COM is an approved facility for Veterans Administration (VA) educational training. Many benefits are available to advance the education and skills of Veterans and Service members. Spouses and family members may also be eligible for education and training assistance. COM’s Office for Veteran Success assists veteran students and their eligible dependents in securing VA educational benefits. The office processes GI Bill® and Hazelwood applications. In addition, this office provides information regarding eligibility requirements along with monitoring academic progress and providing referrals to other agencies. The office also provides advising and counseling to veterans and their dependents. Veterans and their eligible dependents should contact the VA Regional Office to determine the specific chapter of benefits for which they are eligible. The VA Regional Office can be contacted at 1-888-GIBILL-1 or 1-888-442-4551. Students may contact the Office for Veteran Success at 409-933-8455 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information and resources related to veterans benefits is available at http://www.com.edu/veterans/resources.
Veterans Standards of Academic Progress
Students certified to receive veteran benefits whose grade point average (GPA) falls below 2.0 will be placed on probation. Failure to raise their GPA to the graduation standard of 2.0 after two consecutive terms on probation will have their veteran benefits interrupted and the veteran will be placed on academic suspension. [Standards of Progress, CFR 21.4253 (d) (1)(ii)]
VA education benefits may be interrupted if any of the following should occur:
- The veteran registers for classes that are not specified as necessary for the declared program of study. Depending on circumstances, deficiency or remedial courses may be certified for benefits.
- The veteran fails to submit all previous college transcripts for evaluation after two semesters of enrollment.
- The veteran registers for two or more courses and receives F (Fail), “NC” (No Credit)/“NP” (No Pass), or “IP” (In Progress) grades for all courses for one semester.
- The veteran fails to convert an “I” (Incomplete) grade to a letter grade within one year from receipt of the “I” grade.
- The veteran fails to attend class for the semester for which VA benefits are received.
- The veteran fails to achieve the minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 for two consecutive semesters or sessions.
Sign Up for eBenefits
The VA website for eBenefits is the gateway to benefit information. All veterans should sign up for a Basic Account as it enters them into the larger registration system and facilitates the successful completion of a Premium Account. The Premium Account gives veterans full access to all benefits available in eBenefits. Sign up at www.ebenefits.va.gov. By signing up for eBenefits, veterans can view their status, access documents, browse benefits links, and much more.
Avoiding Overpayment Difficulties
Students are certified for educational benefits according to the classes on their approved academic degree plan. Students must meet with their VA Advisor before withdrawing from any course to minimize an overpayment from the VA. A grade of “W” must be reported to the VA Regional Office and may result in repayment of benefits received for the course(s). Repeated courses where a punitive grade of "F" was received must also be reported to the VA Regional Office and may result in a repayment of benefits received for the course(s). Repeated courses already completed with a passing grade or courses not listed on the VA student’s approved degree plan may not be certified for payment of VA educational benefits.
If a student registers for a repeated course already completed with a passing grade, the student is responsible for all tuition and fees associated with that course. If a student receiving VA benefits withdraws from a course(s) or receives notification that a course(s) has been canceled, the student must report this information to COM’s Office for Veteran Success immediately. Prompt reporting may help to minimize overpayment amounts.
Veterans' Tutoring Assistance
Free tutoring for many courses is available through COM; however, tutorial assistance is available through the VA to help veterans pay for tutoring necessary to advance their education. For more information, see www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/tutorial_assistance.asp.
The Texas 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 most fee charges, at public institutions of higher education in Texas. This does NOT include living expenses, books, or supply fees. For more information about the Texas Hazlewood Act and for eligibility requirements, see http://www.tvc.texas.gov/Hazlewood-Act.aspx.
Legacy Act (Child)
Eligible veterans may assign unused hours of exemption eligibility to a child under certain conditions. For more information about the Texas Hazlewood Act and for eligibility requirements, see http://www.tvc.texas.gov/Hazlewood-Act.aspx.