General Information

Columbia College is committed to providing assistance to students who apply and are eligible to utilize educational assistance from the Veterans Administration. The institution’s certifying official is responsible for preparing and submitting all certifications to the Veterans Administration, provides assistance to students in navigating their educational benefits, and maintains a record on all students utilizing benefits for a minimum of three years.

>> Download Columbia College Veterans and Tuition Assistance Admissions Policies

For more information regarding Veterans Administration benefits, please contact the School Certifying Officials.

Karen Benfield, Primary SCO (Allison Building 314)      
803-786-3363 | CCVA@columbiasc.edu        

Sharon Hoffman, Secondary SCO (Allison Building 210)
803-786-3722 | shoffman@columbiasc.edu

VA Online Application system

Columbia College 10% Tuition Discount

At Columbia College, we are proud to recognize those actively serving, our Veterans and their families. We offer spouses of Veteran's a 10% tuition discount on all of our programs.

Covered Programs

Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty

Provides up to 36 months of educational benefits. To be eligible, students must have received an Honorable discharge.

Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation for Veterans with Service-Connected Disabilities

Veterans may be eligible for benefits if they have a service-connected disability of 20% and have received a discharge that is other than dishonorable. 

Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill

Individuals who have served for a minimum of 90 days on active duty after September 10, 2001 are generally eligible. Students eligible for this benefit receive a percentage for tuition, fees, monthly housing allowance, and book stipend based on their aggregate active duty. 

Chapter 35 Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program

A child or spouse of a veteran may qualify for assistance if the veteran died on active duty, has become permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition, has died of a service-related disability, or is listed as a prisoner of war or missing in action.

Chapter 1606 Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve

Individuals that have committed for six years to the Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard, and Air National Guard and have satisfactorily completed the Selected Reserve Training may be eligible. 

Federal Tuition Assistance

Soldiers are eligible for benefits after their first year of service and may take up to 16 semester hours per fiscal year. Those that are eligible will need to request Tuition Assistance (TA) through the GoArmyEd portal at www.goarmyed.com

Housed in the financial aid office, VA Benefits are administered by Karen Benfield, who can assist you with various types of education assistance, applying for benefits, receiving benefits and verifying enrollment.  You contact the VA Certifying Office at ccva@columbiasc.edu or 803-786-3612.

Additional information regarding types of benefits according to the VA can be found here. General and comprehensive benefits information can also be found here.

Financial Aid

Students seeking financial aid information for benefits other than VA or military benefits can visit https://www.columbiasc.edu/admissions/financial-aid to find more information. Several financial aid programs and options are available to students from a variety of backgrounds and financial situations. Once enrolled at  Columbia College, students have several responsibilities regarding deadlines, so pay careful attention to financial aid policies.

Checklist for Getting Benefits
  1. Apply online here. Complete the VONAPP-application for education benefits.
  2. The VA will process your application and forward a Certification of Eligibility to the veteran student. This letter will show the percentage of benefit and the delimiting date.
  3. Submit the Certificate of Eligibility to your School Certifying Official (SCO), Karen Benfield.
  4. Enroll in classes.
  5. Complete the Columbia College form: Benefits Request Form
  6. Complete the Columbia College Student Information Request
  7. Enrollment information will be reported to the VA and payment will be issued.
  8. To follow-up on payment status or find out where your payment is, please call the VA directly at 1-888-442-4551.

The SCO can only certify your enrollment when you have completed the application process and registered for classes. You may only register for classes that apply credit toward graduation in your chosen major/curriculum.

Tuition Assistance

Tuition Assistance is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard.  Each service has its own criteria for eligibility, obligated service, application process and restrictions.  Typically, these funds are paid directly to the institution by the individual services.

Information regarding the military tuition assistance process, click here.
 

Other Programs

South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program (SCNG CAP)

Those in the Army National Guard or Air National Guard wishing to receive these benefits must submit an application. Students may receive up to $4,500 per year in college tuition assistance.

How to Utilize Your Benefits

New Students

If you plan to utilize Veterans Administration benefits while enrolled in Columbia College, you will need to do the following as a first-time applicant:

  1. Apply for benefits. This can be done through https://www.va.gov/education/how-to-apply/. Please keep in mind that it usually takes the VA approximately six to eight weeks to review your application.
  2. If approved for benefits, students are sent a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). A copy of the VA COE needs to be sent to CCVA@columbiasc.edu or faxed to 803-786-3646.
  3. If the student is transferring to Columbia College from another institution where benefits were utilized, the student must submit a Change of Program or Place of Training form to the VA through the VA Online Application system. Students enrolled in chapters 30, 33, or 1606 must submit form VA 22-1995. Students enrolled in chapter 35 must submit form VA 22-5495. A PDF copy of the submission confirmation must be sent to CCVA@columbiasc.edu.
  4. Once enrolled with Columbia College and registered for classes, students must fill out a Request to be Certified form, located on Koala Connection. This form needs to be submitted at the beginning of each semester. 
Returning Students

Each semester, returning students are required to submit the Request to be Certified form located on Koala Connection. Certifications will not be submitted automatically and it is the student’s responsibility to submit the appropriate form in a timely manner.

Adding/Changing Majors

If you are adding or changing a major to your record, you must submit a Change of Program or Place of Training form to the VA. This can be done electronically through the VA Online Application system. Students enrolled in chapters 30, 33, or 1606 must submit form VA 22-1995. Students enrolled in chapter 35 must submit form VA 22-5495. A PDF copy of the submission confirmation must be sent to CCVA@columbiasc.edu.

Contact Us

Karen Benfield, Primary SCO (Allison Building 314)      
803-786-3363 | CCVA@columbiasc.edu      

Sharon Hoffman, Secondary SCO (Allison Building 210)
803-786-3722 | shoffman@columbiasc.edu