Veterans FAQs

  • How do I request certification at CCC?
    • To request certification of VA Education Benefits at Contra Costa College, there are 3 routes to certification.
      • New Students
      • Continuing Students
      • Returning Students (Have not been enrolled at CCC for 2 consecutive semesters)
    • To find the Certification processes, visit our Veteran Student-Checklist
  • How do I apply for my Veteran Educational Benefits?
    • Apply on-line at, or Please download a copy of your completed application and email this along with your DD214 to start a file at the CCC Veterans Services Office.
    • You can email these copies to or bring them to our Veterans Services Office in the Student Administration Building, Rm 109
  • What documentation do I need to provide to apply for my Veteran Educational Benefits?
    • Transcripts: All recipients who have completed courses at other post-secondary institutions MUST submit official transcripts from those schools. Also send a copy of your Joint Service Transcripts (JSTs) to Contra Costa College.
      • Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill®: Application form 1990 and a copy of your DD 214 (member 4 copy) that indicates an honorable discharge and a copy of the Certificate of Eligibility (or copy of completed application until your COE arrives).
      • Chapter 31 Veterans Readiness and Employment (VR&E): Students are required to bring in a copy of their Verification Letter of eligibility for VR&E from the VA and a copy of your DD 214 (member 4 copy) that indicates an honorable discharge. We will also need to receive a Purchase Order (PO) from your VR&E Counselor before your courses can be certified.
      • Chapter 33, Post 9/11 GI Bill®: Students are required to bring in a Member 4 copy of their DD 214, indicating an honorable discharge and their Certificate of Eligibility (COE) (or copy of completed application until the COE arrives).
      • Chapter 35 for Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA): Spouses and Dependents need to provide a copy of the Service member’s DD214 (Discharge Papers) and a copy of the Certificate of Eligibility with the full VA File Number as issued to the student from the VA.
      • Chapter 1606 Selected Reserve: Students are required to bring in a “Notice of Basic Eligibility” (NOBE) that can be obtained from their Reserve or National Guard unit. They must be signed up for a six year commitment and a copy of the Certificate of Eligibility.
    • *Please note that GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about educational benefits offered by the VA is available at the official U.S. government website at
  • Do I need to verify my enrollment every month if I am using my Post 9/11 GI Bill?
    • Yes.
    • NEW VA policy for Post 9/11 GI Bill (Ch.33): Verification of Enrollment Starting 12/17/2021. Each month Vets using Ch.33 are required by the VA to Verify their Enrollment. All student veterans using the Post 9/11 GI Bill must Verify their Enrollment each month with the VA.
    • For a quick and easy experience, VA highly recommends using text message verification. When your enrollment is processed by VA, you will receive a text message from VA to opt into text message verification.
      • Reply “YES” to opt-in. You will receive a text confirming you have opted in.
        • The text message link will expire in 14 days. After that, you will be automatically enrolled in email verification.
      • If you reply “NO” or cannot receive texts, you will be automatically enrolled in email verification.
  • How long does it take for an application to be processed by the VA?
    • Once an application for educational benefits is sent to the Department of Veterans Affairs Processing Center it usually takes four to six weeks before the certificate of eligibility is sent to the student. The certificate of eligibility needs to be brought into the CCC VA office as soon as it is received by the student.
  • Where do I Apply online for admission to CCC?
    • You can apply at
  • Is there a checklist I can use to follow as a guide for my certification?
    • Yes.
    • You can find the checklist here: (attached)
  • Are ALL CCC courses certifiable for educational benefits?
    • No! Before a student can receive payment for the educational benefit, they must meet with the CCC Veterans Academic Counselor who specializes in VA education benefits and establish a Student Educational Plan (SEP) based on their educational goal (such as transfer to a university, associate degree or certificate program). Only courses required for these programs are certifiable for VA educational benefits. This process will be explained in detail during your counseling meeting.
  • What is the difference between Remote/Lecture/In-Person/Residence VS Online Courses for MHA purposes due to COVID-19?
    • Individuals only enrolled in distance learning courses (100% online or 100% remote) were eligible for an MHA equal to 50% of the national average of all BAH rates. Rates are multiplied by the rate of pursuit (RoP) rounded to the nearest multiple of 10.
    • You can register for courses listed as Online, however to get the full MHA rate you need AT LEAST 1 course that is listed as LECTURE, IN-PERSON OR RESIDENCE on your schedule per semester.
    • If you register for Online classes only you will receive the online MHA rate.
  • Do veterans receive priority registration?
    • YES! Veterans receive priority registration under Priority Group 1. You do not have to be using VA Education Benefits, but veterans do NEED to submit a copy of their DD-214 and complete the following steps within the enrollment process:
    • 1)    Submit copy of DD-214
    • 2)    Complete Math and English Placement Assessment,
    • 3)    Complete the New Student Veteran Online Orientation,
    • 4)    Meet with a Veterans Academic Counselor and receive an Education Plan.
  • Can I lose my Priority Registration status at CCC?
    • YES! Students (including Veterans) can lose their priority registration if:
      (Excerpt from Title 5 § 58108. Registration and Enrollment Procedures.)
    • 1.    Student is placed on academic or progress probation or any combination thereof as defined in section 55031 for two consecutive terms; or
    • 2.    has earned one hundred (100) or more degree-applicable semester or quarter equivalent units at the district.
  • Do I need to request certification every semester?
    • YES! Students are responsible for requesting certification EACH semester VA education benefits plan on being used, this does not happen automatically. Any student using VA Education Benefits MUST complete the Request for Certification form each semester you plan to use benefits.
  • What if I need to drop all my classes because of activation orders from the military?
    • If you have been Certified for the semester and receive military orders, please contact the Admissions and Records Office (A&R). You will need to Request a Military Withdrawal (MW). You will need to email your request and orders to the A&R Office. Contact Credit Admissions:
    • Admissions and Records
      • Student Services Center, Room 115
      • 510.215.6027 or
  • How long does it take to get payment for educational benefits from the Department of Veteran Affairs?
    • After all of the admissions and application steps have been completed as mentioned above and you have requested certification, the VA can take between six and eight weeks to process a payment. (Depending on the time of year, processing time may vary).
  • What grades are covered by VA Payments?
    • The VA pays for all the following grades: “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, “F”, and “P”. Grades not covered for VA payment are “NC”, “NP”, and “Audit” (U).
    • If you receive an Incomplete (“I” ) grade, and the “I” grade is not converted to a letter grade within one year from the last day of the term it was received in, your VA payment will be retroactively reduced back to the first day of the term it was received. You may not re-register for a course you received an “I” grade in for payment (unless a full year has gone by and the VA has already reduced your benefit payment). You must complete an “I” grade on your own.
  • What happens if I fail to pass my courses?
    • The VA is notified if a student is not meeting satisfactory academic progress standards.
  • What should I do if I change my schedule, drop, add and/or withdraw from my course?
    • All schedule changes need to be reported to the VA School Certifying Official when your registration is changed. CCC allows you to drop classes before the drop date and receive a full refund. VA benefits will be reduced or eliminated depending on your certification. Communicate with the VA School Certifying Official if you change your schedule. Keep in mind that notifying your VA School Certifying Official any later may result in an over payment.
  • What happens if I drop my courses after the drop period?
    • The VA allows you to withdraw up to 6-credits lifetime with no penalty after the 1st week of the term. Benefits are paid for the dropped course up until the date it is dropped. Outside of this lifetime
      6-credit exclusion, unless mitigating circumstances are submitted by you and accepted by the VA, any reduction in credit load will result in a reduction of your benefits and you may be responsible for paying the VA for the cost of the course (CH 33 students). Students are advised to contact the VA directly before dropping a course to ask specific questions of how their benefits will be impacted.
  • What happens if I drop below a 2.0 gpa or receive an academic hold?
    • The VA requires that veterans or dependents using VA education benefits maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher. Generally speaking, if a student veteran falls below a 2.0 GPA at CCC, they will be placed on Academic Probation. It is reasonable to expect that an institution will report a termination due to unsatisfactory progress if a student remains on academic probation beyond two terms, quarters, or semesters.  After two consecutive terms on Academic Probation, you will not be allowed to utilize your Education Benefits until your cumulative GPA is above a 2.0.
  • How will the VA handle courses by grade and withdrawals?
A, B or CVA will consider the course as completed and will award per the duration of the courses
D or FVA will consider the course as completed and will award per the duration of the courses. Do keep in mind that their are limitations on how many times a course can be certified
W – Withdrawal without mitigating circumtancesVA will request payment based on the Rate of Pursuit difference from the start of the Term (i.e, dropping from 100% – 12 units to 75% – 11-9 units will require 25% of MHA/BAH payments to be returned). One time policy to cover up to 6-units that the student might not need to pay back at the alst day of attendance, check here:
W – Withdrawal with mitigating circumstancesVA will allow the student to keep their Benefits from when the student had received a Withdrawal
I – IncompleteVA will require reporting, student will not need to return payments once grade has been changed to a Punitive Grade (A, B, C, D or F), however if the course is later change to a W, then student will need to return payments based on whether with/without mitigating circumstances

Benefits FAQs

  • CH.3O – Montgomery G.I. Bill
    • The Montgomery GI Bill® can provide educational assistance for eligible veterans who have served on active duty for two or more years and have been honorably discharged from the service. (For a veteran who served as Reservists for six or more years see Chapter 1606). Please go to the VA web site for further details on specific eligibility criteria: ( All students who feel they might be eligible should submit an application on-line at The Department of Veteran Affairs will review your application and will generally notify you of their decision within 30 days.
    • Verifying Enrollment Each Month: After the student has been approved for benefits by the VA and certified for the semester by the CCC Certifying Official he/she must verify continued enrollment with the federal VA office in Muskogee, Oklahoma. This must be done at the beginning of each following month before payments will be issued. For example, classes start in August you verify September 1, and so on, by either calling 1-877-823-2378 or by going to the VA web site at
  • Ch.31 – Veteran Readiness And Employment
    • Veterans Readiness & Employment “VR&E” (formally Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment) provides assistance for veterans who have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10% from the VA and who do not have a dishonorable discharge.
    • Apply for VR&E:
      • via ebenefits (preferred),
      • via your County Veterans Service Office (VSO) by paper claim, or
      • Veterans Regional Office 1301 Clay Street, Room 1300 North, Oakland, CA 94612, 1-800-827-1000 or (510) 637-6128
  • Ch.33 – Post 9-11 G.I. Bill
    • This GI Bill® Is for Veterans who served on active duty for a defined period of time after 09/10/01. Chapter 33 offers Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH, a book stipend per term/semester (not to exceed $1,000 per academic year) and pays for tuition and required college fees. For further information about the Post-9/11 GI Bill go to: or The VA web-site also provides continuous updates about new GI bill program(s).
    • Apply on-line for the Post-9/11 GI Bill® at
    • Receiving Payments: When you notify the Veterans Services Office that you are registered for classes, the Veterans Services Coordinator will submit a certification to the VA. The VA can take up to 4-6 weeks to process certifications and send out payments.
  • Ch.35 – Dependent Educational Assistance
    • Educational assistance paid to dependents (spouse/children) of veterans who are permanently and 100% disabled due to a service connected condition or who died in the service of a service-connected disability. Please go to the following website for further details: or Apply on-line at
    • Chapter 35 dependent benefits must do monthly enrollment verification with the VA. The VA Administration will send out a monthly enrollment verification letter to the Chapter 35 beneficiary which must be filled out by the student and returned to the VA.
  • Ch.1606 – Montgomery G.I. Bill – Selected Reserve
    • This program provides educational assistance for active members of the selected reserves, including members of the Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Air Force Reserve, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard, Army National Guard, and Air National Guard. Basic eligibility requires a six-year obligation to serve in the selected reserves, and satisfactory participation in required selective reserve training. Participants must be signed up for a six year commitment. To apply, follow the instructions provided at:
    • Verifying Enrollment Each Month: (For Chapters: 30, 1606) After the student has been approved by the VA and certified by CCC’s School Certifying Official (SCO) for the semester he/she must verify continued enrollment with the federal VA office in Muskogee, Oklahoma. This must be done at the beginning of each following month before payments will be issued.
    • For example: classes start in August you verify September 1, and so on, by either calling 1-877-823-2378 or by going to the VA web site at
  • California Department of Veterans Affairs (Cal-Vet)
    • The “Cal-Vet fee waiver” offers a College Fee Waiver Program for eligible dependants whose veteran parent has at least 0% or greater service-connected disability. Contact the SF County Veteran Services Office (415-934-4200) or your local County Veteran Service Office (CVSO) (Find your local CVSO at: You can also contact your local Cal-Vet office at 415-554-7100 for information about the Cal Vet Fee Waiver.