Financial Aid for Military Students
Students receiving VA benefits may select any program that is approved by the Department of Veteran Affairs leading to a degree offered at Westmoreland County Community College.
Before you register for classes, check with the VA Certifying Official, who is located in the Financial Aid office, to learn whether your program is approved by the VA.
Chapter 33 (The Post 9/11 GI Bill)
The Post-9/11 GI Bill is for individuals with at least 90 aggregate days on active duty (AD) service on or after September 11, 2001, and are still on AD or were honorably discharged. Individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. The Post-9/11 GI Bill will become effective for training on or after August 1, 2009. More eligibility information on the Post 9/11 GI Bill is provided on the Department of Veterans Affairs website.
Chapter 35 (Survivor's and Dependents Educational Assistance program DEA)
The spouse, child, stepchild or adopted child of a veteran who is deceased (service-connected) or who is 100% disabled (service-connected) may qualify for Chapter 35 benefits. Visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website for more information.
Chapter 30 (Veterans GI Bill)
Educational assistance program available to fully honorably discharged veterans who meet the eligibility criteria explained in detail here.
Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation)
Any veteran receiving at least 10% permanent, service-connected disability from the DVA can apply for this benefit. Approval is made on a case-by-case basis and is managed at the state level. Learn more here.
Chapter 1606 (Reserves/National Guard)
This program may be available if you are a member of a selected reserve and/or National Guard. More eligibility information on Chapter 1606 is provided here.
Chapter 1607 (Reserve Educational Assistance Program)
REAP provides educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency declared by the president or Congress. More information
Certification of Enrollment
For all chapter benefits, the certifying official must notify the DVA of your enrollment each semester. It is your responsibility to contact the Financial Aid office each semester when you are fully registered for a term. Your enrollment will be certified with the Certifying Official shortly thereafter. Each time you add, drop or withdraw following certification, you must contact the Certifying Official.
What documents should be provided to Westmoreland’s VA Certifying Official?
- DD-214 Member 4 Copy (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty). Please turn this document in to the Financial Aid.
- Copy of official transcripts from all previous colleges and military transcripts (if applicable) should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office.
- Copy of Kicker Program documentation (if applicable).
- Notice of basic eligibility (NOBE) if you are in the Reserves.
- Certificate of Eligibility (you will receive this from the regional VA office once a determination on your eligibility is made). Prior to receiving your COE, you may submit a copy of the screen showing your eligibility as listed from on your eBenefits and WAVE Benefits page.
- Copy of Veteran's Request for Certification
Monthly Enrollment Verification
Each month that you qualify for benefits, you must contact the DVA for enrollment certification. This should be done online on the last day of each month, online.
Follow the WAVE (Web Automated Verification of Enrollment) link to complete electronic certification or via phone at 1-877-823-2378. If your enrollment certification has been submitted and you would like to check on the status of your payment, you can call the regional office at 1-888-442-4551.
- It is your responsibility to notify the VA Certifying Official when withdrawing, adding, or making any changes to your schedule. You can stop at our office and bring a copy of your official withdrawal showing the date(s) of withdrawal.
- Chapter 33 (The Post 9/11 GI Bill). The veteran is responsible for any overpayment incurred as a result of not completing courses. In the event a veteran does not complete a course, schools should follow their established student refund policy. VA will work with student to resolve overpayment.
Transfer of Benefits
Students who had been receiving veteran's benefits at another college must complete a Change Program/Place of Training form (VA form 22-1995) for Veterans, Servicepersons, & Members of the Selected Reserve or (VA form 22-5495) for Survivors' & Dependents' Education Assistance to receive benefits at your place of training. These forms can be completed online . A copy of this form needs to be sent to the VA Certifying official at Westmoreland County Community College.
Continuing students are asked to complete the Request for Certification once registration has concluded for each semester (Fall, Spring and Summer semesters).
Have questions? Go to www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/
The VA requires veterans receiving benefits to attend all scheduled class meetings. Failure to do so may result in the loss of benefits and pay back of veterans benefits already received for the semester in question.
VA Standards of Progress
Students receiving GI Bill benefits must meet the Standards of Academic Progress as defined in the Westmoreland student handbook. The college maintains the same SAP policy for recipients of Federal Financial Aid and GI Bill Benefits.
Veterans’ Services will not pay educational benefits if one of the following should occur:
- The veteran registers for classes that are not specified as necessary for the declared program of study. Depending on circumstances, deficiency or remedial courses may be certified for benefits.
- The veteran fails to submit all previous college transcripts for evaluation.
- The veteran registers for two or more courses and receives “F” (Fail), "W" (Withdrawal) or “I” (Incomplete) grades for all courses for one semester.
- The veteran fails to convert an “I” (Incomplete) grade to a letter grade within one year from receipt of the “I” grade.
- The veteran fails to attend class for the semester for which VA benefits are received and receives a grade of “N” (Non-Earned F).
Entitlement to Benefits
This school certifies your enrollment status, programs and academic progress. All questions concerning payment are to be referred to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs at 1-888-442-4551 or online. You may be required to create an account.
Information about qualifying pay rates and payment dates is available only through direct contact between the student and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The certifying official is responsible for the accurate and prompt certification of enrollments and changes in enrollment of eligible students to the VA. The certifying official is an employee of the college, not the VA. The certifying official cannot determine eligibility for VA Educational Benefits.