Getting the Most from Your Veteran Benefits
Raritan Valley Community College welcomes veterans to our campus. We appreciate your service to our country and want to make sure you get the most from your VA educational benefits.
Getting Started - Veterans Benefits
You must submit one or more of the following documents to RVCC. The documents required will depend on your status (ex: discharged service member, active reserves, dependent of disabled or deceased veteran). If you are not sure of your status, contact the Veterans Administration.
1. Application for Educational Benefits. The Application is available at RVCC or may be downloaded from the Veterans' Administration website. The Application is required for all VA students except those in the Vocational Rehabilitation program and dependents of disabled or deceased veterans. New Jersey Army National Guard students who are not applying for VA benefits don't have to submit this form.
2. DD-214 (Discharge Papers). A copy of the DD-214 must be submitted with the Application for Benefits for most VA applicants. This copy must be certified by your local county clerk's office of residence. (Please note, notarized copies are not accepted).
|Somerset County Clerks Office
Somerset County Administration Building
20 Grove Street, 1st Floor
Somerville, New Jersey 08876
|Hunterdon County Clerks Office
71 Main Street
(directly across from the Union Hotel)
Flemington, New Jersey 08822
The DD-214 is required of all VA applicants except members of the active reserves, veterans in the Vocational Rehabilitation program and dependents of disabled/deceased veterans.
3. Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE) - For members of the active reserves. Forms are available at your unit. Ask your Commanding Officer.
4. Authorization and Certification of Entrance or Reentrance into Rehabilitation and Certification of Studies - For disabled veterans. Forms are available at the VA Regional Office, 20 Washington Place, Newark, NJ 07102.
5. Certificate of Eligibility - For dependents of disabled or deceased veterans. Forms are available at VA Regional Office in Newark, New Jersey. Post-9/11 GI Bill® applicants are required to submit a Certificate of Eligibility in order to be certified for benefits.
6. Commander's Certification - For New Jersey Army National Guard members who wish to enroll tuition-free (a maximum of 16 credits). Forms are available at your unit.
7. Visiting Students - A statement from your home college's VA Coordinator is required, stating that the course(s) you wish to take at RVCC are applicable to your program of study at your home college.
Payment and Financial Info
After RVCC certifies your enrollment and the VA determines your eligibility, you will receive payment of VA benefits directly from the VA. Please note that the process for the VA to determine eligibility may take from 6-10 weeks from the time your paperwork is received.
Since the VA pays benefits directly to the veteran, most students are required to pay tuition and fees at the time they register for classes. The following exceptions may apply:
- New Jersey Army National Guard members attending under the Tuition Waiver program. Note: the tuition waiver covers only the first 16 credits in a semester. You are responsible for all fees and for any additional credits.
- VA Vocational Rehabilitation students. The College will invoice the VA for your expenses, after all required documents are received by RVCC.
- Deferments of Tuition and Fees for Students Applying for Financial Aid - Available to any eligible student through the Financial Aid Office at the College. Do not assume that you are not eligible for financial aid. Student Loans are usually available to students who do not qualify for need-based aid. Please inform the Financial Aid staff member with whom you speak that you will be receiving VA benefits and are interested in a deferment. If you apply for a loan in order to obtain a deferment, you do not have to accept the funds, but please make sure you understand the terms of the loan and the deferment. Any student who wishes to apply for financial aid is required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is required of all New Jersey Army National Guard personnel applying for the Tuition Waiver program. Deferments will depend upon the results of the FAFSA. To ensure ample time for completion and processing of financial aid paperwork, all required documents should be submitted at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester in which you wish to enroll.
- For more information on filing for Financial Aid benefits, please contact the RVCC Office of Financial Aid at 908-526-1200 x8273
Financial Planning Guidance - click here
Calculate your costs using the U.S. Department of Education Net Price Calculator - click here
Certification of Enrollment
Certification by RVCC - RVCC begins certifying VA students whose files are complete; within 60 days of the term start date. The RVCC certification form for benefits must be submitted each term. It takes at least two weeks to complete the certification process. Veteran Affairs will notify you with confirmation of your certification upon completion of the review of your records, which will indicate the number of credit hours you've been certified for during the semester.
Retroactive Certification - If you've first applied for VA benefits at RVCC for the current semester, but previously attended RVCC, we can retroactively certify you for your enrollment during the past year. For example, if you apply for benefits for the Fall Semester, but attended the previous Summer or Spring Semester, we can certify you for those periods. However, we will not be able to certify you for the previous Fall Semester.
Certification for Degree Requirements Only - Please be advised that RVCC can only certify you for courses that are required in your major course of study, remedial or refresher courses. The VA will not pay benefits on any courses that don't meet the above criteria. The VA calculates the amount of your benefits based on the number of credits you are taking that satisfy degree or certificate requirements. This includes non-credit developmental courses. The College certifies only these credits. You are welcome to register for courses that are not required for your program of study, but the College cannot report these to the VA. To ensure that you register for qualified courses, it's highly recommended that you consult Elizabeth Sullivan, Coordinator of Veteran Services each semester. You may arrange an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Repeat Courses - The VA will pay for a course you repeat if you've received a failing grade on your first attempt. If you receive a failing grade on the second attempt, the VA will not pay for another attempt. The VA also doesn't pay for courses you originally passed, but wish to repeat for a better grade.
Changes in Enrollment
If you change your enrollment or major concentration, you must notify the VA Coordinator immediately:
Students receiving benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® and CH1606, the VA requires that you verify your enrollment with them on a monthly basis by calling the VA at 1-888-442-4551 or visiting www.gibill.va.gov and following the link to the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE).
Change in Enrollment for Semester
- Add a course
- Drop a course
- Withdraw completely from the College
We are required to notify the VA of any changes in your enrollment. Changes in enrollment may increase or decrease your VA benefits. If changes are not reported to the VA in a timely manner, an overpayment may occur and you will be responsible for repaying the amount of the overpayment.
Change of Program
You must also report any change in your major or specialization to the VA Coordinator. The VA allows you one change without question. Subsequent changes may not be approved.
Continuous Enrollment - In order for your enrollment to be certified for a succeeding semester, you need to submit VA certification form.
Break in Enrollment - If you "stop out" for one or more semesters, and subsequently return to the College, you must notify the VA Coordinator in order to reactivate the certification process.