Current Students - Special Registration Week July 21-25, 2014 
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Tips for Veterans

Top Nine Tips for Veterans Going to College:

  1. Plan ahead. Whether you're a first time or returning college student, be sure to plan ahead at least six to eight weeks before the school semester starts. VA certification can take several weeks, and you also need to gather all the appropriate paperwork including military transcripts, test scores and your DD-214.

  2. Meet the Veterans Certifying Official. After filling out your application, meet with the Veterans Certifying Official, Shannon Venezia is your contact at WSCC who will certify your DD-214, check your paperwork, then guide and assist in receiving your GI Bill education benefits.

  3. Don't put it off. There are a variety of VA educational benefits for veterans going to college. However, those who delay utilizing these benefits could lose eligibility. GI Bill eligibility ends 15 years from the date of service/active duty discharge – this means if you begin college after 14 years, you could only receive one year's worth of benefits before losing eligibility. The sooner you start, the greater your potential for accomplishing an associate's, bachelors or graduate degree. For more information on the GI Bill go to www.gibill.va.gov.

  4. Still apply for financial aid. All students, including veterans, can and should apply for financial aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by going to www.fafsa.gov. This aid covers grants, loans and work-study. School code is #010453.

  5. Get your housing allowance. Those receiving GI bill benefits can qualify for a monthly housing allowance equal to the amount available to an E-5 with dependents. This can be used to help pay for an apartment or house during your time at WSCC. Active duty, those not taking full-time classes, or online students are not eligible.

  6. Get an advisor. Every student at WSCC is assigned to an advisor to help guide them through their individual program of study. Advisors can advise veterans to develop an individualized education plan including course selections and determining a program major. This plan is tailored to what career potentials you're looking for and can utilize your prior military experiences, such as with computer technology, communications, electrician, engineering, or mechanical programs at WSCC.

  7. Utilize your knowledge. Military veterans can use their certified military transcript (accessed online) to provide military schooling documentation that can convert to college credit, saving tuition dollars and class room time. These are referred to as the AARTS for Army vets and SMART for Navy/Marine. Air Force/Coast Guard documentation is available through their respective transcript service centers. Those who were in classified or Special Forces may have difficulty converting their military resume; make an appointment with Shannon Venezia for assistance with this.

  8. Meet other veterans on campus. Shannon Venezia is the staff advisor for WSCC's Veterans Club, which in 2011 had 60 members made up of active-duty, National Guard, reserve, veterans and veteran's family members. The club gives veterans a voice on campus and we hold a seat in the Student Senate. The Veterans Club communicates with members electronically and shares helpful and relevant information in areas such as education and healthcare.

  9. Develop Career Training Skills. Several different career services and job placement training is available for veterans on campus. Two programs – Network Alliance and College Career Network Program – teach resume writing and posting, how to build a portfolio, job interview skills, and more.

Military-Friendly Schools such as Washington State Community College are here to assist U.S. Veterans in putting the specialized training education, and dedication learned in the military towards post-secondary study. WSCC can meet the unique needs of members of the military both online and on campus.

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