Applying for Your VA Benefits: It’s Your Right and a Privilege
Here at the Veterans Resource Center, we understand that applying for VA Benefits can be overwhelming. That is exactly why we are here to assist active duty military personnel, veterans, and their dependents with applying for possible VA Benefits, as well as submitting the necessary documentation to get certified by our in-house VA Certifying Official. We are located inside Building 12 – MacLean Hall, Room 107. Our office hours are from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM, Monday through Thursday and 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM on Friday.
*As a reminder, please make sure that you have submitted all of the required documentation to the Office of Admissions (Building 2 – Coleman Hall) or the Military Student Adviser (Building 12 – MacLean Hall, Room 118), as your VA benefits will not be certified until you are registered for classes and have submitted a class schedule to the VA Certifying Official. Each military-based category (i.e., Active Duty Military, Active Duty Spouses & Dependents, Veterans, and Dependents of Veterans) may require specific documentation to complete the enrollment process. Please view each link for more information.
If you are in a rush and have no time to visit the center, the steps for applying are pretty simple:
- Step One: Please contact the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Education Office at 1-888-442-4551 for information pertaining to your eligibility for possible VA benefits. (Disclaimer: Schools cannot automatically determine your eligibility for VA Benefits). For your convenience, a summary of each Veterans Education Benefit Program is listed below:
Veterans Education Benefit Programs
|Chapter 30: Montgomery G.I. Bill® – Active Duty (MGIB-AD)||This program provides educational benefits to individuals that served on active duty for at least two years. To apply, complete VA Application 22-1990 online at: https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/montgomery-active-duty/|
|Chapter 31: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program||Vocational Rehabilitation for Service-Disabled Veterans. This program is for individuals who have a compensable service connected disability and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs determines that training and rehabilitation services are needed to overcome an employment handicap. To apply, complete VA Application 28-1900 at: https://www.va.gov/careers-employment/vocational-rehabilitation/how-to-apply/|
|Chapter 33: Post 9/11 G.I. Bill®||This program 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 G.I. Bill. The Post 9/11 G.I. Bill will become effective for training on or after August 1, 2009. Active duty service members can also potentially transfer their benefits to their spouse and/or dependents. To apply, complete VA Application 22-1990 online at: https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/post-9-11/
Yellow Ribbon Program for Veterans
The Yellow Ribbon G.I.® Education Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program) is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. This program allows institutions of higher learning (degree granting institutions) in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate. The institution can contribute up to 50% of those expenses and VA will match the same amount as the institution. The Technical College of the Lowcountry has agreed to accept an unlimited number of applicants who are eligible for the Post 9/11 (Ch. 33) benefit at the 100% rate. No application required.
Visit https://www.va.gov/education/gi-bill/yellow-ribbon/ for more information
|Chapter 35: Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance||This program is for dependents (spouse or children) of individuals who die or are permanently disabled from service connected causes. Disclaimer: Children must be between the ages of 18 through 26, unless student meets exception guidelines. To apply, complete VA Application 22-5490 online at: https://www.va.gov/education/gi-bill/survivors-dependent-assistance/|
|Chapter 1606: Montgomery G.I. Bill® – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)||This program is available to members of the Selected Reserve, including the National Guard. To apply, complete VA Application 22-1990 online at: https://www.va.gov/education/gi-bill/montgomery-selected-reserve/. The form DD2384 (NOBE) is required.|
|Chapter 1607: Montgomery G.I. Bill® – Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)||A Department of Defense education benefit developed to provide benefits for Reservists called to active duty after September 11, 2011 in response to a war or national emergency, as determined by the President or Congress. A member of a reserve component must have served at least 90 consecutive days or more regardless of duty status. To apply, complete VA Application 22-1990 online at: https://www.va.gov/education/other-educational-assistance-programs/reap/. The form DD2384 (NOBE) is required.|
- Step Two: Apply for your VA Education Benefits online at https://www.va.gov/. Active Duty Military Service Members can also transfer their Post 9/11 (Chapter 33) benefits to their spouse and/or dependents via https://www.va.gov/education/transfer-post-9-11-gi-bill-benefits/.
- It is strongly encouraged to print out and save the confirmation page after you have applied, just in case there is a delay in receiving your Certificate of Eligibility. Disclaimer: According to the VA website, applications are usually processed within 30 days.
- Step Three: Check on the status of your VA Education Benefits by logging into eBenefits or the VA website.
- Step Four: Print out your Certificate of Eligibility or Eligibility Information from eBenefits or the VA website within three to four weeks, after it has been processed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- If you are planning to use your Chapter 31 benefits, you will need to meet with your VA Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor to obtain the signed Vocational Rehabilitation Authorization Form (VA Form 28-1905).
- Step Five: Once you have submitted all of the required admissions documents and been moved to “official student status”, schedule an appointment to meet with your Academic Adviser to register for classes. You can also register for classes online on your TCL Self Service Account.
- Step Six: Effective December, 2019: All students must complete the VA Educational Benefits Enrollment Certification Consent Form and submit this document along with a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility and class schedule to the VA Certifying Official via email to email@example.com or inside the Financial Aid Office (Building 2: Coleman Hall: Room – 139) or the Veterans Resource Center. You will need to setup your TCL Student Email to send your VA documentation. Information on setting up your student email, can be found via https://www.tcl.edu/campus-life/social/student-email/.
- All VA Benefit Education recipients (with the exception of Chapter 31 students) will need to submit a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility, VA Educational Benefits Enrollment Certification Consent Form, and class schedule.
- Chapter 31 recipients will be required to submit signed Vocational Rehabilitation Authorization Form (VA Form 28-1905), VA Educational Benefits Enrollment Certification Consent Form, and class schedule. You will need to communicate with your assigned Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor on a regular basis, in order to continuously receive VA Benefits. Certification is contingent based on your approval dates, as you may need to submit an updated VA Form 28-1905 to the Certifying Official.
- Step Seven: The VA Educational Benefits Enrollment Certification Consent Form must be submitted with a copy of your schedule and bill each semester, in order for your benefits to be certified. You will need to use your TCL Student Email to send your VA documentation, if you decide to use the email option.
- Step Eight: If you have a remaining balance on your account, you can make payments online on your Self Service account or inside the Cashier’s Office inside Building 3. They accept cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. Expecting a refund, sign-up for your refund to be direct deposited into your bank account via https://www.tcl.edu/paying-for-tcl/tuition-fees/disbursement-checks/. Questions, please contact the Cashier’s Office at 843-525-8355.
***You can also contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs regarding your GI Bill® payments. The VA Benefits Website also has more information about educational-related payment rates based on each program and current enrollment status. ***
South Carolina Free Tuition for Children of Certain War Veterans, Police Officers, Firemen or Rescue Workers
Children of deceased or 100% disabled Veterans, who were killed or disabled during military service, can attend any SC State supported institutions up until their 26th birthday and pay no tuition. Fees still apply. Applications are available inside the Veterans Resource Center (Building 12 – MacLean Hall: Room 107) or you can visit the website: http://va.sc.gov/documents/OEPP-703A.pdf. If you are transferring to TCL and have previously used this benefit, you will need to contact the South Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs to request a transfer letter at 803.647.2434.
- Additional Step: If approved, you will get a letter mailed from the South Carolina’s Governor Office. Submit your South Carolina Free Tuition (Governor) Letter to the VA Certifying Official to Ms. Jamella Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Veterans Resource Center.
Children of deceased or 100% disabled police officers, firemen, or rescue workers, who were killed or disabled while on duty, can go to any SC State supported institution for a total of four years and pay no tuition. Fees still apply.
Director of Veteran Services
Christina Welsch-Copeland – email@example.com
As the campus is closed to students and visitors I will be working from the bases. Please contact me at my email above or on my cell phone – 317-366-8489 – at any time and I will be happy to help you at any point!
Military Student Adviser
Jamella Taylor – firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday thru Thursday – 0830-1730
Friday – 0830-1130
Bldg 12, Rm 118
Christina Welsch-Copeland – email@example.com
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island
Bldg 923, Rm 30
Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort
Bldg 596, Room 107A