Bluefield State College would like to thank you for your service and sacrifice to your country. We are dedicated to helping veterans achieve their educational goals. Bluefield State College’s core values – excellence, community, diversity and growth – are the cornerstones of our commitment to help you grow professionally and personally. Our goal is to provide resources and support to veterans as they make the transition from soldier to student.
Military personnel, veterans and their families have a wide range of VA Educational Benefits available to them. Bluefield State College has an on-campus Veterans Certifying Official located in the Registrar’s Office (Room 101 in Conley Hall) who is available to assist you. From helping you apply for your VA Educational Benefits, to addressing any concerns that you may have, our caring and knowledgeable Veterans Certifying Officials can guide you through the process.
Important Upcoming Changes for Post 9/11 GI Bill For Fall 2011
The Department of Veterans Affairs has notified all colleges and universities across the country that there are important changes coming to your Post 9/11 GI Bill Veterans Education Benefits this fall. The changes will take effect August 1, 2011. The President of the United States has signed into law a bill that significantly changes the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The bill was passed at the 111th Congress in December and there are many amendments to the original legislation.
The bill adds in a partial housing allowance for students taking only online courses and it now includes non-college and OJT-Apprenticeship training.
However, it also eliminates "interval," or break pay for all students. That means no pay for Christmas vacations between terms, or break time between Spring and Summer terms, etc.
It also states that if a veteran is receiving Post 9-11, GI-Bill education benefits, and they also receive federal financial aid assistance, that the financial aid (grants, scholarships) must be applied first to the cost of tuition and fees. Any remaining balance not covered by financial aid will then be paid by the VA, thus eliminating overpayments to the school and tuition refunds to the veteran by the school for any unused VA funds.
It also caps the amount of tuition and fees the VA may pay to high-cost schools by using a national average, rather than the state average as we have used in the past. It provides for proportional payment of the housing allowance, based on training time rates.
EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS AVAILABLE
Post 9/11 GI Bill: Chapter 33 – The Post 9/11 GI Bill 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. Apply at http://www.gibill.va.gov/
Montgomery GI Bill: Chapter 30 – (active duty or non-active duty) must have served in the United States Armed Forces for a period of two to four years and have been honorably discharged prior to returning to school.
Montgomery GI Bill: Chapter 1606 – (selected reserve) must have completed basic training and AIT and are now assigned to a Reserve and/or WV National Guard unit. Please submit copy of DD214 and NOBE (Notice of Basic Eligibility). The NOBE is available through your unit commander.
Montgomery GI Bill: Chapter 1607 – Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) called or ordered to active duty in response to war or national emergency (contingency operation) as declared by the President of Congress. This new program makes certain that reservists who are activated for 90 days after September 11, 2001, are either eligible for educational benefits or eligible for increased benefits.
VA Vocational Rehabilitation: Chapter 31 – (disabled veterans) must make an application with case worker and have a disability rating. Veteran Certifying Official will receive Authorization and Certification of Entrance or Re-Entrance into Rehabilitation and Certification Status.
Survivors and Dependents Education Assistance: Chapter 35 – (for dependents and spouses of 100% disabled or deceased veterans) must complete Form 22-5490 and submit to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Once a claim is established, a certificate of eligibility will be issued to the dependent/spouse which will need to be submitted to the school’s certifying official.
For more information on VA Educational Benefits or to apply, please visit http://www.gibill.va.gov/ and click on the link Post 9/11 and Other Programs or to speak with a Veteran Education Counselor, call 877-823-2378.
Veterans that qualify for Chapter 30, 1606, 1607 must call the VA at 877-823-2378 at the end of each month to certify their enrollment. Failure to do so will result in a delay of your payment.
For information or Assistance on using your Veterans Educational Benefits at Bluefield State College, please contact:
Marviene Johnson, VA Certifying Official at 304-327-4063 or at firstname.lastname@example.org