The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, as well as state and local government, offers a number of educational assistance programs for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and their dependents. Based on the time and length of service, as well as current status, veterans can be eligible for one or more of these programs. Many benefits are available to advance the education and skills of veterans and service members. Spouses and family members may also be eligible for education and training assistance. In fact, 25 percent of those benefiting from the Veterans Administration's education programs are non-veterans. Some might find they're eligible for more than one benefit or that one program is more suited to certain education and training goals than another.
Submit the Veterans On-Line Application (VONAPP)
All students, regardless of what benefits they believe they may be eligible for, should also complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.
How to Receive Benefits at Columbia as a New Student
View the printable VA Checklist for a useful overview of how to get started with receiving VA educational benefits.
Please review the steps below to ensure you receive your benefits at Columbia:
- Acquire any necessary paperwork documenting your service. Usually, you need an original or certified copy of DD Form 214 documenting your active duty service or other documentation of your military service to enroll in VA benefits. Now, you can access your DD-214 online.
- Ensure that your desired program is eligible for benefits. Most programs at Columbia are eligible, but if you have a question about eligibility, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Apply for your benefits with the VA. If you have used your VA educational benefits elsewhere prior to Columbia, please also complete a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training, VA Form 22-1995. This form is available through the same online application, VONAPP, where you apply for your benefits.
- For Ch. 33 only: Provide your VA certificate of eligibility for benefits to Columbia’s VA Certifying Official and to your school’s financial aid office. (See contact information below.)
- Complete a Veterans Request for Certification form to receive benefits at Columbia.
- If you are receiving benefits under Ch. 33 (the Post-9/11 GI Bill ®), you do not need to take any additional action to be certified. Tuition and fees payments will be sent directly to Columbia on your behalf; all other stipends and payments (e.g. BAH, books stipend) will be sent to you.
- If you are receiving benefits under Ch.30 or Ch.1606, you must verify your enrollment each month with the VA via the Web Automated Veteran's Enrollment (WAVE) system. Benefits will be sent directly to you (whether via paper check or direct deposit), and you are responsible for transferring any of these payments to Columbia.
How to Receive Benefits as a Continuing Student
Each term in which you would like to receive VA benefits at Columbia, you must submit a Veterans Request for Certification form.
(See printable 2017 To Do Checklist >)