Pensacola State College has served veterans and their families since 1948. The Veteran Services Office (VSO), located in Building 6 on the Pensacola Campus, assists students with Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) and College VSO procedures. Veteran Services is part of the Student Financial Services Division of the College. The VSO assists a student with his or her DVA education claims and is responsible for meeting all institutional reporting requirements mandated by DVA regulations. A student using Veteran Benefits is required to follow both the academic policies and procedures for obtaining a degree or certificate at Pensacola State College and adhere to DVA policies and procedures. DVA determines the education benefits and amount to be paid to the eligible student. Both the College and the student must abide by DVA regulations. The College’s VSO is a service of Pensacola State College and not an affiliate of the United States Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA). Resources are also available in the VSO. Pensacola State College’s VSO is committed to providing resources online for students, limited and protected by concerns for privacy and security. A student should frequently consult the DVA website: http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/ for updates.
Military veterans may be eligible to receive educational benefits from the Department of Veteran Services. Contact the Veteran Services staff at Pensacola State College to process all required paperwork to ensure all education benefits will be received in a timely manner.
- Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB) (Chapter 30)
- Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606)
- Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)
- Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA) (Chapter 35)
- Reserve Educational Assistance Program(REAP) (Chapter 1607)
- Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Chapter 31)
Advanced Payment (Chapter 30, 35 and 1606 only)
A new student or those who have not received VA education benefits from any school within 30 days of the start of the semester may apply for a one month advance payment of their eligible education benefit. The properly completed application and certified documentation must be received by the DVA Regional Office no earlier than 120 days and no later than 30 days before the first day of class. A student should allow an average of four to six weeks after the VSO office submits enrollment certification for receipt of his or her first direct deposit of DVA education benefits.
A student anticipating the use of his or her DVA education benefits for enrollment at Pensacola State College must submit their applications using the VONAPP (Veterans-On-line Application) website: http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/apply.asp.
Any student who has previously attended training or education after high school (including military education/training) are required by the DVA to have his or her training evaluated for applicable credit to programs of study, regardless of whether or not DVA assistance was previously received. The credit evaluation is processed by the Pensacola State College Registrar’s Office. Credits may then be applied toward the student’s degree program at Pensacola State College. A copy of all DD-214’s or Military Training Transcripts (Joint Services Transcript for Army, Navy and Marines; CCAF for Air Force) and official school transcripts must be submitted to the Admissions/Records Office at this College for their military/educational training evaluation. The Pensacola State College VA Certification Request form is available from the VSO website and must be accurately completed, signed, and submitted to this VSO by the student.
Certificate of Eligibility
Upon favorable review of a benefits application, the DVA will issue a Certificate of Eligibility directly to the student. The student MUST then submit a copy of the Certificate to the VSO.
A VA student may be withdrawn by his or her instructors when absences are excessive, as defined under the Attendance Policy described in this catalog. A student must verify his or her attendance on the last day of the month to initiate the release of the monthly benefit check if using CH 30, 1606, or 1607 education benefits. To verify attendance, please use the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) at https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/index.do, or the toll free Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone line at (877) 823-2378.
Calculation of Pay Rate
Pay rate classifications are set by DVA for all GI Bill chapters. The rate calculation is based on the combination of credits enrolled and the length of the session in days of instruction. Pensacola State College has three semesters — fall, spring, and summer. Each semester has four sessions, A, B, C, and D. The sessions have varied lengths. It is important to remember that semester and session have different meanings and measurements. A student enrolled in 12 credit hours for fall semester, all in the A session is FULL TIME for the semester. Enrollment in two or more different sessions during the semester could result in changes in the calculation of the rate of pay over the semester. A student should go to http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/ for pay rate information.
All enrolled VA students should submit a VA Certification Request form upon completion of registration to the VSO if they wish to claim DVA benefits for the upcoming semester. IMPORTANT: Students should complete their registration and the necessary steps for certification as early as possible to ensure quick processing and DVA payment.
Official communications between Pensacola State College and a student is through PirateMail. It is each student’s responsibility to regularly monitor this account. A student should submit correspondence to the VSO using firstname.lastname@example.org. The student’s name, Pensacola State Student ID number, and chapter of VA benefits should always be included.
Cooperative (CO-OP) Training
Co-op training is approved for DVA benefits if the course is required in a student’s program and meets DVA regulations for certification purposes. If the co-op course is verifiable and the student would like to receive DVA benefits, the “Statement of Election” form must be completed before the co-op course can be certified to the DVA. Contact the VSO to ensure the course is certifiable and to obtain the necessary paperwork.
Courses for Which the VA Will Not Pay
Any course that cannot be applied toward fulfilling graduation requirements in a student’s DVA approved degree program at Pensacola State College cannot be certified to the DVA for benefit payments. The following list reflects other types of non-pay courses, but is not all inclusive.
- Repeated courses which have been successfully completed with a grade of D or better, unless the course is being repeated in accordance with the Gordon Rule or Pensacola State College graduation requirements. This includes courses transferred in whether DVA benefits were received or not.
- Courses not listed under a student’s DVA approved degree program; unless the course is a pre-requisite or co-requisite listed under the course descriptions in the current College Catalog, or a course substitution, processed and approved before the semester begins. A student should follow the Pensacola State College program outline listed in the College Catalog verified as the one under which the student plans to graduate.
- Courses offered as open entry/open exit.
- Courses considered excessive electives. This includes credit received for prior training that will count toward an elective requirement whether DVA benefits were received or not.
- Remedial courses which are not required by placement test scores or under Florida State laws.
- Courses taken to fulfill requirements at another institution unless an approved transient authorization is received.
- Courses taken as audit, non-credit, CLEP, or exemption.
- Any course in which a student’s final permanent grade is non-punitive in nature, for example a W grade, unless DVA finds the student received the grade due to mitigating circumstances. See Grades Table elsewhere in the catalog.
- Courses offered as independent study in a certificate program.
Florida law provides for one deferment of tuition and fees (not including books) per academic year for a student receiving DVA benefits. The deferment is a legal promissory note between Pensacola State College and the student; therefore, the student is responsible for making full payment by the due date. All costs of collection including reasonable attorney fees will be the responsibility of the student. The student’s obligation to pay is not contingent on the student first receiving his or her DVA payment.
Consult with the VSO staff for complete eligibility requirements and proper ID documents. Students receiving CH 33 benefits should review the Post 9/11 section for additional information.
DVA allows a student to concurrently pursue two degree programs. A student must first receive approval from Pensacola State College’s Registrar. Then a student must request approval through Pensacola State College’s VSO. The Dual Degree request should be submitted sixty business days prior to the start of the semester dual enrollment is desired. If a student changes one of the dual degree programs after approval, the approval is then voided. If a student submits a certification request with other than one of the approved dual programs, that certification will not be processed. Careful review of the dual request form should be done prior to submitting the request.
Pensacola State College’s VSO does NOT have access to a student’s DVA pay information; therefore, a student should consult the DVA’s websites: http://www.ebenefits.va.gov and http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/ to check on education benefits and payments. Specific questions regarding a student’s education benefits and payments should be addressed directly to the DVA using the “Ask a Question” feature at the following address: https://iris.custhelp.com/ or by calling (888) 442-4551.
DVA Vocational Rehabilitation
A student approved for DVA Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31) is eligible to charge tuition, fees, books, and supplies as approved by his or her DVA case manager and as allowed by DVA regulations. The college’s VSO must receive an authorized DVA Form 28-1905 from the case manager before charges can be made. Please allow at least five business days for changes to be made. For additional information, email email@example.com.
In order to receive DVA Educational Assistance, a student must be pursuing an approved BAS, BSN, AA, AS, or certificate at Pensacola State College. A student must follow the Catalog for the academic year the student began the program, unless the student takes longer than five years to complete the program. Please see the Effective Catalog Policy for complete details. Transient students must contact the VSO staff for additional requirements.
NOTE: DVA will not pay educational benefits for pursuit of a second AA degree if the student has already earned an AA or a bachelor’s degree issued by the state of Florida.
A VA student under Chapters 30, 33, 35, 1606, or 1607 may register in any college credit course, not part of their degree program, to achieve up to full-time enrollment during his or her graduation term. This exception is once per program.
A student is to notify VSO and the Admissions/Registrar’s office of change of name, address, or degree program. These changes can affect receipt of DVA education benefits.
Non-College Degree (NCD) Programs
DVA sets specific standards for NCD programs. Based on the instruction/lab mix of the course, DVA designates the number of contact hours needed to qualify for full-time training rate. A student enrolled in Adult Basic Education (ABE) and Collegiate High School (CHS) programs is required by DVA to provide monthly Attendance Sheets for EACH course enrolled. Attendance Sheets for the previous month must be received by Pensacola State College’s VSO by the fifth business day of the next month. If the Attendance Sheets are not received by the deadline, the student will not be certified for payment until after the end of the term and all completed Attendance Sheets are received. Additional information will be provided to each student in an NCD program. Students in ABE and CHS may have his or her benefits terminated for excessive absences.
Post 9/11 GI Bill-CH 33
A student using CH 33 will be allowed to request a VA Deferment each semester provided that the student has no unpaid debt to the college.
New applications, program changes, and certification requests should allow a minimum of two weeks for the VSO to audit and submit to the DVA. Certifications are processed in date-received sequence.
The Veteran Financial Aid Shopping Sheet (PDF), automatically sent to veterans who apply to this college, is a consumer tool used to notify students of their potential financial aid package. Designed to simplify the information that prospective students receive about costs and financial aid, it is used to help a veteran make informed decisions about where to attend school.
A student may repeat a course in which an F or a non-passing grade is received. The DVA will not pay for successfully completed courses unless a student is repeating a D grade in accordance with the Gordon Rule or Pensacola State graduation requirements.
It is the responsibility of a VA student to keep the VSO informed of all changes in their enrollment status by adhering to the following:
- After registering for classes, a student should go to http://www.pensacolastate.edu/ and in the Spyglass application, click on Degree Audit. Any course indicated as “The following credits are not used in this program” may not count toward enrollment for calculation of benefits. The VSO can help determine which courses are eligible for benefits. Submit an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the student’s name, Student ID number, chapter of VA benefits, and a statement confirming completion of registration.
- A student under Chapters 30, 35, 1606, and 1607 must certify their enrollment each month. Verification of attendance should be done on the last day of the month to initiate the release of the monthly benefits check. CH 30, 1606, and 1607 should use the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) at https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave or the toll free Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone line at (877) 823-2378 to verify enrollment. CH 35 students must call (888) 442-4551.
- A student must e-mail email@example.com with his or her name, Student ID number, and chapter of VA benefits to report any changes in school enrollment or attendance.
A DVA student enrolled in at least half-time status in a post-secondary program has potential entitlement to DVA tutorial assistance. Contact VSO for additional information and proper forms. Veterans under Chapter 31 should contact their DVA vocational rehabilitation counselor.
When a student fails to meet Pensacola State College’s standards of academic progress, the VSO is required to advise the DVA. A student must obtain a Pensacola State College Veteran Services Office Unsatisfactory Academic Progress Form and make an appointment with an academic advisor to have the form completed. When completed, the form must state the reason for the unsatisfactory academic progress and steps a student should take to regain satisfactory academic progress. The completed form must be returned to the VSO in order to be certified for DVA benefits. If the student is on academic probation or suspension for two consecutive terms, his or her DVA benefits can be suspended for unsatisfactory academic progress. See STANDARDS OF ACADEMIC PROGRESS.
A DVA student enrolled a minimum of three-quarter time may apply for the DVA Work-Study Program. The qualified and selected student is paid minimum wage (Florida or federal, whichever is higher) by the Department of Veteran Affairs. Work-Study pay is tax exempt and students may work a maximum of 425 hours over a fall or spring semester and 325 hours over the summer semester. For additional information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Active duty service members and retired military personnel may request a review of military experiences for possible credit. Please see the NON-TRADITIONAL CREDIT (EXTERNAL CREDIT) section of the Catalog for detailed information and guidance.
What VA Education Benefits Are Available At Pensacola State College?
You may use Chapter 30(Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty), Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment), Chapter 35 ( Educational Assistance), Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill), Chapter 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve), or Chapter 1607 (Reserve Educational Assistance Program) education benefits. See www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/
As A Veteran, How Do I Obtain Help Preparing for College?
The Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) program can provide academic and other support services to assist you with preparing for college admission and attendance. The VUB office is located on the Pensacola Campus, Bldg. 6 Rm. 631. For more information 484-2068 or visit the Upward Bound site.
How Do I Apply For VA Benefits?
You must apply for all chapters of VA education benefits at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/. After applying, you must request that your enrollment at Pensacola State College be certified to the VA by submitting a Pensacola State College VA Certification Request form to the Veteran Services office on any campus. Certification cannot be processed without this signed request. You may obtain all required forms for certification of benefits through the Veteran Services office on any campus. VA education forms are available at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/.
VA Vocational Rehabilitation
VA Vocational Rehabilitation serves students with service-connected disabilities who are attending Pensacola State College. Department of Veterans Affairs pays for tuition, books, supplies, and other items necessary for attendance at Pensacola State College. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program is designed to assist veterans in finding suitable employment.
May I Use My Chapter 31, VA Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Benefits?
Prior to registering for any classes, you must make sure that your VA VR&E counselor has provided the required documents to Pensacola State College’s District Office of Veteran Services office at the Pensacola campus. After the required documents are received, verified, and processed, you will be permitted to charge tuition, fees, books, and supplies against your eligible benefits.
I'm Eligible For VA Benefits. How Do I Obtain A Deferment of Tuition and Fees?
Florida law allows Pensacola State College to issue a deferment (postponement) of tuition and fees once each academic year for Chapter 30, 35, 1606, 1607 VA students and once per semester for Chapter 33 VA students. You may apply for the deferment by providing a copy of your fee schedule to the Veteran Services office on any campus. The deferment is a promissory note which will be notarized. The deferment must be repaid regardless of the status of your receipt of VA benefits.