In order to be certified with the VA each semester, you must notify WGTC’s Veterans Office that you have registered. Send semester classes for certification using the Certification Request Form. All veterans using military benefits must turn in this application to VAresources@westgatech.edu each semester before they can be certified with Veteran Affairs.
West Georgia Technical College is approved for veteran’s training under various programs. These programs are briefly described below. Check with the Office of Veterans Affairs prior to enrolling in a course to assure that a particular course meets current approval for VA benefits. Please call 678-664-0557 or email VAresources@westgatech.edu for information.
Chapter 30 – Active duty educational assistance
MONTGOMERY GI BILL®* – ACTIVE DUTY
(MGIB-AD) – CHAPTER 30, TITLE 38 U.S. CODE These benefits generally apply to Veterans who began active duty service for the first time after June 30, 1985, had their pay reduced $100 a month for 12 months, and received an honorable discharge. For further information on the four eligibility categories, visit Montogomery GI Bill – Active Duty.To be eligible for education payments under Chapter 30, Veterans must possess an Honorable discharge. This would exclude those Veterans with a General Under Honorable Conditions discharge or any other discharge other than Honorable. Also excluded are officers who obtained their commission after 12/31/76, through a military academy (Annapolis, West Point, Air Force Academy, or Coast Guard Academy), or through an ROTC scholarship program (payments exceeding $3,400/year). Individuals released from active duty with an Honorable character of service by reason of Convenience of the Government (COG) with 20 months of service on a two-year contract, or 30 months on a three-year contract, are eligible even if they did not complete their full contract period. They will receive one month of Chapter 30 benefits for each month of active duty.
*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.
Chapter 30 Kickers and Additional Contributions
Higher monthly benefits are paid to Chapter 30 participants with “kickers” and to Chapter 30 participants who make additional Chapter 30 payments. Veterans may have a kicker, additional contributions, or both. The higher benefit rates are paid automatically when benefits are paid. If Veterans don’t receive the benefit they believe they are entitled to receive, they should submit a question through the “Submit a Question” feature on the GI Bill homepage about the discrepancy so that the VA can resolve the discrepancy with the Department of Defense. A kicker is part of the enlistment contract. It might be referred to as Army College Fund or Navy Sea College Fund.
School Funds:VA Pays all funds directly to the student. Therefore, the student must have another form of payment to the school. (Financial Aid or Pay out of pocket)
Chapter 31 – Vocational rehabilitation for veterans with service connected disabilities (Voc/ReHab)
Chapter 32 – Post-Vietnam Era Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP).
VEAP (Chapter 32) is available if you first entered active duty between January 1, 1977, and June 30, 1985, and you elected to make contributions from your military pay to participate in this education benefit program. You must have made original contributions prior to April 1, 1987, and you could make a maximum contribution of $2700 to your account.
Your contributions are matched on a $2 for $1 basis by the Government. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training, and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.
Chapter 33: (Post 9/11 Veterans Benefits)
Post-9/11 Veterans Education Benefits education and training general information– Any veteran who served any active duty time after 9/11/2001 may be eligible to receive Chapter 33 benefits.
Depending on the student’s situation, chapter 33 benefits can include payment of tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance, a stipend for books and supplies, college fund (―kicker) payments, a rural benefit payment, and a Yellow Ribbon Program benefit. (WGTC does not offer Yellow Ribbon)
Chapter 33 differs from other education chapters in that each type of payment is issued separately, with some payments made directly to the school and others directly to the student.
Tuition and Fees:
The tuition and fees payment is paid directly to the school on behalf of the student when the school’s enrollment certification is processed. If the student does not receive 100% VA education benefits, the student is responsible for making arrangements for paying the balance owed. You may choose to use Financial Aid or Pay out of pocket.
Monthly Housing Allowance:
- A monthly housing allowance is paid directly to the student at the end of the month the student was enrolled in classes. The first payment may not arrive at the end of the first month if the student was late in submitting their term planner. The standard processing time by the VA is 30 days from the time the school certifies the student’s enrollment, but may take as long as 90 days from the initial date the “Certificate of Eligibility” was issued.
- The allowance is prorated if the student wasn’t enrolled in classes for the full month. Active duty personnel are not eligible for the housing allowance.
- The monthly housing allowance paid equals the Department of Defense’s Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents and the zip code of the school/Campus where the student is attending a majority of their classes.
Rate of Pursuit:
Rate of pursuit applies specifically to chapter 33. It differs from training time, which is used for all other chapters. Schools certify actual credit. VA calculates rate of pursuit by dividing the number of credit (or credit hour equivalents) being pursued by the number of credit considered to be full-time by the school. The resulting percentage is the student’s rate of pursuit.
Examples: If full-time is 12 credits, then rate of pursuit for:
– 7 credits (or credit equivalents) is 58% (7 / 12 = 58%). The VA will round up to 60% rate.
The Housing Allowance is paid if the student’s rate of pursuit is more than 50%. Rate of pursuit determines whether a student receives or doesn’t receive the housing allowance. If pursuit is more than 50% the student receives the housing allowance. If pursuit 50% or less the student doesn’t receive the housing allowance.
Distance Learning and the Housing Allowance
Students whose enrollment is exclusively distance learning (online, correspondence, etc) will be paid 50% of the housing rate they would normally be entitled to for the number of credits they were certified for.
If a student’s enrollment is both distance learning and resident training (standard classroom instruction) and pursuit is more than 50%, then the monthly housing allowance will be paid at the full rate for the number of credits they were certified for.
Books and Supplies Stipend
The books and supplies stipend is a lump sum payment (each quarter, semester or term attended) paid directly to the student when the school’s enrollment certification is processed. The stipend is prorated by the student’s length of service percentage. Active duty students are not eligible for the stipend.
The books and supplies stipend pays $41.67 per credit certified, up to $500 per term and $1,000 per academic year. The VA academic year runs from August – July.
Chapter 35 – Survivors’ and Dependents Educational Assistance (also referred to as Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA)
VA’s Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (Chapter 35) program provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents and survivors of certain Veterans.
Eligible individuals are Veterans’ and Service members’ dependents, spouses and surviving spouses who have been found eligible by the Regional Processing Office (RPO) because of one of the following:
- The Veteran’s death was caused by the service-connected disability
- The Veteran is rated for total and permanent service-connected disability
- The Service member is Missing in Action (MIA)
- The Service member is captured in the line of duty
- The Service member is forcibly detained for longer than 90 days
- The Service member has a VA-determined service-connected permanent and total disability that will result in a discharge from military service
- Participants include a dependent child between the ages of 14 to 31 and a spouse, or surviving spouse, who qualifies for the benefit
- Education and Career Counseling
- Special Assistance
- Special Restorative Training (SRT)
- Specialized Vocational Training (SVT)
It’s simple to apply. Just follow these steps:
- Log in to your VA.gov account at Education Benefits Application
- Click the drop-down box for “VA Benefits and Health Care”
- Select “Education and training”
- Select “Survivor and Dependent Education Benefits”
- Under “How do I get these benefits?”, select “Apply for VA education benefits (Chapter 35 benefits)
NOTE: Counseling is required under 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 21.3102 when the eligible individual has a disability and may require SRT or SVT. Additional information is available in VA Pamphlet 22-73-3, published on VA’s Dependents’ Educational Assistance webpage.
The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship) provides Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to the children and surviving spouses of Service members who died in the line of duty while on active duty after September 10, 2001. Eligible beneficiaries attending school may receive up to 36 months of benefits at the 100% level.
- Children and surviving spouses of an active duty member of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001 are eligible for this benefit.
Children are eligible as of their 18th birthday (unless they have already graduated high school). A child may be married or over 23 and still be eligible. If they became eligible before January 1, 2013 their eligibility ends on their 33rd birthday. The age limitation is removed if the child became eligible on or after January 1, 2013.
Lose eligibility to this benefit upon remarriage. If they became eligible before January 1, 2013 they are limited to 15 years to use the benefit. The time limitation is removed if the spouse became eligible on or after January 1, 2013.
Fry and DEA Eligibility
If you are eligible for both Fry Scholarship and DEA (Dependents Educational Assistance), you will be required to make an irrevocable election between the two programs when you apply. Dependents are not eligible to receive both DEA and the Fry Scholarship based on the same event (like a Service member dying in the line of duty) unless he or she is a child whose parent died prior to August 1, 2011. A child of a parent who died prior to August 1, 2011 may still be eligible for both benefits but he/she may only use one program at a time and combined benefits are capped at a total of 81 months of full-time training. In this situation the two benefit programs cannot be used concurrently.
Other Factors to Consider
- Surviving spouses are eligible to receive Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC) while using the Fry Scholarship. Children, over the age of 18, in receipt of DIC will relinquish DIC payments upon the start of using VA education benefits such as the Fry Scholarship.
Chapter 1606 – Selective reserve educational assistance
For more information, please see the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Follow the steps below, then view our Veterans Affairs Checklist.
How to Apply for Education Benefits
1. If you would like to apply for VA Education Benefits, please visit the Department of Veterans Affairs ebenefits. Click on “Apply for Benefits” and use the VONAPP portal to fill out the online application. Once you have submitted the application and have been approved, you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility in the mail in four-six weeks. You will need to turn in a copy of the certificate along with your DD-214 to the VA Certifying Official.
2. If you do not receive a Certificate of Eligibility within that time, please contact the Department of Veteran’s Affairs at 1-888-442-4551.
3. Request an official copy of your military transcripts. Note: Military transcripts are not mandatory for admission into the college but are reviewed for transfer credit. You can request transcripts for Air Force or transcripts for Army, Navy/Marines, and Coast Guard.
If you have used your VA Education benefits at another institution and you want to transfer your benefits to WGTC, you must complete a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training form through VONAPP .
Once you have submitted the information to the VA, you will need to bring a copy of the form and your DD-214 to the VA Certifying Official.
Verify Your Enrollment
Chapters 30, 1606 recipients: once you are certified by the VA Certifying Official, you must verify your enrollment with the Department of Veterans Affairs the last day of each month before you will receive your payment. To verify your enrollment, you can go to Web Online Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) or call 1-877-823-2378.
For specific questions regarding your VA Education Benefits, please contact the Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-888-442-4551 or visit U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Questions specific to your benefits, eligibility or payments should be directed to the number above. Unfortunately, we do not have access to this information and are unable to provide information specific to your benefit entitlement.
You can view answers to frequently asked questions at Veterans FAQ’s.