Veterans Benefits

Veterans Education Benefits

Wilkes Community College programs of study are approved by the North Carolina State Approving Agency (NCSAA) for veterans and eligible family members seeking access to educational benefits provided by the Veterans Administration.

Eligibility for Veterans Education Benefits is determined by the Veterans Administration, not Wilkes Community College. Applications for VA Education Benefits should be submitted online through the GI Bill website.

As of August 1, 2009, the Post-9/11 GI Bill is effective for training. Servicepersons who served on active duty for at least 90 aggregate days or discharged after 30 continuous days for a service-connected disability after 9/10/2001 may be eligible for Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. Approved training under the Post-9/11 GI Bill for Wilkes Community College includes undergraduate degrees, diplomas, or certificates under the curriculum programs listed in the school catalog. The Post 9/11 GI Bill covers tuition and fees (percentage based on length of service), and a housing allowance and book stipend is also available to the student.

The MGIB-SR program provides education and training benefits to eligible members of the Selected Reserve, including 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. Eligibility for this program is determined by the Selected Reserve components and VA makes the payments.

Members of the North Carolina National Guard may be eligible for tuition assistance. National Guard members should contact his/her unit to obtain an application.

The MGIB-AD program provides education benefits to veterans and service members who have at least two years of active duty.

The MGIB program generally provides up to 36 months of education benefits. This benefit may be used for undergraduate degrees, diplomas, or certificates under the curriculum programs listed in the Wilkes Community College catalog. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following release from active duty. There are some differences in eligibility and benefits within the different types of MGIB.

Dependents’ Educational Assistance provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents (spouse or child) of a veteran who has died in active duty or is permanently and totally disabled as the result of service. The program offers 36 to 45 months of education benefits. This benefit may be used for undergraduate degrees, diplomas, or certificates under the curriculum programs listed in the Wilkes Community College catalog. Dependent children may use between the ages of 18 and 26.

A veteran may be eligible for Vocational Rehab and Employment (VR&E) benefits if he or she:

  • has received, or will receive, a discharge that is other than dishonorable;
  • has a service-connected disability rating of at least 10%, or a memorandum rating of 20% or more from the Department of Veteran Affairs;
  • applies for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) VetSuccess services.

The basic period of eligibility in which Vocational Rehab services may be used is 12 years from the latter of: the date of separation from active military service, OR the date the veteran was first notified by VA of a service-connected disability rating.

Steps to Complete

  1. Have you received VA Education Benefits before?
    1. If you have, complete VA Form 22-1995 (Request for Change of Program or Place of Training) with the VA Certifying Official.
    2. If you have not, complete VA Form 22-1990 (Application for VA Education Benefits) online.
  2. Meet all WCC and VA admission requirements.
  3. Provide a copy of DD-214 or NOBE to VA Certifying Official.
  4. Provide a copy of the “Certificate of Eligibility” once you receive confirmation from the VA.
  5. Notify the VA Certifying Official when you have registered for a new semester. This must be done every semester in order to receive VA benefits.
  6. Read and sign the “Memorandum of Understanding” and return it to the VA Certifying Official .

Note: Please allow 8-10 weeks for initial VA claims to be processed by the VA. If you are a continuing student, VA claims are processing between 3-4 weeks.

VA Certifying Official

Image of Kelly Huffman
Kelly Huffman, BS
Financial Aid Coordinator
Phone: 336-838-6146
kchuffman604@wilkescc.edu

Requirements

Wilkes Community College does not participate in the Advance Payment Program. Veteran students are required to pay any unmet charges at the time of registration with exception to veterans eligible for 100% Chapter 33 benefits. Payments of educational benefits are made directly to the veteran by the Department of Veteran Affairs by check or direct deposit for the period the veteran is in attendance in an eligible program and has remaining entitlement.

Veteran students must pay all enrollment costs of tuition, fees, books, and supplies before the first day of classes of each enrollment period.

Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students receiving VA benefits must maintain satisfactory academic progress as outlined in the catalog, under Academic Regulations, Academic Progress and Standards. Any recipient who fails to meet the Academic Progress and Standards will be placed on academic probation. If, at the end of the probationary period, standards are not met, the recipient’s enrollment will be terminated for unsatisfactory progress with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

Failures

If a veteran affairs student receives a grade of “F,” they may still receive VA benefits. An exception would be if they did not complete the final exam and did not attend class according to the college policy. If a student fails to attend class and/or take the final exam, the VA Regional Office is notified and the student is classified as having received an overpayment of funds. Any overpayments are the student’s responsibility. VA students may receive benefits to retake a required course if they previously received a failing grade.

Withdrawals

All withdrawals must be reported to the VA Regional Office with 30 days from the date of withdrawing or when the student stops attending. VA students must submit an Official Withdrawal Form with Student Records once it is signed by a Financial Aid/Veterans Affairs Representative. It is the student’s responsibility to report all withdrawals or attendance issues to WCC’s Office of Veteran Affairs immediately to prevent overpayments. The last date of attendance must be verified by the instructor for all withdrawals.  If the student attended classes throughout the semester and receives a “W” as a grade, this has to be reported to the VA Regional Office and the last day of attendance will be reported.  Failure to notify WCC’s VA Office of withdrawals and continued acceptance of educational funds may be considered fraud.Students are encouraged to register only for those classes they know they can complete.

Ineligible Courses

The following cannot be certified for VA benefits:

  • Courses not leading to an educational, professional, or vocational objective (i.e. continuing education courses).
  • Courses previously completed successfully.
  • Courses taken while not admitted to a diploma, certificate or degree program.
  • Self-improvement courses.
  • Recreational programs.
  • Auditing courses.
  • Any course not approved by the State Approving Agency.

Reinstatement of Veterans Benefits Eligibility

Veterans/eligible dependents suspended for academic or disciplinary reasons must meet with a counselor prior to reinstatement. Those academically suspended must show evidence that the cause of the unsatisfactory process has been removed. If reinstated, students will be certified for one semester only pending continued satisfactory progress.

All policies are subject to change based on institutional and federal guidelines.

Servicemembers Opportunity College

Wilkes Community College has been designated as an institutional member of Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC). As a SOC member, Wilkes recognizes the unique nature of the military lifestyle and has committed itself to easing the transfer of relevant course credits, providing flexible academic residency requirements, and crediting learning from appropriate military training and experiences.