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GI Bill Programs®

As a Veteran, you may be eligible for educational benefits through numerous GI Bill® programs. Once you’ve decided to use your GI Bill® benefits it’s important to choose the proper school and type of training. The Department of Veterans Affairs have decision-making tools will help you get the most from your benefits.

Steps to Using Your GI Bill® at Galveston College

    1. Students wanting to use VA education programs must apply for admission to the school. You may apply to Galveston College at www.applytexas.org, or in person at the Office of Admissions.
    2. Apply for your VA education benefit at www.vets.gov. This process may take up to 4-6 weeks. Students who are approved will receive a Certificate of Eligibility. Post 9/11 recipients must have a Certificate of Eligibility on file in order for the Department of VA to be billed for a portion or all approved tuition and fees. If you have ever used your benefits at another school, then you need to log into your VONAPP account and submit VA Form 22-1995 “Request for Change of Program or Place of Training”.
    3. Submit official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. If the student has earned less than 15 college credits, an official high school transcript with the date of graduation. If you received a GED® in Texas, see the Office of Admissions, they may be able to assist you with attaining the GED® transcript. You will also need to submit your military transcript, you may go to https://jst.doded.mil/smart/signIn.do to order a free official transcript to be sent to Galveston College.
    4. All new students are required to attend New Student Orientation. For more information, please visit the New Student Orientation page or contact the Counseling and Advising Center at 409-944-1220.
    5. Official TSI Assessment, or exemption test scores and documentation.
    6. Meet with your Academic Advisor to assist you pick out the degree/ certificate program and register for classes. Be sure to get two copies of your degree/ plan. One for your records, and one to submit with your Enrollment Certification Request.
    7. It is strongly recommended that you apply for Financial Aid. The website is www.fafsa.ed.gov, the school code for Galveston College is 004972. If you need assistance, contact a Financial Aid staff member. If you have had a significant decrease in income, you may need to file a special circumstances packet.
    8. Submit evidence of the Bacterial Meningitis vaccination or appropriate exemption.
    9. Submit an Enrollment Certification Request Form, and attach the signed degree plan. Any courses not required on your degree plan will not be certified to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Be advised that the number of weeks of a course may affect your BAH payment. For more information, please contact the School Certifying Official in the Financial Aid Office or the Department of Veterans Affairs. If the student changes their schedule, it is the students’ responsibility to give notice in writing to the School Certifying Official so that the Enrollment certification may be updated.
    10. Service members and Reservists, if you need to be absent due to service requirements, please contact your instructors and be prepared to show a copy of your orders.

Explore Your Options

Comparison Tool and Payment Rates:
http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/comparison_tool.asp
You may be eligible for several types of VA education and training benefits, but there are many things to consider before you apply for a GI Bill® program. To choose a school, click here: http://department-of-veterans-affairs.github.io/gi-bill-comparison-tool/

CareerScope®:
http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/careerscope.asp
The Department of Veterans Affairs provides the interest and aptitude assessment tool known as CareerScope® at no cost to all eligible benefit recipients. CareerScope® has been used frequently by Veterans to determine the best career path for transition to civilian life.

College Navigator:
http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
Search for and compare colleges on all sorts of criteria including costs, majors offered, size of school, campus safety, and graduation rates.

Who is here to help me:

  • Academic Advising: Student Success Advisor located in the Advising and Counseling Department
  • Financial Advising: School Certifying Official located in the Financial Aid Office
  • Disability Accommodations: Student Success Advisor located in the Advising and Counseling Department

 Shopping Sheet Information:

What is a shopping Sheet? The Financial Aid Shopping Sheet is a consumer tool that participating institutions will use to notify students about their financial aid package. For more information, go to http://www.ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/attachments/GEN1305FinanAidShopSheetAtt.pdf.

How do I access my shopping sheet?

Step 1: Login to the Whitecaps Portal, found on the Galveston College Webpage – www.gc.edu, with your GC user name and password.

Step 2: Once logged into the Whitecaps Portal, Click the tab named “Self-Service Menu”.

Step 3: Click on Student Financial Aid.

Step 4: Click on Financial Aid Shopping Sheet.

Step 5: Click on “View FA Shopping Sheet PDF”

General Information

Repeating Courses:
No student may repeat a course for VA benefits in which a passing grade or temporary grade of “I” has been earned. Students are responsible for knowing which courses have been completed, unless a higher grade is required for degree plan.

Concurrent Enrollment:
A student pursuing a degree at a school may take a course at another school. The school that will grant the degree is the student’s primary school. All other schools are secondary schools. If the primary school will accept the secondary school’s course as a transfer credit that applies towards completion of the student’s degree, then both the primary school and the secondary school certify the students to VA. The student must request a parent institution letter to submit to the secondary school.

Mitigating Circumstances:
Unanticipated and unavoidable events beyond a student’s control which are responsible for the student’s inability to complete a course(s) which result in the student’s receipt of a non-punitive grade for a course the student did complete. Generally, a student will be required to submit corroborative evidence to demonstrate the reason(s) for being unable to complete a course with a passing grade.

Change of Program:
A change of program is a change in a student’s program and curriculum. Student must submit the correct degree plan in pursuit along with the Enrollment Request Form to the Financial Aid Office.

Important Contacts and Websites

Nikki Montoya
Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs Assistant
4015 Avenue Q
Galveston, Texas 77550
Business: 409-944-1225
Fax: 409-944-1505
Email: nmontoya@gc.edu

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Processing Office:

VA Regional Processing Office
P. O. Box 8888
Muskogee, Oklahoma 74402
Business: 888-442-4551

GI BILL® Home:

http:/www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/
Official benefit website

Frequently Asked Questions:

https://gibill.custhelp.com
You may create an account and ask a question about your educational benefit. You will receive an email once the VA has responded to your question.

Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE):

https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave
This site allows students to submit their monthly verification of enrollment over the Internet

VA Forms:

http://www.va.gov/vaforms
VA Forms available on the internet

Web Automated Reference Management System (WARMS):

http://www.warms.vba.va.gov/ 
On-line access to VBA Manuals, Directives, Circulars, Letters, Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations, and other materials necessary to support our nation’s Veterans

VA Debt Management Center (DMC):

http://www.va.gov/debtman 
DMC has collection jurisdiction for all education benefit debts.
DMC e-mail address: dmc.ops@va.gov

E-Benefits:

http://www.ebenefits.va.gov/
eBenefits is a one-stop shop for online benefits-related info.

American Council on Education Military Guide:

http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/Military-Guide-Online.aspx
Guide to evaluation of educational experiences in the Armed Services

Joint Services Transcript (JST):

https://jst.doded.mil/smart/signIn.do
Get a transcript translating army formal military education and job experience into civilian language; also includes college equivalent credit recommendations

DOD Transferability:

http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2009/0409_gibill/ 
DOD transferability documents, policies, and procedures

VOW/VRAP:

http://www.benefits.va.gov/VOW/ 
VOW to Hire Heroes Act information, including the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program

College Navigator:

http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
A tool for students to aid in the selection of schools and training programs.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill ®

The Post-9/11 GI Bill® provides up to 36 months of education benefits to those who have served on active duty after September 10, 2001. It can be used only at Institutions of Higher Learning. It can pay up to the maximum tuition and fees charged in an undergraduate program at state Institutions of Higher Learning in each state. If you are attending at least one class in a classroom you may be entitled to receive a housing allowance equal to the military BAH for an E-5 with dependents at the location of the school you are attending. You may also receive a books and supplies stipend up to $1,000 each year. You have 15 years from your last discharge from active duty to use your benefits.

Montgomery GI Bill® – Active Duty (Chapter 30)

The MGIB-Active Duty program provides up to 36 months of education benefits to those who have served on active duty. This benefit may generally be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses.

Montgomery GI Bill® – Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606) 

The MGIB-Selected Reserve 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 generally be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses.

Reserve Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 1607)

The Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) is a Department of Defense 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.

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. These benefits may generally be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training.

Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship)

The Fry Scholarship provides payments in an amount equal to the Post-9/11 GI Bill® to eligible children of Servicemembers who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001. Effective January 1, 2015 this benefit is extended to surviving spouses of Servicemembers who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001.

Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 32)

The Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) 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. Your contributions are matched on a $2 for $1 basis by the Government. This benefit may generally be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses.

National Call to Service

This National Call to Service Incentive program requires a participant to perform a period of national service to be eligible for benefits. It is a Department of Defense program that is administered by VA. For more information about these programs, please click here.