Veteran’s Affairs – Helpful Hints

From the VA Office

In order to help you maximize your VA benefits this semester, here are some points to remember:

  • Please inform the VA office of any schedule changes that you make. (Adding a class, dropping a class, completing a substitution form, change of major, double major, etc.) This includes late start courses especially any subsequent developmental classes (DMA/DRE) that are added later in the semester.
  • The VA will NOT pay for any developmental/remedial courses that are hybrid or internet classes. This includes classes with suffixes –HY (hybrid), IN (internet), or HZ. Remedial course work is any class that starts with a “0”. For example: CHM 094, ACA 090, BIO 094, etc. If you have any questions about this, you may contact your advisor or the VA office.
  • The VA will only pay for classes that are needed for your curriculum program. Please see your Academic Advisor if you have questions about whether a class is needed. (You can check your own academic evaluation on your my.pittcc.edu account. After you log in, go to WebAdvisor for students, find the “Academic Planning” section, and click on Program Evaluation.)
  • The VA will not pay for you to retake a class if you have already taken it and passed it.
    • (Example: You received a D in a science class, and you wish to retake it in order to improve your grade.) The VA will not allow you to be certified for this class. This could change your enrollment status from full time to part time.
  • For Post 911/Chapter 33 recipients: In order to receive your full housing allowance, you must have at least one seated class for the entire term. If you do not, your housing benefit will be significantly reduced. Non-seated classes include Internet (ending with IN) and Hybrid (ending with HY). Even though hybrid classes have an on-campus component, these classes do not count as a “seated class.”
  • The VA pays based on attendance, so short term or late start courses can affect your rate of pay.
    • Here is an example:  You are registered for four 3 credit classes, with a total of 12 credit hours. Three of the classes run the entire term, from January until May. However, the 4th class (3 credit hours) is an 8 week class that ends the first week in March. After that class ends, you are only attending 3 classes, (9 credit hours). Although PCC considers you a full time student since you are taking 12 credits during the semester, the VA will only consider you a part-time student when your 4th class ends in March. This will affect your housing allowance or monthly benefit. The only way to remain a full time student for VA purposes in the above scenario is to add another class that begins when class number 4 ends.
  • Students using Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30), Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve Chapter 1606), and REAP (Chap 1607) must verify their enrollment at the end of each month prior to receiving funds. Please verify your enrollment with the VA by calling 888-GIBILL-1 (888-442-4551). Call between 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday-Friday. Your VA File number is the same as your social security number.
  • Chapter 35 Students: Chapter 35 recipients who received ChampVA health benefits need to send an email to Sonji Rowsom at the beginning of every semester requesting that she submit a verification of enrollment.
  • Break days have to be reported if the break is 7 days or longer. Your monthly benefit will decrease for any month that is not considered a full month. (Partial months are pro-rated.)
  • At the beginning of a semester, please allow the VA around 45 days from the start of the term to process your enrollment.
  • We encourage all Veterans to sign up for an e-benefits account. Links to the e-benefits site can be found on the GI Bill Webpage at benefits.va.gov/gibill/
  • Pitt Community College has adopted the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet. The shopping sheet is a tool that is a standardized form that is designed to simplify the information that prospective students receive about costs and financial aid so that they can easily compare institutions and make informed decisions about where to attend school. The PCC shopping sheet can be accessed by logging into your MyPittcc account and clicking on the PCC Services tab.

When the school has submitted your certification to the VA, you will receive an email that will read “VA-ONCE. Do not reply.” If you make any changes to your schedule after you have been certified, please inform the VA office. Failure to notify our office of schedule changes could result in an overpayment from the VA and/or Financial Aid, which you would need to repay.

Please feel free to call the VA Office if you have questions. You may reach us at the following:

Sonji Rowsom: 493-7323, srowsom@email.pittcc.edu