VA Education Benefits FAQs

Many of your VA education benefit questions can be answered through the VA’s GI Bill website.   You can also submit specific questions through their secure site: https://gibill.custhelp.com. A VA Education Specialist can be reached at 1-888-442-4551.

How do I apply for VA education benefits?

Students who have not previously received benefits through this program, must complete an initial application VA form 22-1990 (VA 22-5490 for Chapter 35) VONAPP online, and submit it along with the member-4 copy of the DD-214 to the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). The VA estimates 60-90 days for the processing of initial applications.

After applying for education benefits, you will receive a letter from the VA and, if deemed eligible, a Certificate of Eligibility stating your entitlement.  You will need to provide a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility to the Coordinator of Veteran Services.

Once I am receiving my VA education benefits through St Charles Community College, what do I need to do for these to continue?

For each semester that you would like to use your educational benefits, you must complete a new Veteran Certification form.  If you make changes to your schedule after certification, you must report these changes on the Veteran Certification Adjustment form. 

You must be actively pursuing a degree or educational goal and maintain good academic standing.

I am a first time student. How do I get started?

You can find an enrollment checklist here! The Coordinator of Veteran Services can help you with your education benefits and register for classes.

I am going to be changing my degree program, do I need to report this to the Department of Veteran's Affairs?

No. You will need to complete a Change of Degree Program form and inform the Coordinator of Veteran Services.  The change will be reported to the VA by SCC.

What happens if I drop a class?

You will need to report this change in your enrollment status immediately by submitting a Veteran Certification Adjustment form. The Coordinator of Veteran Services will report the change to the VA.  You will be contacted by the VA about any changes in your benefits and any potential overpayments.

How much will my education benefit checks be?

This will vary, and is based on the chapter you are receiving benefits through, as well as the number of credit hours that you are enrolled in each term.   Enrolling in classes with various beginning and ending dates such as Intersession classes, eight week block classes, and certain summer classes may affect the monthly dollar amount.  To find out what amount in which you may be eligible, go to the www.gibill.va.gov or call 1-888-442-4551.

The number of days you are in classes for each month will also determine the amount of your benefit check.  For example, if you are in class for two weeks in August, your benefit check will be reduced since you were not attending for a full month.

How do I secure my enrollment and avoid getting dropped if I am using VA education benefits?

Students receiving education benefits under Chapter 31 or Chapter 33 will be held in their classes upon receipt of their Veteran Certification Request form. This needs to be done seven business days prior to the payment due date to secure your courses. Failure to submit this form prior to the tuition payment deadline will result in being dropped from courses unless the student pays out of pocket for the semester charges. 

Students receiving education benefits under Chapter 30, Chapter 35, Chapter 1606 or Chapter 1607 are required to pay in advance by the tuition payment deadline for their courses to avoid being dropped.  Students have the option to enroll in the Nelnet deferred payment plan on the Veteran Certification Request form. Students must enroll in Nelnet online after selecting this option. Please allow seven days to process the request to make this option available.

What scholarship opportunities are available to my family and me?

Information about SCC Scholarships can be found at www.stchas.edu/scholarships

SCC also has a scholarship specifically for military family members.  To be eligible, the student must be a legally dependent son, daughter or spouse of a current military service member or of an honorably discharged veteran. The student must also plan to attend SCC and meet one of the following:

  • 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • A score of 2700 or higher on the GED Exam
  • A score 23 or higher on the ACT

How do I transfer my Chapter 33 (Post 9/11) benefits to my spouse or child?

To determine eligibility and apply to transfer your Chapter 33 benefits, visit http://www.defense.gov/gibill/

Will I still receive Basic Allowances for Housing (BAH) if I enroll in all distance learning courses (Chapter 33 only)?

If you enroll in all distance learning courses, you are still eligible for BAH as long as your rate of pursuit is greater than half-time (7 or more hours for fall and spring).   However, if you enroll in only distance learning courses your monthly housing allowance will be 50% of the national average of all Basic Allowances for Housing.

How many hours must I be in each semester to receive BAH (Chapter 33 only)?

Your rate of pursuit must be greater than half-time (7 or more hours for fall and spring) each term.  To receive full BAH, you must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours for the entire 16 week term.

What is considered full-time in the summer?

Full-time in the summer is 6 hours the entire 8 weeks.   Full-time is 12 hours the entire 16 weeks of the semester.  If you enroll in courses that start late or end early, your benefits may be affected.