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Veterans Services

The Veterans Benefits Office welcomes you to Columbia College. Our role is to provide support to veterans and qualified dependents in accessing entitled veterans educational benefits. We also serve as a liaison between veteran students and the Department of Veterans Affairs in the certification process as well as other campus programs and resources.

Your first step in activating your benefits is to meet with your Columbia College Veterans Certifying Official who will explain the steps of applying to receive your educational benefits. If your last name begins with A-L, your Certifying Official is Dana Baker. If your last name begins with M-Z, your Certifying Official is Kelsie Bonavia. Contact information is on the Financial Aid webpage.

This process should be completed 6 weeks prior to the beginning of the term in order to allow time for the Department of Veterans Affairs to process your educational claim. Students starting the process at a later time should expect a delay in funding.

We thank you for your military service and we look forward to assisting you in your academic endeavors!

Priority Registration

Veteran students are eligible for priority registration at Columbia College. To receive a priority registration date, a veteran student must provide a copy of their DD-214 to the Veterans Benefits Office as well as complete the matriculation process, i.e. take the math and English assessment tests, attend a Columbia College orientation, and meet with a counselor to create an educational plan. More information about matriculation is available from the Counseling Office at (209) 588-5109.

The Certification Process

1. Apply online for your GI Bill benefits online through VONAPP. The VA will send you a Certificate of Eligibility in the mail.

2. Provide your Certifying Official with your Certificate of Eligibility, your DD-214 (or your parent's DD-214, for dependents), and a Request for Certification of Enrollment form . You must submit a new Request for Certification of Enrollment form each term to request to be certified for your new classes.

3. Schedule an appointment with VA Counselor Brian Jensen at (209) 588-5130 to create an educational plan. In order to be certified for any units following your first semester in college, you must have an educational plan on file with the Veterans Benefits Office and your courses must be on that educational plan.

4. Keep in contact with your VA Certifying Official if you have any questions regarding the certification process.

Additional Information


Columbia College Veterans Meet & Greet
Wednesday, Sept 09/24/14
3:00pm - 4:30pm
Student Center in Ponderosa
All Veterans attending Columbia College are welcomed to stop by for pizza and beverages, to meet fellow veterans on campus, and to talk about what Columbia College can do to assist you in achieving your educational goals.

Veterans Benefits Contact Information

  • Education: 1-888-442-4551 (1-888-GI BILL 1)
  • Monthly Verification of Attendance: 1-877-823-2378
  • Other VA Benefits: 1-800-827-1000
  • Debt Management Center: 1-800-827-0648
  • GI Bill Benefits Website:

Informational Links