A student seeking financial assistance through one of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs must meet with the Financial Aid Veterans Advisor (the VA certifying official for Angelina College) prior to the start of the first semester at AC to make sure his/her file is complete. The following documents are required before the Financial Aid Veterans Advisor will certify the student for VA benefits:
- Certificate of Eligibility (apply at www.gibill.va.gov)
- 28-1905 from Houston case manager (for Vocational Rehabilitation recipients)
- DD Form 214 (member 4 copy if a Veteran)
- Transcripts (military transcript AND an official transcript from all colleges attended)
- Kicker Documentation (if applicable)
- 22-1995 or 22-5495 (submit online at www.gibill.va.gov if a transfer student)
- Class Schedule
- NOBE (if using 1606)
- Birth Certificate (DEA – Ch. 35)
All students must pay for tuition by the published deadline unless using Vocational Rehabilitation or Post 9/11 Benefits. Angelina College is not a Yellow Ribbon institution, so out of state post 9/11 students must pay their out of state fees, in accordance with Section 702 of the Choice Act.
Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 Section 702 of the Choice Act: Section 702 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (“Choice Act”), requires Veterans Affairs to disapprove programs of education for payment of benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty at public institutions of higher learning if the schools charge qualifying Veterans and dependents tuition and fees in excess of the rate for resident students for terms beginning after July 1, 2015. These new requirements will ensure that our Nation’s recently discharged Veterans, and their eligible family members, will not have to bear the cost of out-of-state charges while using their well-deserved education benefits.
Public schools do not have to offer in-state rates to all veterans and dependents to meet the requirements of Section 702. To remain approved for VA’s GI Bill programs, schools must charge in-state tuition and fee amounts to covered individuals. The Choice Act defines a covered individual as:
- A Veteran who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more;
- A spouse or child using transferred benefits who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within 3 years of the transferor’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more; and
- A spouse or child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the Service member’s death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
If a student is not a covered individual, and needs to establish immediate residency, he/she should see the Office of Enrollment Services.
VA Benefits Available at Angelina College: The following VA benefits are available at AC. Any student enrolling under any of the various provisions outlined herein should bring with him/her sufficient funds to defray initial costs of tuition, fees, books, personal expenses, etc., because there is usually a period of four to six weeks before the veteran or other eligible person receives the initial payment from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Montgomery G.I. Bill (Chapter 30). The MGIB program provides up to 36 months of education benefits. The recipient may use this benefit for degree and certificate programs. The recipient may receive approval for remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses under certain circumstances. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following the recipient’s release from active duty.
- Post 9/11 G.I. Bill (Chapter 33). The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill.
- Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation (Public Law 894): Title 38, U.S. Code, provides educational benefits to veterans, who because of a service-connected disability require retraining or other vocational rehabilitation, may be entitled to educational assistance. Veterans must meet with a vocational rehabilitation counselor from the VA to receive these benefits. Students who meet one of these conditions should contact the Financial Aid Veterans Advisor in room 208 of the Student Center.
Hazlewood Act. The Hazlewood Act is a State of Texas benefit that provides qualified Veterans, spouses, and dependent children with an education benefit of up to 150 hours of tuition exemption, including some fee charges, at public institutions of higher education in Texas. This does not include living expenses, books, or supply fees. Veterans and their dependents who feel they may qualify for benefits under the Hazlewood Act should review the information and applications provided on the webpage of the Texas Veterans Commission at http://www.tvc.texas.gov/Hazlewood-Act.aspx. Students should submit completed applications and all supporting documentation to the Financial Aid Veterans Advisor in the Student Center.
To qualify for the Hazlewood Act, a Veteran must:
- At the time of entry into the U.S. Armed Forces, have designated Texas as Home of Record, or entered the service in Texas, or was a Texas resident;
- Have received an honorable discharge or separation or a general discharge under honorable conditions;
- Have served at least 181 days of active duty service (excluding training);
- Have no federal Veteran’s education benefits, or have no federal Veterans education benefits dedicated to the payment of tuition and fees only (such as Chapter 33 or 31; Pell and SEOG are not relevant) for term or semester enrolled that do not exceed the value of Hazlewood benefits;
- Not be in default on a student loan made or guaranteed by the State of Texas; and
- Enroll in classes for which the college receives tax support.
Veterans who are granted their first Hazlewood Act exemption beginning fall 2011 must reside in Texas during the semester or term for which the exemption is claimed. This requirement does not apply to the Veterans who either received the exemption prior to the 2011-2012 academic year, have reenlisted into active duty, or who reside with a spouse who is on active duty.
The Hazlewood Act is also extended to spouses and dependent children of eligible active duty, Texas National Guard, and Air National Guard Veterans who died in the line of duty or as a result of injury or illness directly related to military service, are missing in action, or who became totally disabled for purposes of employability as a result of a service-related injury or illness. Each child and spouse will receive a 150 credit hour exemption.
Eligible Veterans may assign unused hours of exemption eligibility to a child under certain conditions. To qualify for the Hazlewood Legacy Act, a child must:
- Qualify for resident tuition;
- Be the biological child, stepchild, adopted child, or claimed as a dependent in the current or previous tax year;
- Be 25 years old or younger on the first day of the semester or term for which the exemption is claimed (unless granted an extension due to a qualifying illness or debilitating condition); and
- Make satisfactory academic progress in a degree, certificate, or continuing education program as determined by the institution.
Minimum Academic Standards for Students Receiving VA Educational Benefits: Student receiving VA educational benefits should see the Minimum Academic Standards for Students Receiving VA Educational Benefits subsection of this catalog.