Service Credit, Certification, and Benefits for Veterans
Cosumnes River College assists veterans, reservists, and dependents of service-connected disabled or deceased veterans with their educational benefits. Veterans Resource Center staff is available to provide assistance with completing and filing Veterans Affairs (VA) claim forms for federal and state education assistance programs.
Learn about education benefits offered by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) through the GI Bill®.
Credit for military service is granted upon presentation of papers showing honorable discharge from and active duty of one (1) year or more in the United States armed forces. A veteran may receive three (3) units of living skills graduation requirements and one (1) unit of elective credit, if applicable, by submitting a copy of their DD214 separation papers. Under rare circumstances, veterans may also receive credit for satisfactory training completed in service school. After enrolling at Folsom Lake College, a veteran may apply for evaluation of military service experience for college credit. A copy of the veteran’s DD214 separation paper must be submitted to the Admissions & Records office after the first semester of attendance. Credit granted for military service is based on “A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services,” published by the American Council on Education. Students in the six-month reserve training program are not eligible for military credit. This is in accordance with the recommendation of the American Council on Education.
Enrollment - Semester Certification
Enrollment certification for VA education benefits is not automatic. Students should submit a Request for Certification form every semester in order to initiate their educational benefits. We strongly recommend that students accomplish this as soon as they have secured classes in order to expedite the processing of educational benefits.
While receiving VA Educational benefits, students may be concurrently enrolled at more than one school during the same semester. The parent school is whichever school the student is pursuing a degree or other program objective. Veteran students are responsible for informing the Supplemental School's Veterans' Office where their Parent School is located. Upon confirmation from the Parent School, the Supplemental School will complete the certification for the benefits form (VA form 22-1999) and send a copy to the Parent School.
Veterans and dependents are cautioned when enrolling in short-term or Fast-Track classes (ex. 8 week terms). The VA will only consider your enrollment for the actual days in the short-term class, not for the entire semester.
What the VA Will and Will Not Pay For?
- Recommended Classes – The VA does NOT pay for recommended classes – only required classes.
- Challenged Classes – The VA will NOT pay for any class that is challenged. You must attend a class to receive payment for it.
- Required Prerequisites and Remedial Classes – The VA WILL pay for required prerequisites. They will also pay for remedial classes for which the student has been placed through assessment testing.
- Online Classes/Distance Education – The VA WILL pay for TV courses, online courses, and independent study classes. Payment for these classes will cover only the period the class is in session.
- Repeated Classes – You may repeat a course and receive VA payment for it if you received an “F”, “NP” or “W” grade on the original attempt. The VA does not pay for repeats of “D” or better grades; or for incomplete grades, unless the Incomplete is changed to an “F” grade. EXCEPTION: When a class is required for a major and must be passed with a certain grade level to progress to another required class (prerequisite) then the VA will pay for the repeat.
- Credit by Examination – The VA will NOT pay for credit by examination sections. This is course credit given by examination based on work experience, foreign language proficiency, or any other process outside the conventional academic setting.
If you don’t attend class, you are not entitled to benefits. If a student stops attending a class they must drop officially with the college and report the drop to the VA certifying official. This is a student responsibility – not ours. Federal law requires that students report any change in enrollment status, which might affect their VA education benefits to the school and the VA. Your signature on the Request for Certification form shows acceptance of the responsibility to keep the VA certifying official informed of any change in student status.
When there is an overpayment, the VA will ask for repayment of the overpaid benefits. If you ignore the VA’s request, they can withhold future GI bill payments, disability payments, or depending upon the situation, they can take a student to court, charge interest, and they may take future tax return refunds, attach wages, put legal holds on property or deny home loans.
The VA certifying official monitors student enrollment on a weekly basis via the computer and updated unit reports are sent to the VA. When adding or dropping classes, the student must report the drop or add directly to the VA certifying official.
Post 9/11 GI Bill Tips and Reminders
- Remember that the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing and books and supplies stipends are paid "in arrears." This means that your housing stipend for August won't be received until September. Also, if you are starting school for the first time, your first payment may not be for a full month of housing because the VA pays from the actual day you start school.
- Tuition and fee payments go directly to the school.
- Be sure to inform VA if you change your direct deposit information.
Round-Out is a program which allows students who have a limited number of courses remaining in their program to add non-required courses and be paid at a higher rate. Round-Out may only be used in the final semester of attendance. It may be used once at the 2-year college level and again for the 4-year level. Speak to the VA Certifying Official or a counselor for more information about this option.
Veteran Affairs Chapter Benefits
Establishes a program of educational benefits for eligible persons entering military service after June 30, 1985, who have had their basic military pay reduced for their first 12 months of service and received a discharge specified as "honorable." The maximum entitlement is 36 months of full-time benefits. Monthly benefit rates are determined by the VA. Benefits terminate 10 years after date of separation.
Chapter 30 Kickers - Higher monthly benefits are paid to Chapter 30 participants with "kickers" and to Chapter 30 participants who made additional Chapter 30 payments.
The Vocational Rehabilitation and Education (VR&E) program is administered by a different department of VA than regular education benefits. This program has two key goals:
- To assist the service-disabled veteran to prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment (including educational assistance).
- For those persons who are severely disabled and that gainful employment is not an option, assistance may be provided to allow that person to live more independently in his or her community.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill is for 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.
Sons, daughters and spouses of a veteran may be eligible for benefits if the veteran died while on active duty, died after discharge from active duty of a service-connected disability, is permanently and totally disabled as a result of a service-connected disability, or listed as missing in action for a total of more than 90 days. Eligible persons are entitled to a maximum of 45 months of full-time benefits. Generally, the eligibility period for sons and daughters is between the ages of 18 and 26. A spouse may use educational benefits during a 10 year period after eligibility is found.
To be eligible for educational assistance a person must have a 6-year obligation to serve in the selected reserve after June 30, 1985. Maximum entitlement is 36 months of full-time benefits which terminate 10 years from the date of eligibility or the day following separation from a reserve component.
Chapter 1606 Kickers - An additional amount, called a kicker, may be added to the benefit of some Chapter 1606 students.
NOTE: Active duty personnel are reimbursed for tuition and fees only, but are accessed entitlement charges at the rate of attend.
Other Veterans Programs
The dependent child, spouse, or unmarried surviving spouses of a service connected-disabled or deceased veteran may be entitled to fee waiver benefits at all California community colleges, CSU system, and UC system universities. To obtain eligibility requirements and assistance in applying for this valuable benefit, please contact your local County Veteran Service office or the college Veteran Affairs office. You can also download an application from the website for the California Department of Veteran Affairs.
If you are receiving Chapter 35 benefits, you are not eligible to receive the College Fee Waiver for Veterans' Dependents under Plan A. See the instructions for details about Plan B and minimum eligibility requirements.
This benefit is applicable to one academic year only and must be renewed EVERY academic year. The academic year commences in the summer and ends with the end of the spring semester (i.e. one academic year = summer term/fall semester/spring semester).
After a student has applied for the Fee Waiver with their local County Veteran Service office and if approved, they will receive an approval letter in the mail. The student should bring this into the FLC Financial Aid office and attach to the California College Promise Grant application for processing. Admissions & Records does NOT process the Fee Waiver for Veterans' Dependents.