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Interested in collecting your GI Bill benefits at College of Marin?

  • Are you:
    • A veteran who has seen active duty?
    • A reservist?     
    • A dependent of a veteran who is deceased or has a service-connected disability?

If so, you might be eligible for the GI Bill and other educational benefits.

College of Marin (COM) is approved by the California State Approving Agency for Veteran Education (CSAAVE) and the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) for the training of veterans and veteran’s dependents. 

  • College of Marin is approved to certify eligible students who are interested in:
    • Completing an associate degree program listed in the COM catalog.
    • Completing a certificate program listed in the COM catalog.
    • Transferring to four-year institutions in which COM has an articulation agreement.

Veterans and dependents eligibility for benefits is determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs.  If you have questions regarding your eligibility, call the Department of Veterans Affairs toll free at 1-888-442-4551 or visit them on the website: www.GIBILL.va.gov

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VA Registration Process at COM:

To begin the process of initiating a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans and/or dependents attending College of Marin must complete a “COM Veterans Packet” (available in the Admissions and Records Office).

For additional information or questions, please contact either of the following VA Certifying Officials:

Patience James, Interim Admissions Office Specialist
patience.james@marin.edu
415.457.8811 ext 7321
 
Jennifer Spease, Interim Admissions Office Specialist
jennifer.spease@marin.edu
415.457.8811 ext 7716

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COM Counseling Service for Veterans:

Students are encouraged to meet with counselors well in advance of registration.

Veteran's Counselors
Karen Robinson, karen.robinson@marin.edu
Brett Sklove, brett.sklove@marin.edu
Byron Ramey, byron.ramey@marin.edu (Indian Valley Campus)

To schedule an appointment, call 415.485.9436.

  • For the initial meeting with the Veteran’s Counselor it is advised the student bring the following documents:
    • Completed COM – VA Packet (available at the COM Admissions and Records Office)
    • Copy of DD214 (veteran only)
    • Veterans:
      • VA *form 22-1990 (veteran’s initial application for VA educational benefits) OR *form 22-1995 (veteran’s transferring VA educational benefits from a prior College)
    • Dependents:
      • VA *form 22-5490 (dependents initial application for VA educational benefits) OR VA *form 22-5495 (dependents transferring VA educational benefits from a prior College)

*Forms are available at: http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp

NOTE: It is advised to have official transcripts from all prior Colleges sent to the COM Counseling Department prior to scheduling your counseling appointment. (College of Marin Counseling Department, 835 College Ave., Kentfield CA 94904)

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Priority Registration for Veterans:

In recognition of the men and women that serve us and our country, SB 272 grants priority college registration to veterans attending public colleges and universities.  This gives veterans the opportunity to register for classes before all other students.

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Veterans Educational Benefits:

Benefits are paid to eligible veterans, dependents reservists, and service members while they are in an approved training program.  Major programs are:

*Chapter 30: Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB-AD)

The MGIB program provides up to 36 months of education benefits.  This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses.  Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following your release from active duty. 

*Chapter 33: The Post 9/11 GI Bill: 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.  The Post-9/11 GI Bill will become effective for training on or after August 1, 2009.  This program will pay eligible individuals:

  • Tuition & fees directly to the school not to exceed the maximum in-state tuition & fees at a public Institution of Higher Learning (California maximum total fees per term $6,586.54).
  • A monthly housing allowance based on the Basic Allowance for Housing for an E-5 with dependents at the location of the school (Marin County E-5 with dependents: $1926).
  • An annual books & supplies stipend of $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment.
  • A one-time rural benefit payment for eligible individuals.

This benefit is payable only for training at an Institution of Higher Learning.  If you are enrolled exclusively in online training you will not receive the housing allowance.  If you are on active duty you will not receive the housing allowance or books & supplies stipend.  This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits, generally benefits are payable for 15 years following your release from active duty.

Starting May 1, 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs will begin accepting applications for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.  The application form will be available online. 

The VA will process applications for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.  Applicants will receive a letter explaining VA’s decision regarding eligibility for the program.  Payments for the Post-9/11 GI Bill will not be processed until August 1, 2009.

*Chapter 1606: Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)

The MGIB-SR program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve  The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, and the Army National Guard and Air National Guard.  This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.

*Chapter 1607: Reserves Educational Assistance Program (REAP)

REAP is a new Department of Defense education benefit program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operation) as declared by the President or Congress.  This new program makes certain reservists who were activated for at least 90 days after September 11, 2001 either eligible for educational benefits or eligible for increased benefits.

*Chapter 35: Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA)

Dependents’ Educational Assistance provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans.  The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training.  If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course.  Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.  Spouses generally have 10 years from the date VA first finds them eligible.  Children are generally eligible from age 18 until age 26.  These time limits can sometimes be extended.

* To view current rates of the VA Chapters mentioned above visit the website: www.GIBILL.va.gov (click “Benefits” – select “Education”- next select “Education Benefits” – finally select “Payment Rates”.

Chapter 31: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program

The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program is authorized by Congress under Title 38, Code of Federal Regulations.  Primarily, Chapter 31 is an employment driven program with a goal of suitable and sustainable employment that matches the veteran’s abilities and disabilities.  Secondary, Chapter 31 provides to veterans who are severely disabled and that gainful employment is not an option, assistance to allow the veteran to live more independently in his or her community.

A veteran eligible for Chapter 31 must first contact and meet with a Case Manager/Vocational Rehabilitation (VRC) Counselor at the Oakland Regional Office, 1301 Clay Street Room 1200 Oakland CA  94612 (phone number: 510-637-6128).  After meeting with the VRC, the school will receive a VA form 28-1905 (Authorization and Certification of Entrance or Reentrance into Rehabilitation and Certification of Status).  An approved copy of this form will be sent to the school’s Certifying Official indicating the student’s approved major.  The Certifying Official of the school will then submit a certification of the approved courses necessary to meet the student’s educational objective.

Chapter 32: Post-Vietnam Veterans’ Education Assistance Program (VEAP)

The Post-Vietnam Veterans’ Education Assistance Program (VEAP) is an education benefit for veterans who paid into VEAP while they were in the service.  Eligible veterans may be entitled to as much as 36 months of training.  Eligibility usually ends 10 years after getting out of the service, but the time limit can be longer in certain cases.

  • The total dollar amount of the benefits is the sum of:
    • The total contributions, PLUS
    • Matching funds from VA equal to 2 times your contributions, PLUS
    • Any DOD contributions or “kickers”

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California Department of Veterans Affairs College Fee Waiver Program for Veterans Dependents:

The dependent child, spouse or unmarried surviving spouses of a service connected disabled or deceased veteran may be entitled to tuition and fee waiver benefits at any campus of the California State University system, University of California or a California Community College.

To obtain an application for benefits under this program or to receive additional information, contact your local County Veterans Service Office (located in the “Government Listings” section of your telephone book under “county Government Offices”.) or on their website: www.cacvso.org.

It is suggested the dependent submit the application for the fee waiver prior to attending school.  Benefits are awarded on an academic year basis and students are required to reapply each year for ongoing benefits.  NOTE: The earliest effective date fee waived benefits may be awarded is the first day of the academic year in which an application is received.

Once a dependents application is submitted and approved by the California Department of Veterans Affairs, an eligibility letter will be mailed to the dependent.  Dependents must submit a copy of their eligibility letter to the College of Marin Office of Admissions and Records each year in order for the in- state enrollments fees to be waived.

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Useful VA Telephone Numbers and Web Links:

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Additional Information:

Academic Standing: 
A GPA of 2.0 is required to meet the COM graduation requirements.  A veteran or dependent veteran who has less than a 2.0 cumulative GPA in three consecutive semesters (not including summer) will have his or her veterans benefits terminated.

Advance Payment:
Available only to Chapter 30 – Advance payment provides payment for the first partial and first whole month of the enrollment being certified.  The next check will be received at the end of the next month.

To receive Advance Payment, you must complete and sign the Veteran’s Benefit/Request for Certification form (available at Admissions and Records Office).  You must be enrolled at least half- time status and their must be more than 30 days between terms.

Calculating Payment for Full-Time/Three-Quarter/Half-Time Enrollment:

  • For fall and spring semesters:
    • 12 or more units (of full-semester courses) is considered Full-Time
    • 9 – 11.5 units (of full-semester courses) is considered Three-Quarter Time
    • 6- 8.5 units (of full semester courses) is considered Half-Time
  • For summer sessions:
    • 4 or more units (of full session courses) is considered Full-Time
    • 3 units (of full session courses) is considered Three-Quarter Time
    • 2 units (of full session courses) is considered Half-Time

NOTE: Because VA will only pay for the time you are actually attending courses – if you are enrolled in a short term classes during the fall, spring and/or summer, the unit value for payment will only be calculated into the full-term, three-quarter term, or half time attendance only during the time the course is in session and not the entire semester.

Dropping One or More Courses:
If you drop one or more of your courses, you should always notify VA and your school’s Certifying Official as soon as possible.  If you drop after the end of the school’s drop period, you will need to let VA know the reasons for the change.  Unless you can show that the change was due to mitigating circumstances, VA must reduce or stop your benefits from the beginning date of the term. 

English or Math Remedial Courses:
The VA will not pay for English and/or Math remedial course work unless COM test results show the course is necessary.  Verification of remedial test scores must be on file in the Admissions and Records Office prior to certification with the VA.

Military Credit:
Students who have completed at least one year of active military service may submit a Student Petition (available through the Admissions and Records Office) and attach a copy of their DD214 (showing an honorable discharge) to request to the COM Admission and Records Office and receive 5 units of PE.  These units will appear in the memoranda section of the grade record.  Students must have completed 12 units at COM t be eligible.

Retroactive Benefits:
VA benefits will be paid for enrollments up to one year prior to the date VA receives a student’s application.

VA Payments:
The VA will only pay for COM programs approved by the California State Approving Agency for Veterans Education (CSAAVE) that lead to a degree or certificate or COM coursework which will transfer to an approved four-year institutions.

New/transfer students can expect to begin receiving VA funding in about six weeks from the first day of your beginning semester.

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Veteran Education Website
Technical Contact: Vickie Lamke, Administrative Assistant, 415.485.9376
Content Responsible: Arnulfo Cedillo, Director of Student Affairs and Health Center, 415.485.9375