Proud to Serve Our Veterans
At Washington State Community College, we welcome the men and women who have served in the U.S. military. As a Veteran, you’ll find a number of specialized services to meet your needs including individual advising, converting military education to college credit, and connecting with other Veterans on campus. Plus, you’ll benefit from specialized skills development and career training opportunities.
Are you seeking a college degree? Job training? Maybe you're not sure what's the best way to use the skills you gained serving in the military. We can help. Years of military training can equal potential earned credit towards a degree or certificate program. We can also help connect you with a wide variety of educational assistance provided by the Veterans Administration (VA) - including the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Transfer of Benefit, and Veterans Vocational Rehab. For more information on the GI Bill, go to http://benefits.va.gov/gibill/.
So you’re thinking about college. Consider these tips so you have a smooth, seamless enrollment experience.
- 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 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.
- Meet the Veterans Certifying Official. After filling out your application, meet with Heather McCullough, WSCC’s Veterans Certifying Official. This will be your contact at WSCC who will certify your DD-214, check your paperwork, then guide and assist in receiving your GI Bill education benefits.
- 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, bachelor’s or graduate degree! For more information on the GI Bill go to http://benefits.va.gov/gibill/.
- Be sure to apply for financial aid. All students, including Veterans, can and should apply for financial aid by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by going to www.fafsa.gov. After submitting the FAFSA, our Financial Aid office will notify you about your eligibility for aid, including grants, loans and work-study. Additional forms of financial assistance may also be available. [link to the other sources of aid page]
- 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.
- 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 program major. This plan is tailored to your desired career and can utilize your prior military experiences, such as with computer technology, communications, electrician, engineering, or mechanical programs at WSCC.
- 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 classroom 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 so an advising appointment with Career Services is recommended to assist with the process.