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Veterans' Services - Everything you Need to Know

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Please be sure to print out your question and response  session. Bring the printout to the Palomar Veterans' Office if you need further help from our staff.

Everything You Need to Know - pdf version

Important Terms and Processes

Semester Certification
Certification for VA Education benefits is not automatic. We ask that students stop by the Veterans' Services Office each semester they wish to utilize benefits and fill out a Certification Request form. Students must wait 24 hours after registering, to request certification. We strongly recommend that students accomplish this as soon as 24 hours have passed in order to expedite the processing of educational benefits. 

New Students
Veterans and other eligible dependents receiving educational benefits under Chapter: 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 1606 or 1607, who have never used their VA educational benefits and would like to make application for benefits should report to the Veterans' Services Office prior to registering for classes. Students must bring copies of complete VA form 22-1990 (VA Form 22-5490 for CH 35 only) or VA Certificate of Eligibility. Those veterans receiving benefits under the conversion from the Vietnam Era to the Montgomery GI Bill will need to bring copies of all DD 214s, and if applicable, complete VA form 22-686C, Declaration of Status of Dependents, listing all dependents.

Students who have prior educational training must provide official transcripts to Palomar College from all colleges, universities, and/or training institutes prior to meeting with a VA Education Counselor. Official Military transcripts are also required to be on file prior to meeting with a VA Education Counselor.

Transfer Students
Students who previously received VA educational benefits at another school must complete VA form 22-1995/5495 (Change of Place of Training) and submit it to the Veterans' Services Technician in the Veterans' Services Office.

Previously Enrolled Veterans
All previously enrolled veterans should folow their most recent education plan or completed evaluation when determining which classes to enroll in. Students may meet with a VA Education Counselor prior to the begining of the semester to insure that classes are covered by VA Education Benefits.

Students must turn in a completed Certification Request form after registering for classes every semester to insure the continuance of their benefits.

Concurrent Enrollment
While receiving VA Educational benefits, students may be concurrently enrolled at more than one school during the same semester. Whichever school the student is pursuing a degree from will be the Parent/Primary School. If the student is registered and pursuing courses at a four-year institution, that school will be deemed the Parent/Primary school. Veteran students must provide an authorization letter from the advisor at the Parent School (called Parent Letter or Primary School Letter). This form states that the courses taken at the Secondary/Guest School will be credited toward the current major the student is pursuing. Veteran students are responsible for informing the Secondary/Guest School's Veterans' Office of the request to be certified at the Secondary/Guest School. The Secondary/Guest School will complete the certification for the benefits form (VA form 22-1999) and send this information to the VA.

Students requesting Palomar College’s VSO to generate a Parent Letter for a Secondary/Guest School must show proof of enrollment and officially request the Parent Letter to be generated by coming into the VSO office. Student is responsible for a debt incurred for courses not applicable to declared VA program.

Monthly Verification
Veteran students who receive benefits under Chapter 30, 34, 1606 and 1607, VRAP GI Bill, have to verify their enrollment each month. These students will receive an award letter from the VA Regional Processing Center in Muskogee, OK. Once this is received, the student can verify their enrollment. To insure prompt payment of benefits please verify your enrollment every month. The earliest this can be done is the last day of the month. Monthly verification can be done via one of the following two ways:

Telephone - Using Interactive Voice Response (IVR), 1-877-823-2378

Internet - WAVE (Web Automated Verification of Enrollment).

Failure to verify your enrollment will cause your benefits to stop. You must do this every month or you will not get paid!

Federal holidays may delay receipt of the Student Verification of Enrollment and/or your check.

Direct Deposit
Direct deposit of VA educational benefits payment is now available for Chapter 30, 33, 35, 1606, 1607 and VRAP recipients. This program speeds up education and work study payments. It also decreases risk of missing, lost, or stolen checks. As easy as 1-2-3, students may request direct deposit through the VA by calling the VA at: 1-888-442-4551

The VA will require students to provide their VA file number, bank routing number, and checking/savings account number.

Tutorial Assistance
Tutoring is available through the College free of charge. This can be arranged by visiting the Tutoring Center located on the first floor of the Palomar College Library. Additional information may be found on the Tutoring Center's webpage, or by e-mail at:

Students using VA Education Benefits may also qualify to receive assistance from the VA for individual tutoring. To qualify, they must be enrolled in 1/2 time or more and have a deficiency in a subject for which they are currently drawing VA educational benefits.

If eligible for tutoring benefits under a GI Bill, students may receive up to $1200 maximum for tutoring. For further information and to apply for VA tutorial assistance, contact the Palomar Veterans' Services Office.

VRAP recipients are not eligible for VA tutoring assistance. If you are using VRAP and need tutoring, please contact the VSO.

IMPORTANT:Students who wish to utilize VA tutoring assistance must first have approval by the VSO. ailure to do so could result in your tutoring not being covered by the VA tutoring program. Please contact the VSO for the “Tutorial Assistance Approval Form”.

VA Work Study Program
The VA Work Study Program is a tax-free employment program through the VA. The rate is minimum wage, state or federal – whichever one is higher ( $8 per hour as of June 2011 ). Veteran students must be enrolled in and receiving educational benefits at least 3/4 time (9, 10, 11 credit hours) rate.

For jobs off-campus VA work study sites contact:

VA Regional Office 1-888-442-4551
VA San Diego (858) 552-8585, Ext 2365

For jobs on-campus contact the Palomar College Veterans' Services Office at (760) 744-1150, ext. 2173.

Benefit Rates of Pay
Rates depend upon amount contributed and/or length of time in service (Number of months of contribution), as well as enrollment status. Students can check current payment rates for Chapters 30, 1606, 1607, and 35 at Please note VRAP benefits are paiod at the same rate as CH 30.

For CH 33 current payment rates go to “Duty Zip Code” will be the Zip code for the school you plan to attend. “Pay Grade” is always “E-5”. Students are paid at the BAH rate that reads “With Dependents”. Increase in payment rates will take effect August 1st of the respective calendar year. For example, CY 2013 states students will be paid at “$2025.00”. This amount will not be paid to students until August 1, 2013. Students may also inquire at the Veterans' Office for current payment rates for VA Education Beneftis.

Undergraduate Enrollment Status by Number of Credits

  Full Time 3/4 Time 1/2 Time
Fall/Spring 12.0+ 9.0-11.5 6.0-8.5    (Chap 33, 6.5 - 8.5)
6.0+ 4.0-5.5 3.0 - 3.5
4.0+ 3.0-3.5 2.0-2.5

Credit for Formal Service School Experience
Credit is given for formal service school training as recommended by The American Council on Education, through its Commission on Accreditation of Service School Experiences. For complete information contact the Veterans' Services Office. To access your military transcripts, please visit our Transcripts webpage,

Standards for Receiving Educational Benefits
In compliance with the Department of Veteran Benefits, Circular 22-80-38, the college has developed standards of progress. Each veteran student must conform to these standards to be eligible of VA Educational Benefit Certification. Students using VA Education Benefits must maintain a 2.0 GPA. Failure to maintain a term and cumulative GPA at or above 2.0 for three consecutive semesters will result in Academic Dismissal from the VA Program at Palomar College. Summer session is included in standards of progress for ALL students using VA Education Benefits.

Non-Punitive Grades (F to F Grades)
Courses that are failed or for which the grade does not meet minimum requirements for graduation may be certified for VA purposes if they are repeated. If the student repeats a course they previously received an “F” in, and receive another “F”, the first “F” is reported to the VA. This will cause a reduction of certifiable units to the VA effective the first day of the term you first received an “F” resulting in a debt to the student.
For example, if a student is enrolled in 12 units in the Fall semester and received an “F” in English 100, they will be allowed to retake the course and certify it for VA benefits. If the student takes English 100 again in the Spring semester and receives another “F”, the first “F” becomes non-punitive. Palomar College’s VSO is required to report this non-punitive grade. In this example the student’s total certifiable units will drop from 12 to 8 units effective the first day of the Fall semester. This reduction may result in a debt owed to the VA by the student for tuition and/or monthly housing allowance.

Non-Payable Classes
ny students using VA Education Benefits must ensure that classes taken apply to the program they have on file with the VA. Classes that are not covered by VA Education Benefits, regardless of declared VA major, include any audited class, remedial classes offered as distance education (online), and classes that a student has previously and successfully completed. Students should refer to their degree evaluation and/or see a Veterans Education Counselor to ensure they are enrolled in classes that will apply to their program. VA Work Study personnel who work in the VSO are not trained academic counselors. If there is confusion about a course applicability please ask to see a VA Education Counselor or Certifying Official.

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