Veterans Education Benefits
Veterans' Education Benefits
South Puget Sound Community College is an approved institution for the education and training of veterans, reservists and the children and spouses of deceased or 100% “total and permanently” (with no further exams pending) disabled veterans. The college’s Veterans Office helps those who are eligible to obtain Veterans Educational Benefits. Our Program Coordinator will help direct 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.
Services, 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 within the Student Financial Services Office in Bldg. 25.
The Program Coordinator is available on Monday and Tuesday from 8:00-1:00 and 2:00-4:00 and on Friday from 8:00-1:00. Appointments may be scheduled by calling (360) 596-5242 or (360) 596-5232. Notify the staff of Student Financial Services when you arrive for your appointment or to sign the Drop-In list.
The Program Coordinator
The Program Coordinator is here to serve students receiving Education Benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Program Coordinator provides:
- 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
The Program Coordinator is not an academic advisor, 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 front counter of the Financial Aid office
- 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 complete the Enrollment Confirmation Form and submit it to the Veterans Office with a copy of their final schedule of classes. This process must be completed every term.
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.
The Veterans Office assists students using the following benefits. Additional information on these VA - administered education benefits is available through www.gibill.va.gov including pamphlets in .pdf format.
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 balances remaining due to exhausted entitlement in the middle of the term.
NOTE: If you are enrolled exclusively in online or hybrid courses, you will receive 50% of the national average of the MHA (for 2011-2012, this amount is $684).
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.
When will benefits be paid?
VA will begin accepting applications for this benefit May 1, 2010, and will begin issuing payments to eligible children by 8/1/10. Children enrolled from 8/1/09 through 7/31/10 may receive retroactive payments for that time.
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 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.
Vocational Rehabilitation (Bofd)
Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31) 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.
Veterans Retraining Assistance Program VRAP
The Veterans Retraining assistance program was developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs as a resulft of the Hire Heros Act of 2011, signed by President Obama on Nov, 21, 2011. The new program will provide retraining for Veterans hardest hit by current economic conditions.
- The VRAP offers 12 months of training assistance to unemployed Veterans. To qualify, a Veteran must:
- Be at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
- Be unemployed (as determined by DoL)
- Have an other than dishonorable discharge
- Not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g.: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance)
- Not be in receipt of VA compensation due to unemployability
- Not be enrolled in a federal or state job training program
The program is limited to 45,000 participants during fiscal year 2012 and to 54,000 participants from October 1, 2012, through March 31, 2014. Participants may receive up to 12 months of assistance at the full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill–Active Duty program (currently $1,564 per month). Applications will be submitted through DoL and benefits paid by VA. DoL will provide employment assistance to every Veteran who participates upon completion of their program.
Participants must be enrolled in a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school. The program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certificate, and train the Veteran for a high demand occupation. For more information, visit http://benefits.va.gov/vow/education.htm
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. 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.
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. The only exception is the the Washington State legislated tuition waiver for the dependents (spouses and children) of deceased/100% disabled veterans. Additional information regarding this waiver is available from the Veterans Office.
Dependent Military ID Card Renewal
Dependents of Active Duty or Retired military personnel who are in school at the full-time rate (12+ credits) may contact Enrollment Services for a letter confirming the student’s enrollment as a full-time student. The student must request the letter and must be able to provide a Program of Study and an expected Date of Graduation. Enrollment verification will not be processed prior to the 10th day of the quarter or during breaks between quarters. The ID Card Section of Ft Lewis will not provide an ID card if the student is enrolled at less than full-time.
2011 Mottman Rd SW
Olympia, WA 98512-6292
AddressesVA Regional Office (Muskogee) PO Box 8888
Muskogee, OK 74402-8888
VA Regional Office (Seattle)
915 Second Avenue
Seattle, WA 98174
Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs
1102 Quince St SE
Email a Benefit Specialist at
Web Site: www.dva.wa.gov.
Veterans Office Forms:
- Admissions and Registration Process
- Veterans Office Information Sheet
- Post 9/11 GI Bill Supplemental Information Sheet
- Confirmation of Enrollment
- Attendance Verification
Dept of Veterans Affairs Forms
- 22-1990 Application for Benefits (current/prior military service)
- 22-1995 Change of Program/Place of Training (current/prior military service)
- 22-1990e Application for Transferred Benefits (Ch 33 Transferred Benefits - Recipient )
- 22-5490 Application for Dependents
- 22-5495 Change of Program/Place of Training (specific to dependents)