To receive your VA benefits an enrollment certification request form is required. Students who will be attending a May Session or Summer Term should project their enrollments for May 2016, Summer 2016, Fall 2016, and Spring 2017 on the form. Students who will not re-enroll until Fall 2016 should project their enrollments for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 only.
- Completed certification requests will be accepted by the USC Office of Veterans Services after March 1, 2011.
- Continuing USC – Columbia students will be certified 60 days prior to the first day of the term, while 1st time students will be certified on the first day of the term.
- Advance Pay requests must be received 45 days prior to the 1st day of the term.
Chapter 30 students must verify their attendance to the VA every month to receive their monthly education benefit. Students can verify their attendance to the VA by phone, Internet or postal mail on or after the 1st day of the month. Checks should arrive 6 days later by direct deposit or 12 days later by mail. Please use one of the following methods:
- Telephone: 1-877-823-2378 (1-877-VA-E-CERT)
- Internet: www.gibill.va.gov
- Postal Mail: Return envelope provided by VA.
If you feel you need to make changes to the enrollment dates or semester hours shown on the verification form, we advise you first to bring the form to the campus Veterans Services’ Office and let us know what changes are required. It is possible that we may need to send additional forms to the VA in Atlanta, and it is best to send all forms together.
* (Less Than ½ and ¼ time: Tuition and Fees Only (no fines, books)
** Thesis and Dissertation students at less than full-time may request a higher rate of VA pay – at discretion of their graduate Dean or Director. Documentation required.
***Graduate Students who have Graduate Research or Graduate Teaching Assistantships through their departments are considered Full Time when enrolled in Six (6) Graduate Hours.
Students who have been admitted to the University and have already established a file with the campus VA office have been coded into the USC computer records as VA students. The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships has access to this screen, but additional follow-up maybe necessary to complete your file for financial aid purposes. However, you should notify us if any of the following conditions apply:
- You have been denied benefits by the Federal VA.
- You have exhausted all of your VA entitlement.
- You will not use your VA benefits for a term
- You convert from one VA benefit program to another.
In order to qualify for advanced payment, the following criteria must be met:
- You must either be a first-time applicant, or have been out of school for at least one term or one calendar month since last using your VA benefits.
- You must plan to enroll for at least 1/2 time.
- You must request the advance at least 45 days before term begins.
Qualified students may request advanced payment by signing the appropriate section on their Enrollment Certification Request form. The advance will include a partial payment for the first month of the term plus one full month’s allotment.
Once the VA has processed your request, they will send you a letter stating that your check has been sent to the campus Office of Veteran Services. You should wait approximately one week before calling this office to determine if we have the check. Generally we will release an advance check before the term begins under the following conditions:
- You bring a current bill (obtained from the Office of Financial Services in Petigru) which shows your class schedule and the amount due. The bill must be dated the day you want to pick up your check.
- You bring a “paid” tuition fee receipt for the term advanced.
You will also be required to show a picture ID and sign for the check.
NOTE: After you receive an advance check, you will not receive another VA educational payment until approximately 2 1/2 months later! Some people like to have the advance to help defray the cost of books and other start-up expenses. Just be sure to weigh the value of an advance against having to wait almost three months before your next check will arrive.
College Credit for Military Training
Having the schools that appear on your military transcripts evaluated for college credit is a two-step process here at USC. The first step is to have official transcripts from your military branch sent to the USC-Columbia Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Lieber College, 902 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29208. The second step is to bring hard copies of your military transcripts to your initial advisement appointment. Your advisor will either evaluate your military schools for college credit at the appointment or forward them to the Dean of the department for further study. Either way, personnel from your academic department, and not from the Office of Admissions, are responsible for evaluating your military transcripts for college credit.
Active Duty and Less Than Half-Time
Active duty students and less than half-time students must fill out an enrollment certification request form each semester and will be reimbursed for tuition and fees only. These requirements are according to VA regulations. To get information on the payment of your benefits call the VA at 1-800-827-1000
· Enrollment Certification request forms required by the USC Office of Veterans Services on a semester by semester basis.
· Student certified for reimbursement of tuition and fees only.
1. BEFORE proceeding with any tutoring sessions, contact USC Veterans Services and request a Tutorial Certification form. At this time you will be informed of the number of hours and the amount per hour that the VA will pay for tutorial services.
2. Have your professor/instructor complete their part of the form. Then, locate a qualified tutor. Your professor may know someone, but your tutor cannot be either the instructor for the course or a family member. The academic department offering the course may have a list of tutors or you may contact USC Academic Support Services at 777-6742.
3. Have the tutor complete his/her portion of the form.
4. Return the completed form to the campus VA Coordinator. Once the Director establishes that your tutor is qualified to tutor you, the form will be submitted to the VA.
Students eligible for VA education benefits and attending classes at a ¾ time or full-time level qualify for VA-funded workstudy positions. All workstudy positions are related to veterans’ benefits, and there are a variety of workstudy positions in Columbia. For more details, go to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ education benefits web site (https://www.gibill.va.gov/pamphlets/wkstud.htm) or contact the VA directly at 1-800-827-1000.
South Carolina Tuition Program For Children of Certain War Veterans
Offered by -The State of South Carolina
Description – No funds are appropriated for this program by the State of South Carolina since its benefits are simply tuition waivers at any of the state-supported universities, colleges, and post-high school technical education institutions. All children who qualify may receive these benefits, regardless of financial need, up to and including their twenty-sixth birthday.
Value – Free Tuition
South Carolina Code of Laws
Basis of Award – Proof of qualifications for the benefits.
Application Procedures – Obtain application forms from any County Veterans Affairs Office or write The Governor’s Office, Division of Veterans Affairs, 1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 463, Columbia, SC 29201. Telephone (803) 734-0200. Collect calls will not be accepted.