.
Who is eligible?
Children of an active duty member of the Armed Forces who has died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001, are eligible for this benefit. A child may be married or over 23 and still be eligible.
- Are entitled to 36 months of benefits at the 100% level
- Have 15 years to use the benefit, beginning on his/her 18th birthday
- May use the benefit until his or her 33rd birthday
- Cannot use benefit before age 18, even if he or she has completed high school
- Are not eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program
Rules for eligible children serving, or who have served, in the Armed Forces:
- If the child is eligible under the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty, Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve, and/or the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP), then he or she must relinquish eligibility under one of those programs to receive benefits under Post-9/11 GI Bill
- A child’s character of discharge from his or her own service does not impact eligibility resulting from the line of duty death of a parent
- A child on active duty will receive benefits at the active duty benefit rate (eligible for resident tuition and fees but not eligible for monthly housing allowance or books and supplies stipend)
- A child who meets the service requirements to transfer entitlement under Post-9/11 GI Bill may be eligible to transfer up to 36 months of entitlement to his or her dependents.
Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty (MGIB-AD) (Chapter 30)
The Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30) program provides up to 36 months of education benefits and may be used for approved certificate and degree programs at South Puget Sound Community College. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following your release from active duty.
Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) (Chapter 1606)
The MGIB-SR program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. This benefit may be used for degree programs at South Puget Sound Community College. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.
Additional criteria for eligibility are:
- Completed initial period of active duty for training
- Completed 180 days of service in Selected Reserve
- Must have a High School Diploma or GED
- Must not have previously completed a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
- Must be able to obtain a Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE) from unit
Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) (Chapter 1607)
REAP was established as a part of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005. It is an education benefit program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operation) as declared by the President or Congress. This program makes certain reservists who were activated for at least 90 days after September 11, 2001 either eligible for education benefits or eligible for increased benefits. This program is not eligible for Advance Pay.
Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35)
DEA provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition, or who died while on active duty or as a result of a service related condition. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. The benefit is available up to age 26 for children and must be collected within 10 years of date of eligibility if used by a spouse. Eligibility for extended entitlement is determined for the VA.
Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31)
Vocational Rehabilitation may be awarded to veterans who have at least 10% service-connected disability and are receiving a disability allowance. The VA will pay for tuition, fees, supplies or required tools. Veterans will also receive a subsistence allowance each month based upon enrollment status and number of dependents.
- To receive an evaluation for VR & E services, a veteran must:
- Complete an application for Vocational Rehabilitation (VA Form 28-1900) and submit it to the VA Office in Seattle.
- Received, or will receive, a discharge that is other than dishonorable
- Have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10%
The basic period of eligibility in which VR&E services may be used is 12 years from the latter of the following:
- Date of separation from active military service, or
- Date the veteran was first notified by VA of a service-connected disability rating
- After the application is reviewed, the file is forwarded to a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC). The VRC and the veteran will then jointly develop a plan to address the rehabilitation and employment needs of the veteran. The rehabilitation plan will specify an employment goal and determine how that goal is going to be achieved. The VRC and the veteran will work together to implement the plan and achieve successful rehabilitation. Quarterly meetings between the Veteran and the VRC will track the veteran’s success and provide an opportunity for ongoing evaluation and provision of other services or resources, should such services and resources be required.
SPSCC pleased to be able to offer priority class registration for honorably discharged veterans. In order to confirm your eligibility, please bring a copy of your DD-214 showing your separation and character of service to the One Stop Desk in bldg. 22, Center for Student Success. If you do not have a copy of your DD-214 available, you may obtain one via the “Access My Documents” tab on the Veteran’s administration E-Benefits portal (www.ebenefits.va.gov) In order to take advantage of the early registration time, you will need to make sure that you do not have any blocks on your account that would prevent registration.
Tuition Assistance (TA) is available to Active Duty military, National Guard Members and Reservists. Eligibility is determined by the military units. Contact your unit to determine your eligibility for assistance using the GoArmy Ed. or the my.af.mil portal. Due to budgetary constraints, funding is not always available and should not be counted upon. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that tuition is paid.
Work Study Program
This program is available to students receiving VA Education Benefits who are attending school at three-quarter time or full time enrollment status (by VA standards). Under this program, a student may work part-time at any organization or agency that works with Veterans or Veterans related issues. Work-study students are paid at the greater of State or Federal minimum wage.
Tuition Waivers are state legislated waivers of all or a part of a student’s tuition at state supported institutions of higher education, based upon legislated criteria. Generally, the Washington state legislature allows the individual community and technical colleges to determine whether to make tuition waivers available to their students. The Board of Trustees of South Puget Sound Community College made the decision in the Spring of 1995 to discontinue the State Employee, Vietnam and Persian Gulf Tuition Waivers and has not made a provision for subsequent tuition waivers. One of the few exceptions is the Washington State legislature mandated tuition waiver for the dependents (spouses and children) of deceased/100% disabled veterans. Additional information regarding this waiver is available from the Veterans Office.