Frequently Asked Questions for Veterans
Navigating college can be difficult. It's certainly true for veterans and their families who may be using VA education benefits. Here are some of the most common questions and answers.
As always, if you have a question that is not answered here, contact Veterans Services. Someone is available to help you with your specific situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
In order to receive maximum benefits as a student, you must have a minimum of 12 credits, and one class must be residential, 50 minutes a day, Monday through Friday for a total of 250 minutes a week for 5-credit courses. For 3-credit courses, you must attend 150 minutes a week. However, if all your classes are online and you are on chapter 31 VR&E (VOAC Rehab) you should contact your counselor to determine how your Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) will be affected.
Pre-college (under 100 level) courses are acceptable and can be certified as long as it's not an online course. The course also has to be deemed necessary for the student via placement test or transcript.
The sooner you apply/register for the new quarter, the sooner the Veterans Affairs (VA) School Certifying Official (SCO) can process and certify your paperwork. Book stipends are processed 5 to 10 business days after you are certified. VA processes Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) on the 25th of each month; the student will be paid in 5 to 7 business days post the 25th of each month that you are enrolled.
When applying to Centralia College, you must bring in your DD214 (member 4), Certificate of Eligibility for benefits, and a Joint Service Transcript (JST)/Air Force Transcript. Centralia College evaluates JSTs based on American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations and applies all courses that pertain to your specific degree.
If you have been over- or underpaid, contact Veterans Services immediately. If you feel you have been overpaid, absolutely DO NOT spend the money until there has been an official determination.
Debt Managment handles any debts owed to the Veterans Affairs (VA). If you have incurred a debt, you should call the Debt Management Office for the VA at 1-800-827-0648. They will help you determine the best course of action.
Chapter 35 (DEA) - Tuition and Fees are waived.
Chapter 33 (Post 9/11) - Tuition and Fees are paid directly to school after student is certified.
Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill) and Chapter 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill - Reserves) - Tuition and Fees are paid directly to the student after the student has been certified. It is up to the student to pay the tuition and fees directly to the school at the cashiers office (secold floor of TAC), online, or by setting up a payment plan.
First, contact Veterans Services immediately and sign the proper paperwork (Request For Change Of Program Or Place Of Training). Depending on what degree you change to, your classes may or may not carry over.
Only courses on the degree plan / educational planner can be certified.
You should never drop a class without first contacting Veterans Services and any other funding source. Dropping classes can have a negative effect on funding and cause you to owe both tuition and your housing allowence back to Veterans Affairs or the college.
There are two ways to change your direct deposit information. One can call the Veterans Affairs (VA) at 1 (877) 838-2778 or go online to the VA eBenefits website.
There are two ways to change your name and/or address. One can call the Veterans Affairs (VA) at 1 (877) 838-2778 or go online to the VA eBenefits website.
To gain access to the Veterans Center, you need to fill out a Veterans Center Access Request Form and turn it in to either the center (in the Kirk Library) or Enrollment Services (second floor of the TransAlta Commons) for approval. You will receive a PIN/access code in your Canvas/student email.
Applying for financial aid is completely up to you. While your Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits may cover all tuition and fees, financial aid can provide extra funding and is not considered double-dipping.
To set up an Ebenefits Account go to www.Ebenefits.VA.gov. Go to registration. If you no longer have a Common Access Card (CAC) / (CAC Reader), then fill out the bubble for Veteran, enter your information/SSN, complete the rest of the steps, and create your username/password. Once completed, you will have access to change your Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits, view payment information, and so much more.
Determine your BAH rate with the Basic Allowance for Housing calculator. Just make sure to select E-5 for Pay Grade, and look for Monthly Allowance with Dependents.
Contact Veterans Services
TransAlta Commons, Second Floor