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Veteran Affairs Educational Benefit Services

 

The Veteran Services office at Western Oklahoma State College is housed in the Office of Admissions & Records. Our mission is to assist student veterans and dependents with the administration of their VA Educational Benefits while attending Western.

Thank you for your service and we look forward to meeting you soon. Please call or e-mail us with questions or concerns, or stop by our office to learn more about utilizing your VA educational benefits.

Click on the links below to learn more about VA Educational Benefits and how to utilize them at Western:

 

Please note: WOSC does not currently participate in the VA’s program to utilize the VA Educational Benefits for flight training.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). More information about VA education benefits can be found at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.


VA Educational Benefit Programs

The VA has several different VA Educational Benefit programs for eligible veterans and dependents, depending on the circumstances and time of service. Eligibility criteria and benefit services vary by program. Monthly payments, eligibility periods, and required documentation required are described in the links below from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website:

 

 

For more information, please visit the VA Educational benefits website and utilize the educational benefits comparison tool at vets.gov.


Applying for your Benefits with the VA

If you believe you are eligible for VA educational benefits, the first step is to submit your initial application for benefits electronically to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Initial application procedures can be found at www.gibill.va.gov. If you have specific questions regarding the type of education program you are eligible for or application procedures, please contact the US Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-888-442-4551, or go the USDVA website at www.gibill.va.gov.

Once the application has been submitted*, you will receive a “Certificate of Eligibility” from the Veteran’s Administration approximately two to four weeks after submission. Submit a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility to the WOSC VA Certifying Officials in the Office of Admissions & Records for further processing.

*Please note that it can take several weeks for the VA to process your application and notify you of benefit eligibility, so please begin the process as early as possible before the semester you wish to enroll. Benefits can be paid retroactively after the semester begins, however, if you are denied benefits by the VA, you will be responsible for tuition and fees incurred at Western.


Process for Using your Benefits at WOSC

After approval for benefits and receiving your Certificate of Eligibility from the VA, you are ready to certify with the WOSC VA office. Your first semester, you will need to submit your Certificate of Eligibility to the VA office and submit a Request for Certification Form. The Request for Certification Form tells our office that you wish to utilize your VA benefits for that semester and we will verify and submit your enrollment information to the VA.

 

To receive education benefits each semester, you must be “certified” by a VA School Certifying Official in the Office of Admissions & Registrar. After enrolling each semester, you will submit your Request for Certification form to let us know you wish to utilize your benefit that semester. Receiving your first payment from the VA can take 3 to 4 weeks, so it is best to begin this process early.

 

Verifying Enrollment

Some benefits have requirements to verify or certify your enrollment at the end of each month. Please refer to your benefits letter from the VA for more information on your type of benefit.

 

For example:

  • Chapter 30, 1606 recipients: you must verify your enrollment with the VA at the end of each month to receive your payment for that month. To verify enrollment, go to the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) at https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/index.do or call 1-877-823-2378.
  • Beginning Fall 2021, Chapter 33 students will need to verify/certify enrollment to continue to receive the MAH (housing allowance) payments. More information will be provided by the VA on this requirement soon.

 

Credit Hour Requirements (applies to Chapters 30, 31, 35, and 1606)

Most education benefit payments are based on enrollment status (e.g. full-time, half-time, etc.) To receive the maximum benefit, you must be enrolled as a full-time student. Part-time benefit rates are reduced proportionately. See the GI Bill® Education Benefit Payment Rates website for current rates.

 

Status

Fall/Spring/8-Week Term

Summer

Full-Time

12 Credit Hours

6 Credit Hours

3/4 Time

9-11 Credit Hours

4-5 Credit Hours

1/2 Time

6-8 Credit Hours

3 Credit Hours

< 1/2 Time

< 6 Credit Hours

under 3 Credit Hours

 

Enrollment Requirements

The VA has specific requirements for the types of courses you enroll in as well as how they process enrollment changes (adding/dropping/withdrawing from classes and changes in original enrollment schedules). These changes can affect payments received for education benefits. Please consult the WOSC VA Information Packet on this website or visit with a VA Certifying Official before making any schedule changes.

 

Advance Payment

WOSC does not participate in advance payment of VA education benefit entitlements.

 


VA Terms & Definitions

 

Monthly Housing Allowance (Basic Allowance for Housing)
As an eligible veteran or member of the National Guard or Selected Reserve you may receive a monthly housing allowance (living stipend) based on the ZIP code of the location of the school you are attending. This stipend is based on the Department of Defense’s Basic Allowance for Housing rates. This stipend does not require students to live on campus.
NOTE: Service members currently on active duty and veterans (and eligible family members) taking courses on a half-time or less basis and/or taking 100% of their classes at a distance (online etc.) do not qualify for the monthly basic allowance for housing.

 

Annual Book Stipend
Post-9/11 GI Bill® recipients may receive an annual book stipend each academic year (up to $1,000). This stipend will be paid at the beginning of each term. It is paid proportionately based on the number of credits taken.

 

Benefit Transferability
The Department of Defense (DoD) is authorized to allow some individuals eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill® to transfer their VA Educational Benefits to a spouse or child. Please see the VA’s eligibility website for specific details.

 

Rate of Pursuit
Rate of pursuit is how many credit hours a student is taking for the length of the term. Benefit rates are based on the number of credit hours per enrolled term. Term and rate is defined in the table below:

 

Status

Fall/Spring/8-Week Term

Summer Term

Full-Time

12 Credit Hours

6 Credit Hours

3/4 Time

9-11 Credit Hours

4-5 Credit Hours

1/2 Time

6-8 Credit Hours

3 Credit Hours

< 1/2 Time

< 6 Credit Hours

under 3 Credit Hours

 


Military Transcripts and Transferring your Military Credit

 

WOSC awards veterans academic credit for military education utilizing several nationally recognized formats: the American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations, as published in "The Guide to the Evaluation of Military Experiences in the Armed Services" for Joint Service transcripts (JST), DANTES Subject Standardized tests, and via transfer credit from the Community College of the Air Force transcripts. Students should submit an official copy of their Joint Services transcripts, DANTES score report, or CCAF transcript to the Office of Admissions & Records for evaluation.

 

An official Joint Services Transcript (JST) is available to Army enlisted, active duty personnel, and veterans who entered the service after October 1, 1981, active duty and reserve Sailors and Marines and Navy veterans who separated or retired after January 1975, and Marines who separated or retired on or after June 1999.

 

Joint Services Transcripts: https://jst.doded.mil/smart/signin.do

DANTES: https://www.dantes.doded.mil/EducationPrograms/take-tests-get-transcripts/gettranscript.html

CCAF transcripts: https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Barnes/CCAF/Display/Article/803247/community-college-of-the-air-force-transcripts/


Active Duty Tuition Assistance

 

Tuition Assistance and/or Tuition waiver programs may be offered through the various branches of the military. For information on these programs, students should contact the Education Officer of their unit. The WOSC Veteran Services office does not process any paperwork relating to tuition assistance.

 

Altus Air Force Base Education Office
Sherry Willey
580-481-6106
sherry.willey@wosc.edu


Contact Information

 

Department of Veterans Affairs, Regional Processing Office – Muskogee OK
Educational Benefit questions: Toll-free line: 1-888-442-4551
Other VA benefits information: 1-800-827-1000
Email: muskrpo@vba.va.gov
Website: www.vba.va.gov/ro/muskogee
Office Hours: Monday – Friday 7:30am – 4:00pm

 

Other VA offices

  • Debt Management (for questions about any debts you may owe to the VA): 1-800-827-0648
  • Monthly Verification of Enrollment/Self-Certify (for benefits that must self-certify on the last day of the month): 1-877-823-2378
  • Direct Deposit (to change/update your direct deposit information): 1-877-838-2778
  • To check on the status of your payments: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/homepage

 

WOSC Contacts

Veteran Services

Keila Manos, VA School Certifying Official
Bailee Carter, VA School Certifying Official
Email: va@wosc.edu
Phone: (580) 477-7717 Fax: (580) 477-7723
Office Hours*: Monday – Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm (*WOSC is closed on Fridays during the Summer)

 

Academic Advising

See your assigned major academic advisor: https://www.wosc.edu/advisement or contact our general advising office for assistance:

Jessica Reed, Academic Advisor
580-477-7940
jessica.reed@wosc.edu

 

Counseling and Disability/ADA Services

Cheryl Orr,
580-477-7710
cheryl.orr@wosc.edu

Services, support, assistance related to any injury or disability issue (e.g. PTSD, traumatic brain injury) for classes, campus, community issues.


Helpful Forms & Links

 

VA Forms

 

 

WOSC Forms:

WOSC Request for Certification form: required form submitted each semester a student requests receipt of education benefits for use at WOSC

WOSC Veteran Information Packet: informational packet of information about using your benefits at Western.

 


Frequently Asked Questions

 

What do I need to do if I have transferred in from another school?

Students who have transferred from another college or university must fill out VA Form 22-1995, Request for Change of Program or Place of Training. Download and fill out the 22-1995. Please bring, email or fax a copy of the 22-1995 to our office.

 

I want to take a class at another school/I would like to take a class at Western, but I’m enrolled at another school, what should I do?

Students wishing to attend classes at Western that will be applied to a degree at another institution must provide a Parent School Letter stating that the courses will be accepted at the parent institution. The same applies if you are wishing to take a class at another school while you are presently enrolled at Western. This letter must be provided before the classes can be certified with the VA.

I have received a bill from the school, what is this for?

If you have a received a bill from us, make sure you have certified your classes with us for that semester and turned in all documents, such as your COE and Request for Certification. As a courtesy, Western will not drop you from classes while we wait for the payment amount we anticipate receiving from the VA, but ONLY if you have certified with our office.

Why have I received a letter from the VA stating $0.00 in tuition and fees were charged to Western?

If you receive Post-9/11 (Ch. 33) benefits, we initially submit only credit hours to the VA to get your monthly housing allowance (MHA) and book stipend started. Once the add/drop dates pass 2 weeks into the semester, we figure the tuition and fees owed and submit an amendment to the VA with the tuition and fee amounts.

Are there any classes the VA will not pay for?

The VA will only pay for classes that fall within your degree requirements. Classes the VA will NOT pay for include: online remedial classes, courses not required for your degree/major, or previously passed classes (unless the class requires a certain grade for the degree program).

I am failing a class and it’s after the drop class deadline, what should I do?

You should continue to attend the remaining classes and take the final exam, even if you think you will get an “F.” If you stop attending, you may be required to repay tuition to the VA, so your attendance must be through the last day of the class.

Does the VA cover my admission fee?

The VA will cover some miscellaneous fees such as records maintenance, recreation, lab and remedial fees. The VA DOES NOT cover your admission fee, charged your first semester of attendance.