Veterans' Benefits and Programs
Sacramento City College assists veterans, reservists, and dependents of service-connected disabled or deceased veterans with their educational benefits. Our Veterans Affairs (VA) staff is available to provide assistance with completing and filing VA claim forms for federal and state education assistance programs.
For more information about education benefits offered by VA through the GI Bill®, go to VA's Education and Training. GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
How to Receive Veterans Benefits While Attending SCC
Credit for military service is granted upon presentation of papers showing completion of basic training. A veteran may receive four (4) units of credit toward the Living Skills graduation requirement by submitting a copy of their DD214 separation papers.
Under rare circumstances, veterans may also receive credit for satisfactory training completed in service school. After enrolling at Sacramento City College, a veteran may apply for evaluation of military service experience for college credit.
Enrollment - Semester Certification
Enrollment certification for VA education benefits is not automatic. Students should submit a Veterans Information Card to the Veterans Affairs Office every semester in order to initiate their educational benefits. You must log-in to Google using your student ID and password to submit this form. We strongly recommend that students accomplish this as soon as they have secured classes in order to expedite the processing of educational benefits.
While receiving VA Educational benefits, students may be concurrently enrolled at more than one school during the same semester. The parent school is whichever school the student is pursuing a degree or other program objective. Veteran students are responsible for informing their primary school of their supplemental enrollment. Upon confirmation from the Parent School, the Supplemental School will complete the certification for the benefits form (VA form 22-1999) and send a copy to the Parent School.
Veterans and dependents are cautioned when enrolling in short-term or Fast-Track classes (ex. 8 week terms). The VA will only consider your enrollment for the actual days in the short-term class, not for the entire semester.
Variable-unit courses are structured so that the amount of credit earned depends upon the amount of creditable work completed. The Department of Veterans Affairs requires that enrollment be certified for the minimum number of units attempted, followed by an updated certification at the end of the semester reflecting the actual number of units earned.
Required Courses for Certification
All certifications are based on required courses for major and general education. Recommended and advised courses are not payable by VA. Electives are only payable if you need additional units to meet the 60 unit graduation or transfer requirement. Students may choose to take recommended, advised, or non-payable elective units, but the units will not count toward your certification with VA.
Pay is based on attendance of your required courses. Students are required to notify the Sacramento City College Veterans Affairs Office of a withdrawal from course(s). The SCC Veterans Affairs Office will notify the Department of Veterans Affairs of the adjustment or termination of benefits retroactive to the date of the withdrawal. If an overpayment occurs as a result of the adjustment or termination, the student will be required to return the overpaid funds back to the Department of Veterans Affairs. If a student is called to active duty or reserve military service during a semester and cannot complete the semester, a petition for military withdrawal may be requested through Admissions and Records.
When there is an overpayment, the VA will ask for repayment of the overpaid benefits. If you ignore the VA’s request, they can withhold future GI Bill® payments, disability payments, or depending upon the situation, they can take a student to court, charge interest, and they may take future tax return refunds, attach wages, put legal holds on property or deny home loans.
When adding or dropping classes, the student must report the drop or add directly to the Veterans Success Center.
Post 9/11 GI Bill® Tips and Reminders
- Remember that the Post 9/11 GI Bill® housing and books and supplies stipends are paid "in arrears." This means that your housing stipend for August won't be received until September. Also, if you are starting school for the first time, your first payment may not be for a full month of housing because the VA pays from the actual day you start school.
- Tuition and fee payments go directly to the school.
- Be sure to inform VA if you change your direct deposit information.
New students or students who did not attend the previous term may request certification with advance pay at least 35 days prior to the start of the term. Students interested in advance pay should notify the SCC Veterans Office when requesting certification, as a separate signature is required. Department of Veterans Affairs will subsequently forward a benefit check to the college, which includes pay in advance for the first two calendar months of the term. Post 9/11 GI Bill® recipients are not eligible for Advance Pay.
During a student’s final term, if at least one course meets a requirement per the student’s Veterans Affairs Educational Planner and all other requirements have been met, additional degree-applicable courses (except physical education) may be certified regardless of whether the courses are required. Students interested in using their one-time-only Round Out must notify the SCC Veterans Affairs Office at the time of registration, as a separate signature is required.
Maintain Academic Progress
The Veterans Affairs Office is required to notify the Department of Veterans Affairs of a student’s dismissal. The DVA will terminate benefits unless it can be shown that the student is pursuing an appropriate objective and has a reasonable chance for success in the chosen program. Contact the Veterans Affairs Office for more information.
Veteran Affairs Chapter Benefits
Establishes a program of educational benefits for eligible persons entering military service after June 30, 1985, who have had their basic military pay reduced for their first 12 months of service and received a discharge specified as "honorable". The maximum entitlement is 36 months of full-time benefits. Monthly benefit rates are determined by the VA. Benefits terminate 10 years after date of separation.
Chapter 30 Kickers - Higher monthly benefits are paid to Chapter 30 participants with "kickers" and to Chapter 30 participants who made additional Chapter 30 payments.
The Vocational Rehabilitation and Education (VR&E) program is is administered by a different department of VA than regular education benefits. This program has two key goals:
- To assist the service-disabled veteran to prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment (including educational assistance).
- For those persons who are severely disabled and that gainful employment is not an option, assistance may be provided to allow that person to live more independently in his or her community.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill® is for individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill™. This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits; generally benefits are payable for 15 years following your release from active duty.
Sons, daughters and spouses of a veteran may be eligible for benefits if the veteran died while on active duty, died after discharge from active duty of a service-connected disability, is permanently and totally disabled as a result of a service-connected disability, or listed as missing in action for a total of more than 90 days. Eligible persons are entitled to a maximum of 45 months of full-time benefits. Generally, the eligibility period for sons and daughters is between the ages of 18 and 26. A spouse may use educational benefits during a 10 year period after eligibility is found.
To be eligible for educational assistance a person must have a 6-year obligation to serve in the selected reserve after June 30, 1985. Maximum entitlement is 36 months of full-time benefits which terminate 10 years from the date of eligibility or the day following separation from a reserve component.
Chapter 1606 Kickers - An additional amount, called a kicker, may be added to the benefit of some Chapter 1606 students.
Note: Active duty personnel are reimbursed for tuition and fees only, but are accessed entitlement charges at the rate of attend.
Other Veterans Programs
The dependent child, spouse, or unmarried surviving spouses of a service connected-disabled or deceased veteran may be entitled to fee waiver benefits at all California community colleges, CSU system, and UC system universities. To obtain eligibility requirements and assistance in applying for this valuable benefit, please contact your local County Veteran Service office or the college Veteran Affairs office. You can also download an application from the website for the California Department of Veteran Affairs.
If you are receiving Chapter 35 benefits, you are not eligible to receive the College Fee Waiver for Veterans' Dependents under Plan A. See the instructions for details about Plan B and minimum eligibility requirements.
This benefit is applicable to one academic year only and must be renewed EVERY academic year. The academic year commences in the summer and ends with the end of the spring semester (i.e. one academic year = summer term/fall semester/spring semester).
After a student has applied for the Fee Waiver with their local County Veteran Service office and if approved, they will receive an approval letter in the mail. The student should bring this into the SCC Veterans Affairs office and attach to the California College Promise Grant application for processing. Admissions & Records does NOT process the Fee Waiver for Veterans' Dependents.
Did you know that the Department of Veterans Affairs pays for tutoring? If you feel you need help in your academic courses, please stop by and speak with the VA Certifying Official. The DVA will pay up to $600 in tutorial help for you if you are receiving VA educational benefits. The DVA pays for the tutor at a rate of no more than $100 per month, which is paid to you. You are responsible for paying the tutor.
To be eligible, you must submit a brief letter of recommendation from the instructor of the course stating that they recommend tutoring to resolve student deficiencies for the given subject and a brief letter of recommendation from your counselor stating they agree with the instructor's recommendation. The course must be on your VA educational plan.
The student, tutor and certifying official must complete VA form 22-1990t, Application and Enrollment Certification for Individualized Tutorial Assistance. The student may submit an application at the end of each month. However, the student may delay submitting the application and include several months. Tutoring must occur during the student's enrollment period, and must be given on an individual basis. The tutor may not be a close relative of the student (spouse, parent, child, sister, brother).
Veterans Affairs FAQ
For all Chapters except 33 and 31, the answer is - yes. Students are responsible for their own fees, which are due generally upon enrollment. The GI Bill® is a monthly allotment. You get paid via check or direct deposit. The VA educational benefit is to help offset the cost of tuition, fees, or books. For Chapter 33 and 31 students, the VA will pay your enrollment fees (after certification and Muskogee processing time). We will place a Do Not Drop indicator on your record so you are not dropped for non-payment in the meantime.
The first time you file your initial application for VA educational benefits, the processing by the VA can take up to 8 to 10 weeks. Once the VA processes the application and establishes a file for you, subsequent processing of paperwork usually takes approximately 6 weeks. Peak periods, such as the start of the semester, educational benefit paperwork may take longer for the school and VA to process.
Once the VA processes and approves your certification, you receive monthly payments based on your attendance in classes. The VA pays the monthly payments at the beginning of each month for the preceding month's attendance. You have the option on your initial application for benefits of requesting direct deposit to your bank. Otherwise you will receive your benefit payments as hard copy checks. To verify or apply for direct deposit, you can call the VA Regional Office at 1-888-442-4551 or log on to eBenefits.
All GI Bills® are paid in monthly payments based on the previous month's attendance unless you are receiving advance pay.
The VA requires you to declare an objective or goal. At Sacramento City College, that could be an associate degree or certificate from our catalog; or a bachelor's degree program through the CSU system or UC system.
If the veteran is 100% permanently and totally disabled or deceased due to service connected injury or death, the spouse or child may be eligible for Chapter 35 (Dependent) benefits. Note: The spouse cannot have re-married and there is an age cut off for the children.
If you are not eligible for this program, you may be eligible for a fee waiver program - the CAL VET program. The veteran must have established a percentage of disability with the VA and the child must meet an income criteria. This program waives some (but not all) of the fees for college at the community college level and the CSU and UC systems.
The paperwork we give you as a new student at Sacramento City College establishes your veteran's file at SCC and your VA file in Muskogee, OK. There is a reason for each piece of paperwork. Once the files are established you will need to complete one piece of paperwork each semester to keep benefits going, unless you change your major.
Have you dropped classes? Are you in a short-term or Fast-Track class, which ended before the end of the rest of the semester? Could an instructor have dropped you for non-attendance of a class? These are a few reasons that could affect pay. You need to contact our office so we can pull your file and find out what happened.
For reservists utilizing Chapter 1606, a NOBE is a Notice of Basic Eligibility. You obtain your NOBE from your unit and you hand it in with your VA package of paperwork to our office.
While we will certify you for benefits without a DD214, we ask that you obtain one as soon as possible. We are required by State law to retain a copy in your file in our office. Also, there is always a possibility that not having a DD214 can hold the processing of your benefits by the VA.
No - you must be discharged from service to apply as a veteran. Otherwise, your paperwork will be treated as an active duty person.
Depending on the backlog at Muskogee, six weeks may be a reasonable amount of time for adjudication (processing). We suggest that you check with our office so we can pull your file and determine whether or not we need to do an inquiry.
No—all GI Bill® benefits are tax-free.
Sacramento City College adheres to Executive Order 13607:
Establishing Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses, and Other Family Members