GI Bill Briefing May 7 th, 5 PM Nicholas Laureys BCCC Veterans Affairs Coordinator WEB: NEW!

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1 GI Bill Briefing May 7 th, 5 PM Nicholas Laureys BCCC Veterans Affairs Coordinator WEB: NEW! PHONE: 410/ FAX: 410/

2 Today s Agenda How to Utilize VA Benefits at BCCC New Enrollment Certification (EC) form Common Pitfalls New VA Employment Center single federal source for Veterans looking for new career opportunities in the private and public sectors CH 36 - VA's NEW Education and Career Counseling program Scholarship Opportunities BCCC Book Award, Foundation Scholarship, etc. Veterans Club Update 2

3 How to use your VA BCCC Process differs slightly for each benefit program (called Chapters, i.e. CH 31) Process is longest your first semester Next slide will show the processes that apply to ALL Chapters EACH semester you must complete EC form You ALWAYS must report schedule changes to the BCCC Veterans Affairs office 3

4 How to use VA Benefits ALL Chapters NEW Students 1.1 Apply to the VA for an Education Benefit Apply online for faster processing and tracking Use ebenefits or VONAPP VA Work Study Students in MNB 07F can assist you 1.2 Apply for Admissions to BCCC 1.3 Apply for Financial Aid The VA DOES allow you to use Financial Aid in conjunction with VA Benefits For CH 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill), there are some limitations Note that all 3 of these steps can be completed simultaneously! Do not wait to finish 1.1 before starting 1.2 or 1.3 4

5 How to use VA Benefits ALL Chapters NEW Students 2. Meet with an academic advisor and register for classes Advisors are in the Student Success Office room MNB 020 Become your own expert advisor Always have a copy of your education plan and the college s chart of General Education requirements (Pg. 40 of the College Catalog) Using these two documents and your Student Inquiry (unofficial transcript), you can always track your degree progress 5

6 General Education Requirements 6

7 How to use VA Benefits ALL Chapters NEW Students Submit paperwork to Veterans Affairs Office Do this AFTER you have officially registered! Required paperwork: 1. BCCC Enrollment Certification (EC) form 2. Student Inquiry (also called 710 / unofficial transcript) 3. Schedule/Bill printout 4. VA Approval Paperwork Can be , Certificate of Eligibility (COE), copy of submitted application ( , , E, etc.) Depends on your situation but for ALL students a or COE is eventually required 5. DD-214 or other separation paperwork (Veterans only) 7

8 How to use VA Benefits ALL Chapters NEW Students At this point, you re finished! You ll begin receiving payments in arrears This means you re paid each month for the previous month s enrollment i.e. for the Fall semester, on October 1 st you will receive your 1 st full check, for September s enrollment The following students must also verify their attendance at the end of each month using WAVE (see next slide): CH 30, CH 1606, CH 1607 ALL students must report enrollment changes (W s, course adds/drops, section changes, etc.) to the BCCC Veterans Affairs Office 8

9 Verifying Your Attendance Required of CH 30, 1606, 1607 students Can be done online through WAVE (Web Automated Verification of Enrollment): Recommended for faster & more accurate processing Can also be done by phone: (1-877-VA-ECERT) Earliest you can verify: last calendar day of month You cannot be paid unless you verify your attendance! 9

10 How to use VA Benefits ALL Chapters Continuing Students As a continuing student, after registering for the next semester(s), you are required to: Submit required paperwork to Veterans Affairs Office: 1. BCCC Enrollment Certification (EC) form 2. Student Inquiry (also called 710 / unofficial transcript) 3. Schedule/Bill printout 4. VA Approval Paperwork VA Approval Paperwork will consist of either: Updated Updated COE showing remaining months of entitlement 10

11 How to use VA Benefits ALL Chapters Returning Students A returning student is one who has not registered for 2 semesters 1.1 Submit a Change of Program or Place of Training form to the VA, if you used VA Benefits at another school during your absence from BCCC This is VA form (CH 30, CH 33, CH 1606, CH 1607) or (CH 35) 1.2 Apply for Readmission to BCCC Testing (ACCUPLACER) may be required check with the Testing Center (MNB 04B) 1.3 Apply for Financial Aid (MNB 024) Note that all 3 of these steps can be completed simultaneously! Do not wait to finish 1.1 before starting 1.2 or 1.3 Remaining steps are the same as for new students 11

12 How to use VA Benefits ALL Chapters Transfer Students 1.1 Submit a Change of Program or Place of Training form to the VA This is VA form (CH 30, CH 33, CH 1606, CH 1607) or (CH 35) 1.2 Apply for Admission to BCCC 1.3 Apply for Financial Aid (MNB 024) Note that all 3 of these steps can be completed simultaneously! Do not wait to finish 1.1 before starting 1.2 or 1.3 Remaining steps are the same as for new students Remember to submit your official transcript to Admissions! Under no circumstances will the VA pay for courses you have successfully completed at another institution An unofficial transcript may be used for advising purposes for your first semester 12

13 Important Points - ALL Students Full Time Status The VA measures full-time (FT) status differently than BCCC and the Financial Aid Office For the VA, the actual start and end dates of your courses determine your FT status For the regular terms, FT = 12 credits Fall Regular = late August to late December Spring Regular = late January to late May Remember! All courses must be in the regular term for 12 credits to be full-time i.e., if you are enrolled in 12 credits but one of your courses is Accelerated, you will not be FT for the entire semester 13

14 Important Points - ALL Students Full Time Status, Part II Remember! Check your course start/end dates on your schedule/bill printout The VA includes finals week within the course dates e.g. a Regular Spring 2014 course ends on 5/25/14, the last day of the finals session For summer 8-week courses (6/9 8/4), 6 CR = FT For summer I and Summer II 5-week courses (6/9 7/14 & 7/15 8/18), 4 CR = FT Check with the BCCC VA Office if you are unsure of your FT status Always Remember! The VA makes all final decisions regarding FT Status 14

15 Important Points - ALL Students Remedial Courses VA will only pay for remedial (developmental e.g. MAT 92, RENG 90) courses if your test scores require them i.e. VA will not pay for developmental courses as refresher or practice courses IMPORTANT! VA will not pay for online developmental courses Developmental courses must be taken in-person 15

16 Important Points - ALL Students Repeat Courses VA will pay for one repeat of a failed course Failed means the grade earned did not meet the minimum requirements of your education program e.g. Nursing requires a C or better in all courses, so VA will pay for a repeat course attempt if you earned a D or lower IMPORTANT! VA will not pay for Stopped Attending or Never Attended F grades The VA only pays for F grades that are earned (attended all classes) 16

17 Important Points - ALL Students Withdrawing from courses The VA will not pay for W grades This means the VA will recoup money paid for a course, if you later withdraw from it (this is called an overpayment) When mitigating circumstances apply to the withdrawal, the VA may reduce the overpayment Mitigating Circumstances: Mitigating circumstances are circumstances beyond the student's control that prevent the student from continuing in school or that cause the student to reduce credits. (see next slide) Documentation of mitigating circumstances must be provided by the student to the BCCC Veterans Affairs Office 17

18 Important Points - ALL Students Withdrawing from courses, Part II Examples of Mitigating Circumstances are: An illness or death in the student s immediate family. An illness or injury afflicting the student Unanticipated difficulties with childcare arrangements the student has made Immediate family or financial obligations beyond the control of the student An unavoidable change in conditions of employment. An unavoidable geographical transfer resulting from the student s employment. Unanticipated active military service, including active duty for training. 18

19 Important Points - ALL Students Withdrawing from courses, Part III Your responsibility: If you withdraw from a course and think that mitigating circumstances apply, you must: Submit the following to the BCCC Veterans Affairs Office on the day of your withdrawal: Documentation of your mitigating circumstances A personal statement describing your mitigating circumstances Your mitigating circumstances documentation can be limited or redacted if it is very personal in nature (you do not need to disclose all details) The minimum requirement is that the documentation clearly demonstrates your mitigating circumstance (medical, death in family, employment issues, etc.) 19

20 CH 31 Important Points In addition to the steps for all students, remember: Your from your counselor must be valid for the current term (review point 5, Enrollment Period ) If your has expired or will expire before the term ends, contact your Vocational Rehabilitation counselor to obtain an updated You must follow the education plan listed in point 4 ( Name of Services/Assistance ) on the You will be able to purchase books/supplies in the bookstore only after the VA Office has certified your enrollment and processed your

21 CH 31 Important Points, Part II Only the items listed in point 9 ( Specific Guidelines ) can be purchased supplies refers to general supplies like pens, pencils, paper, notebooks ALL OTHER supplies must be individually approved by your counselor e.g. backpacks, USB drives, recorders, day planners, etc. If you are not sure whether the supply purchase is approved, check with Student Accounts (MNB 027)! Ultimately, any unapproved purchases will be the student s responsibility If you think you need an addition supply, contact your Vocational Rehabilitation counselor for approval 21

22 CH 31 Important Points, Part III You must tell the bookstore to charge your VA Account when making purchases If your Financial Aid account is charged, or you make purchases out-of-pocket, the VA cannot pay for these purchases! When registering for future semesters, if your account is blocked for third-party payments, this means the VA has not yet paid your current semester bill Check with the VA Office (MNB 07E) and Student Accounts (MNB 027) to determine the cause of the delayed VA payment 22

23 CH 33 Important Points, Part I How are payments made? Tuition & Fees (T&F) paid directly to BCCC, up to the in-state rate Book & Supplies Stipend paid directly to the student upfront in a lump sum $1000 max per academic year (=$41.67 per credit hour) The academic year is Fall through Summer The book & supplies stipend is no longer paid once the max ($1000) is reached for the academic year Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) paid monthly in arrears directly to the student Based on BAH rate for an E-5 with dependents for the zip code of the school (BCCC = 21215) for the academic year (i.e BAH rate applies beginning Fall 2014) $1917 beginning Fall 2014 Reduced MHA rate for online only = $ per month If at least one course is in person, regular MHA rate applies If you are part-time, VA pays a proportion of the MHA rate i.e., nine credits for the standard term = 80% of MHA = $ beginning Fall 2014 Your months of entitlement are exhausted according to your FT status (i.e. if you are part-time your entitlement is exhausted proportionally a partial moth of entitlement is exhausted for each month of enrollment) 23

24 CH 33 Important Points, Part II Remember, if your CH 33 rate is < 100%, you are paid a percentage of the 100% rates for: T&F, book & supplies stipend, MHA stipend e.g. 60% eligible student gets $25 per credit hour for book & supplies stipend, 60% of in-state tuition and fees, and $ for standard full-time MHA rate for Fall

25 NEW! VA Employment Center For Job Seekers: Access tools and resources designed to help Veterans and transitioning Service members translate their military skills into new public or private sector careers. Learn how to identify your professional strengths, create and post résumés, achieve success in your next job, and more. 25

26 VA Employment Center Collaboration of the U.S. Departments of: Veterans Affairs (VA) Defense (DoD) Education (ED) Commerce Labor (DOL) Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Small Business Administration (SBA) For Employers: Public and private sector employers can search thousands of résumés and post limitless jobs on the Employment Center free of charge. 26

27 VA Employment Center 27

28 Chapter 36 Education & Career Counseling Program What Is the Education and Career Counseling Program? Offers a great opportunity for transitioning Servivemembers and Veterans to get personalized counseling and support to guide their career paths, ensure most effective use of their VA benefits, and achieve their goals. 28

29 Chapter 36 Education & Career Counseling Program Eligibility Transitioning Servicemembers within six months prior to discharge from active duty Veterans within one year following discharge from active duty Any Servicemember/Veteran eligible for a VA education benefit All current VA education beneficiaries 29

30 Chapter 36 Education & Career Counseling Program Services offered: Career Choice - understand the best career options based on your interests and capabilities Benefits Coaching - guidance on the effective use of VA benefits and/or other resources to achieve education and career goals Personalized Support - Academic or adjustment counseling and personalized support to help remove any barriers to success 30

31 Chapter 36 Education & Career Counseling Program Application Process: Print and complete VA Form Mail the form to: Department of Veteran Affairs ATTN: Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) Baltimore Regional Benefit Office 31 Hopkins Plaza Baltimore, MD For questions or assistance, contact the VA at (Hearing Impaired, ) 31

32 Scholarship Opportunities BCCC Foundation Scholarships: Fall 2014 applications are due June 15 th! Application Process: FAFSA Scholarship Application Additional support documentation to show you meet special criteria outlined in the scholarship s requirements (e.g. participation in extracurricular activities, 4A program, documentation of hours worked per week) Award amounts vary by scholarship but are typically $500 for tuition scholarships and $250 for book scholarships. Applications are available on the back table 32

33 Scholarship Opportunities BCCC Book Award: Fall 2014 applications are accepted beginning in August! Applications accepted until funds are exhausted Submit Applications to the Financial Aid Office (MNB 024) Applications are available on the back table 33

34 Scholarship Opportunities BCCC Scholarship: Fall applications are accepted beginning in August! Applications accepted until funds are exhausted Submit Applications to the Financial Aid Office (MNB 024) Applicant must be a Baltimore City resident Applications are available on the back table 34

35 Scholarship Opportunities Lillian and Willard Hackerman Student Emergency Loan Program: Short-Term (90-day), non-interest bearing loans Maximum Award Amount: $500 Loans not made during periods of nonenrollment Submit Applications to the Financial Aid Office (MNB 024) Applications are available on the back table 35

36 Scholarship Opportunities Workforce Creation Scholarships: Must be a Baltimore City resident Must be enrolled in an approved degree, certificate or critical workforce shortage program at BCCC See application for list of approved programs Applications are available on the back table 36

37 Veterans Club Update Kevin Hayden, Club President John Lemon, Club Vice President Spring 2014 Meetings are every other 12 PM in MNB 106 Club Banner and T-Shirts are being delivered in late May Sale of T-Shirts will begin soon; contact Kevin or John for details Join the Club s Facebook page! Search BCCC Veterans 37

38 Questions & Comments?? Tell your friends! Another GI Bill Briefing will be held TOMORROW (Wednesday), May 7 5 PM here in Gaare Auditorium If I don t have time for your question, visit the BCCC Veterans Affairs Office in MNB 07F during Walk-In Hours 38

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