Step 1: Apply for VA Education Benefits
The Department of Veterans Affairs has an informative GI Bill® How to Apply web page that 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. https://www.va.gov/education/how-to-apply/
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, meeting with a counselor to create an education plan and to be placed in math and English and applying for financial aid.
Step 3: Turn in Your Documents
Email the following military documents to the Columbia Veteran Certifying Official firstname.lastname@example.org
- Your Certificate of Eligibility will be mailed to you. You can take a clear picture of it and email it to email@example.com If you have not received it, you can screen shot a picture of your Application for VA Educational Benefits.
- Your or your sponsor's discharge (DD-214 Member 4) or eligibility (NOBE) papers.
- Signed Terms of Agreement form.
Step 4: Create an Approved Education Plan with a Counselor.
During your first counseling meeting, you will develop an Education Plan in Starfish with the VA education counselor, Rebekah Rogers. Your plan will be accessed when your units are reported to the VA. Units that are not on your education plan cannot be certified.
Additionally, you must declare a major by your second semester. After deciding your major, you may need to make another counseling appointment to create a Comprehensive Student Educational Plan if you haven't done so. Call 209-588-5130 to make an appointment with Rebekah Rogers.
Step 5: Request Your Benefits Each Semester and Verify Your Enrollment Each Month!
Certification is not automatic. To have your certification submitted to the VA, you must register for classes, complete the electronic, fillable Veterans Certification/Decertification Form and email your certification form to the School Certifying Official, Lesley Michtavy. firstname.lastname@example.org
Please fill your form out electronically using the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software program on your computer or the free Adobe Fill & Sign app to your phone. You don't need to print the form to complete it.
Once you are certified by the Certifying Official, CH. 30 and CH.33 students must verify their enrollment with the VA every month to get paid. For instructions on verifying enrollment, please follow the link https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/isaksonroe/verification_of_enrollment.asp