Step 1: Apply for VA Education Benefits
The Department of Veterans Affairs has an informative website you can use to determine your benefit eligibility, compare programs, calculate your benefit and apply online. The VA can take at least 45 days to approve your benefits and often will take longer.
Step 2: Apply and Enroll at Columbia College
Complete the steps for admission and enroll at Columbia. Steps include submitting your online application, completing the online orientation, taking assessment tests, meeting with a counselor and applying for financial aid.
Step 3: Turn in Your Documents
You will need to turn in the following military documents to the Columbia Veteran Certifying Official to the Admissions and Records office in Manzanita.
- Your Certificate of Eligibility will be mailed to you. If you have not received it, bring a copy of your Application for VA Educational Benefits.
- Your discharge (DD-214 Member 4) or eligibility (NOBE) papers.
- Signed Terms of Agreement For Using VA Educational Benefits at Columbia College form.
Step 4: Submit an Educational Plan to the Veterans Benefits Office in Admissions & Records
During your first counseling meeting, you will develop an Education Plan. Bring this plan to the VA Certifying Official in Admissions and Records.
Additionally, you must declare a major by your second semester. After deciding your major, make a counseling appointment to create a Comprehensive Student Educational Plan by calling 209-588-5130. Bring this updated plan to the VA Certifying Official.
Step 5: Request Your Benefits Each Semester!
Certification is not automatic. To have your certification submitted to the VA, you must register for classes, complete the Veterans Certification/Decertification Form and contact the Veterans Certifying Official in Admissions and Records before the start of each semester.