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Checklist for Certifying Benefits

A. Certifying VA Educational Benefits and Applying for Financial Aid

This procedure can also be found in a step-by-step process on the VA Benefits Home Page under Certify VA Education Benefits.

In order for your VA Education Benefits to be certified, the following requirements must be met:

  1. Active servicemembers must consult with their Education Services Officer prior to submitting an application for VA benefits to Montgomery Community College.
  2. Veterans, active servicemembers, Guard and Reserve, and survivors and dependents must complete an application for VA educational benefits at VONAPPand supply copies of applicable documentation* to Montgomery Community College.
  3. Veterans, Guard, and Reserve must supply a copy of their DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty to Montgomery Community College.

  4. Veterans, active servicemembers, Guard and Reserve, and survivors and dependents must apply for admission and submit a copy of your acceptance letter from Montgomery Community College to the VA Certifying Official.

  5. Veterans, active servicemembers, Guard and Reserve, and survivors and dependents must request official transcripts (high school/GED, college, College Level Examination Program, or Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support test results) to be sent directly to Montgomery Community College Admissions Office from all other educational institutions attended.

  6. Within two-to-three weeks after you apply for or transfer VA benefits, you will normally receive a letter from VA informing you that they have received your application and are processing it.

  7. Approximately 45 – 60 days (sometimes longer, depending on the workload at the Regional Processing Office in Atlanta ) after your application has been submitted, you will receive two copies of a letter from the VA entitled "Certificate of Eligibility." Copy Number 2 is for the VA Certifying Official at Montgomery Community College for inclusion in your VA file.

  8. Upon receipt of your official letter of acceptance from Montgomery Community College, submit a copy to the VA Certifying Official at Montgomery Community College and consult with him/her prior to registration to ensure transcripts and other necessary paperwork has been entered into your file. The VA Certifying Official will aid you in ensuring your courses match your degree program. It is ultimately your responsibility to follow the approved courses listed for your degree program. Certification cannot take place until after you are successfully enrolled in classes. (See Registering for Classes.)

    Veterans, active servicemembers, Guard and Reserve, and survivors and dependents may also apply for additional financial aid through FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) by completing the following steps:

    I will not be applying for additional financial aid through FAFSA. What happens next?

  9. Gather the following information needed to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):

    • Social Security Number

    • Current year tax return or W-2 forms

    • Driver's license number

    • Amounts received from Social Security of Veterans Administration

    • Amounts of child support paid or received

    • Estimated net value of assets

    • Montgomery Community College's School Code: 008087

  10. Go to www.pin.ed.gov to obtain a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to electronically sign your financial aid application, then proceed to www.fafsa.gov to file for financial aid.

  11. Within 24 hours to 2 days receive a copy (electronic if you provided an e-mail address) of your Student Aid Report (SAR.) Review and make necessary changes at www.fafsa.gov.

  12. Begin watching e-mail box (including junk mail) or home mail box for a checklist from Montgomery Community College of items for you to complete and return to the college by e-mail, U.S. mail or in person. Financial aid applications are not complete until all additional forms are filled out and returned to the college.

  13. Once all forms have been returned to the college, look for a rose-colored award letter in the mail informing you of your financial aid award. In the event you do not qualify for financial aid, you will be notified by the college by mail or e-mail.

    According to NC state law, tuition and fees must be paid at the time of registration. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee financial aid to any student who has not received a rose-colored award letter by one of the following dates:

Montgomery Community College Financial Aid Priority Dates

If you will be attending
MCC this
You must have your rose-colored award letter by this date
Fall July 1
Spring November 1
Summer April 1

B. Registering for Classes

  1. With the help of your advisor, (new students will be directed to the appropriate advisor on open registration day,) complete a trial schedule.

  2. Register for classes. (You will be directed to the appropriate location on registration day.)

  3. If you will be receiving financial aid, you will be directed to the financial aid officer. If you will be receiving only VA educational benefits, you will be directed to the VA Certifying Official.

  4. Provide a copy of your official registration form to the VA Certifying Official. If all applicable documentation (see Certifying VA Educational Benefits procedure) is present in your file, the VA Certifying Official will certify your benefits and give you a certification ID #.

  5. Go to the business office with your registration form. Any financial aid will be applied at this time. Pay tuition and fees as applicable.

    Please note: Students certified for all chapters (with the exception of chapter 31 – vocational rehabilitation) are responsible for tuition, fees, and books. School costs cannot be charged to Veterans Affairs. Please be prepared to pay out-of-pocket expenses to start school. It takes approximately 45 to 60 days to start receiving VA benefit payments once you are certified by the VA Certifying Official at Montgomery Community College.

C. Keeping Your Benefits Running Smoothly

  1. Only courses required to complete the appropriate curriculum or remaining elective courses in the individual's curriculum as published in the Montgomery Community College catalog may be counted in qualifying for VA benefits. The VA will not pay for non-degree or additional courses.

    • The Montgomery Community College course curriculum for your degree is the official list of courses covered under VA educational benefits. Any courses taken outside of the stated curriculum may be your financial responsibility.

    • Second or subsequent changes to include an additional school requires documentation of approval by the head of your degree program to be provided to the VA Certifying Official. A request for approval for such will then be submitted to the North Carolina State Approving Agency (NCSAA.) Approval must be made before your certification can be processed.

    • The VA will not pay for courses previously passed with a grade of "D" or higher; courses for which transfer credit has been granted; courses passed by a proficiency exam or credit received for military schools.

    • The VA will not pay for enrollment in the following: course audits, independent study, repeated courses previously passed, credit by examination, courses not required in chosen curriculum, and courses attempted more than two times.

    • A full-time undergraduate student will be eligible to receive full VA benefits (12 credit hours or six credit hours minimum each term under compressed terms.) For a student who enrolls for less than full-time, the amount he/she can receive in benefits will be prorated.

    • In the event that you are unable to meet full-time enrollment requirements during your last semester at Montgomery Community College, see your VA Certifying Official concerning additional class hours.

  2. A record of approval of any changes must be provided to your VA Certifying Official at Montgomery Community College for inclusion in your file. It is the responsibility of the student to advise the VA Certifying Official of any change in status such as dropping/adding courses, course substitutions, or withdrawal from the school after a semester or term has begun.

  3. It is ultimately the student's responsibility to report any changes and to enroll in classes that meet the degree requirement. Failure to comply with these requirements and proper procedures could result in an overpayment situation, a lapse in payment, or a reduction in benefits. Any extraneous benefits being received by the student will be terminated and/or recouped as quickly as possible; the government aggressively pursues repayment of any overpayments.

  4. In the event you drop or add a course, please provide a copy of the required paperwork to your VA Certifying Official.

  5. In the event of an address change, please notify the VA Certifying Official and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

  6. Montgomery Community College certifies students using the beginning and ending dates of the terms stated on the approved academic calendar. Internships or externships are reported as irregular calendar dates and approval must be received by the North Carolina State Approving Agency prior to certification.

  7. Students will automatically be paid for breaks between terms of less than 30 days. If you do not want to be paid for these breaks, please notify the VA.

  8. Students taking classes at another institution with the purpose of transferring required credit back to Montgomery Community College must provide a visiting student letter to the visiting school and to the VA Certifying Official at Montgomery Community College. You may be certified as a visiting student at the other institution provided all requirements are met.

  9. Students whose grade point average (GPA) falls below a 2.0 may be placed on probation. Failure to achieve a GPA of 2.0 while on probation could result in suspension of VA educational benefits for unsatisfactory progress.

  10. Students are under obligation to both Montgomery Community College and VA regulations, bearing in mind that VA regulations may differ from Montgomery Community College regulations.

  11. Students receiving VA benefits are subject to all rules and regulations stated in the Montgomery Community College catalog.

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