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Veterans Education Office

Veterans' Education

Veterans and Military Active Duty

Veterans' Education

Veterans and Military Active Duty

Financial Aid and Other Funding Options

All students are highly encouraged to fill out the FAFSA each year, in addition to their military education benefits.

Welcome Veterans, Active Duty Military Personnel, and Spouses and Children utilizing education benefits!

REMOTE OPERATIONS UPDATE: 

The Veterans Education Team remains available to assist you while our campuses remain in remote operations. For assistance, please reach us by email at [email protected] (if you primarily access the Mount Vernon Campus) or [email protected] (if you primarily access the Whidbey Island Campus). We remain committed to assisting you with your VA Educational Benefit needs during this time! For more information on all SVC services during remote operations, please visit the school’s Remote Services webpage.

Additionally, please visit the Department of VA’s website for additional COVID-19 related FAQ’s that are affecting Education Benefits. 

Whether you are on active duty, in the reserves, a veteran, or a dependent of someone in the military, the Skagit Valley College Veterans Education Office is here to provide you with the information needed to access and use VA Educational Benefits.

About our Team:

Staff in the Veterans Education Office are experienced in assisting with transitions from the military to higher education, including fellow students using VA education benefits as well.

Our offices are located in the Counseling and Advising Center in Lewis Hall on the Mount Vernon Campus and in Oak Hall on the Whidbey Island Campus.

 

Skagit Valley College has voluntarily agreed to adopt the procedures set out in Executive Order 13607, Establishing Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service members, Veterans, Spouses, and Other Family Members and will provide a Financial Aid Shopping Sheet that describes the educational costs and financial aid available to help those students meet those costs. Students receiving Financial Aid may access their Shopping Sheet any time, by visiting their Financial Aid Portal.

You can find the information contained in the Shopping Sheet by using the GI Bill® Comparison Tool located at the VA website located here: Shopping Sheet

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Residency for Military and Veteran Students

If you are active duty military, stationed in Washington, you and your dependents qualify as residents for tuition purposes. You must provide documentation such as transfer orders or other appropriate documents at the time you apply for admission.

If you are a veteran, you may also qualify as a resident for tuition purposes if you meet the requirements as a “covered individual” as defined in the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (Choice Act) that went into effect on July 1, 2015. The Choice Act requires states to charge in-state tuition and fees to “covered individuals.”

A “covered individual” is defined in the Choice Act as:

  • A Veteran who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • A spouse or child using transferred benefits who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the transferor’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • A spouse or child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the service member’s death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • A Veteran who is entitled to Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment benefits for any term that starts after 3/1/2019

A covered individual remains covered as long as the student maintains continuous enrollment. (Does not include breaks between quarters or summer quarter.)

Credit for Prior Learning & Military Training

Students are required to provide official transcripts from any previous colleges attended, in order to ensure proper usage of VA Education Benefits. You will need to contact your prior colleges in order to request your transcripts be sent to Skagit Valley College.

Additionally, official copies of Joint Services Transcripts (JSTs) are also required, in order to evaluate experience and training to determine what, if any, credits can be awarded. 

You can download a copy of your JST from the following websites:

Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy
Air Force

Minimum Requirements for All Students Receiving VA Educational Benefits

Be sure you have completed all the necessary steps to becoming a Cardinal!

Additionally, Students must declare a program of study or degree objective – this is your Education Plan. The VA will only pay for classes that are required toward your degree or VA-approved program of study. If you are not sure, ask at the Veterans Education Office.

Students must complete the course work paid for. A Grade of ‘W’ (or other non-punitive grade) will result in overpayment, which means some or all the benefits received from VA may have to be repaid.

Students must notify the Veterans Education Office when: changing classes (adding or dropping), withdrawing from SVC, or when you stop attending classes or when you receive any communication from the VA that is unclear to you. Additionally, educational benefits may be terminated for unsatisfactory academic progress or student conduct. Good communication is KEY! Let us know if anything changes with regard to your classes, education plan or benefit status.

NOTE: Certifying Your Benefits is Not Automatic! You must work with the Veterans Education Office each quarter after you have registered for classes to let them know you plan to use your VA benefit before we can certify you. When we “certify” your classes, we are telling the VA:

  • The number of credits you have registered for.
  • That your courses are approved as part of your Education Plan.
  • The amount you are being charged for Tuition & Fees.
For Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33) Students

Certifying your benefits with the SVC Veterans Education Office allows us to notify the VA to begin processing for your textbook payment and Housing Allowance.

PLEASE NOTE: If you do not certify your classes before the date when payment is due to SVC, you may be automatically dropped from classes you have previously registered for based on non-payment.

For Students Using All Other VA Education Benefits

To find out more information about the GI Bill® and other education benefits you may qualify for, we encourage you to visit the VA website – specifically, the options noted under the “Can I get VA education benefits through other programs” section. 

Tuition Assistance (TA and MyCAA)

 

Military Tuition Assistance

  1. Talk to your military unit’s designated Education Services Officer (ESO) about requirements for applying for Tuition Assistance and complete required training
  2. Military personnel must receive approval from Installation Commander. Submit a Special Request form with your military unit requesting permission to take classes and apply for Tuition Assistance(the Navy refers to this form as a Special Request Chit).
  3. Once the SpecialRequest form is approved and returned to you, you can then apply for the school, register for classes, and complete an Education Plan.
  4. The next step is to go to the TA website, http://www.navycollege.navy.mil/tuition-assistance/index.htm. On the Tuition Assistance Overview splash-page, click on the box labeled Tuition Assistance Steps’ and follow steps 1-6. Submit your WebTA application. For additional assistance, coordinate with Washington State’s Education Services Officer (ESO) at 253.512.8899, [email protected] or find help by visiting goarmyed.com.
  5. Generate a Voucher, stating that you are authorized Tuition Assistance funding, and print/sign and bring it to the enrollment office of the institution.

For information, contact: Sue Jensen, Program Manager, Enrollment Services, Whidbey Island Campus, 360.679.5329 For more information on Financial Aid, visit the Financial Aid page.

 

Tuition Discounts, Waivers & Return Funds Policy

Veterans/Military Tuition Funding

Eligibility for Resident Rate Tuition

ESSB 5355 modified the definition of resident student to comply with federal requirements established by the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (Choice Act). The Choice Act requires states to charge in-state tuition and fees to “covered individuals” training under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® and the Montgomery GI Bill®. A “covered individual” is defined in the Choice Act as:

  • A Veteran who lives in Washington (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls at SVC within three years of discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • A spouse or child using transferred benefits who lives in Washington (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls at SVC within 3 years of the transferor’s discharge from active duty.
  • A spouse or child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship who lives in Washington (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls at SVC within 3 years of the service member’s death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

Individuals who initially meet the requirements above will maintain “covered individual” status as long as they remain continuously enrolled at SVC even if they are outside the 3-year window or enroll in multiple programs. Continuity of enrollment is not broken by holiday vacations; vacation periods; periods during the school year between quarters or by non-enrollment in the summer quarter. It is not necessary for the student to take steps to establish Washington as their permanent domicile although they may want to do so if they plan to stay in Washington, especially if they plan to attend college after they exhaust their benefits.

Veterans Tuition Discount

A veteran who was honorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces may be eligible for a 20% tuition waiver if the student meets all of the following requirements.

  • Can qualify as a WA resident at the time of enrollment per RCW 28B.15.012.
  • While serving as an active or reserve member in the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard, the veteran served in a war or conflict fought on foreign soil, or international waters, or in another location in support of U.S. Armed Forces that were on foreign soil or international waters.
  • Veteran is ineligible for 100% GI Bill benefits.
  • That service is recorded on the veterans DD214 or other official documents.

Please contact the Veterans’ Education Office to determine eligibility.

Mount Vernon Campus: 360.416.7610 Whidbey Island Campus: 360.679.5389

Tuition Waivers for Families of Fallen or 100% Disabled Veterans and National Guard Members

Skagit Valley College will waive all tuition and certain fees for the children, adopted children or stepchildren, and spouses of eligible veterans or National Guard members, who died while on active duty, are permanently and totally disabled because of service-connected injury or illness, are missing in action, are prisoners of war or who are rated by the Veteran’s Administration as 100% disabled. “To be eligible a child must be a Washington domiciliary between 17 and 26 and the child of a Washington State domiciliary. A surviving spouse, to be eligible must be a Washington domiciliary, and it must have been ten years or less since the loss. In addition, the spouse must not have remarried. Each recipient’s continued eligibility is subject to the school’s satisfactory progress policy.” Total credits earned using this waiver may not exceed two hundred quarter credits, or the equivalent of semester credits. The 200 quarter credit limit applies to all combined credits earned via this waiver at the state of Washington colleges & universities. Note: An “eligible veteran or national guard member” means a Washington domiciliary who was an active or reserve member of the U.S. military in a war or conflict fought on foreign soil or in international waters, and if discharged from service, has received an honorable discharge.

SVC Military TA Return Funds Policy

Military 60% Students receiving military tuition assistance (TA) at Skagit Valley College (SVC) are subject to a repayment of all or a portion of their tuition if they fail to attend throughout the duration of the quarter.

Official Withdrawals Students receiving TA that withdraw from classes during the quarter will be required to provide Enrollment Services with completed withdrawal paperwork (F5 card and registration form). This paperwork will document the students last day of attendance in classes (LDA). This date will be used to establish the date the student began the official withdrawal process and used to calculate the students required repayment, if necessary. Repayment calculations are conducted when a student officially withdraws from all registered classes prior to 60% of the quarter. If a student withdraws from classes beyond the 60% point in the quarter they are considered to have earned 100% of their TA and no repayment calculation is required.

Unofficial Withdrawals Skagit Valley College requires instructors who assign non-passing grades to provide the student’s last date of attendance at the point grades are submitted. At the end of the quarter, once instructors have reported all grades, the Enrollment Services Office will run a report to identify students who received TA and who did not receive any credits (no passing grades). This list is reviewed to determine whether students are considered to have unofficially withdrawn for the quarter. Each student is reviewed to determine their latest LDA. If a student failed to attend at least 60% of the quarter a repayment calculation is conducted using the instructors reported LDA.

Refund of Tuition The amount of earned TA is calculated on a weekly basis from the first day of classes. The process uses calendar rather than business days of each week. Earned TA is determined by taking the number of weeks attended before enrollment ended divided by the total number of weeks in the term. (First day of instruction until the last day of finals). Fall quarter equals a 12 week quarter, Winter and Spring are 11 week quarters and Summer quarter is 8 weeks. See examples:

Example 1: 12 Week Course Withdraw submitted

  • Before or during week 1 – 100% return (per SVC refund policy)
  • During weeks 2-3 – 75% return
  • During weeks 4-6 – 50% return
  • During weeks 7-8 – 40% return (60% of course is completed)
  • During weeks 9-12 – 0% return

Example 2: 11 Week Course Withdraw submitted

  • Before or during week 1  – 100% return (per SVC refund policy)
  • During weeks 2-3 – 75% return
  • During weeks 4-6 – 50% return
  • During weeks 7 – 40% return (60% of course is completed)
  • During weeks 8-11 – 0% return

Example 3: 8 week Course Withdraw submitted

  • Before or during week 1 – 100% return (per SVC refund policy)
  • During week 2 – 75% return
  • During weeks 3-4 – 50% return
  • During weeks 5 – 40% return (60% of course is completed)
  • During weeks 6-8 – 0% return

Return policies apply to students that withdraw on or before the 60% point of the term. For students who withdraw after the 60% point-in-time, there is no unearned TA. Calculating Return of Military TA Once the earned and unearned TA percentages are determined, the next step is to calculate the dollar amount of unearned TA that must be returned. The Return amount is determined by multiplying the unearned TA percentage by the total of TA tuition. Unearned TA Percentage: X Total of TA tuition = Total Unearned TA School Return Amount The amount of unearned TA that must be returned by SVC is a percentage of the tuition for the term. Once the dollar amount of the earned TA is determined, it is compared to the total amount of the students TA tuition. Unearned tuition is determined by subtracting the earned tuition from total TA tuition. Once the unearned TA is figured SVC will recalculate the students TA and the invoiced amount to the military will be reduced only to reflect the earned amount of TA. TA Refund versus School Return Amount In most cases, the amount of the student refund will be less than the amount of the school return of unearned TA funds. When the student discontinues enrollment, a balance will be created on their account at SVC for the difference between the refund and the return amount. The student will be responsible for paying this balance. The student will receive a notice of tuition due for the balance of tuition created by the return of unearned tuition to military TA. SVC will send at least three billing notices to the student, notifying them of their repayment obligations. The student is given a deadline by which they are expected to repay their tuition. Students who fail to resolve their debt or make arrangements for repayment in a timely manner are then referred to a Collection agency.

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