Request Your Benefits Each Semester
Certification is not automatic, so make sure to complete the Veterans Certification/Decertification Form before the start of each semester. After submitting your request, check with the Certifying Official to make sure that all other documents have been received.
Chapter 30,1606 and 1607 must self-certify their monthly enrollment with the VA. Those receiving the Post-9/11 GI Bill™ do not have to verify their attendance through the VA. Your school certifying official is responsible for verifying your attendance at the beginning of your term provided that you turn in your certification form. You are responsible for ensuring that your school certifying official is aware of your enrollment, and any subsequent changes in your schedule.
Report Any Changes
Always contact the certifying official to report any changes in your enrollment. Changes such as Adds/Drops or Withdrawals, switching courses, etc. need to be reported immediately so that students do not end up owing money back to the VA.
Submit Your Educational Plan to the Certifying Official
A counselor-approved educational plan must be obtained and filed in the VA Benefits Office before the beginning of the second semester that benefits are requested. The educational plan is obtained by making an appointment with a Columbia College Veterans Counselor.
- Make an appointment at the Special Programs window in upper Manzanita or call 209-588-5130.
- Once you receive your education plan, please give a copy to the School Certifying Official in Admissions and Records.
- It is imperative that you follow your educational plan and only enroll in courses required for your stated degree objective. Your plan should include major, prerequisites, general education requirements and electives. All previously completed coursework will be taken into account so official transcripts need to be received before the appointment.
- An updated education plan must be submitted to the VA Benefits Office each year or each time that you change your major/degree objective.
Renew Applications for FAFSA and other Financial Aid
Each year you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online to determine eligibility for financial aid programs. The FAFSA and the GI Bill™ are completely separate programs and one does not affect or determine the other.