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 33, 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.
Must Have an Approved Education Plan on File
A counselor-approved education plan must be created in Starfish. The School Certifying Official will check your certification form against the approved education plan before certifying units with the VA. 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.
- 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.
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.