Aug 04, 2021  
2021-22 Student Handbook and Catalog 
    
2021-22 Student Handbook and Catalog

Veteran & Service Member Education Benefits


L&C is approved by the Department of Defense and the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs’ State Approving Agency (SAA) to process veteran and service member education benefits and, in that capacity, certifies veteran and service member students to receive education benefits for associate degree programs and some non-degree programs. Contact a L&C VA Certifying Official in Financial Aid, Baldwin Hall, Room 2450, 618-468-2223 for further information. All veteran and service member education benefit recipients must:

  • Submit a completed application for admission to L&C to the Enrollment Center, Baldwin Hall, Room 1450, Lewis and Clark Community College, Godfrey, IL 62035-2466, or on-line at www.lc.edu.
  • Submit official academic transcripts of any previous college work or schooling including college courses taken while in the military and any military training for which you would like to receive college credit. Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Enrollment Center from the school you attended. Military training transcripts must be requested through Joint Services Transcript (https://jst.doded.mil) and https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Barnes/CCAF (Air Force only).
  • Complete the appropriate application(s) for state and/or federal veteran and service member education benefits. Service members who plan to utilize Tuition Assistance should contact the Educational Services Officer in their particular branch of service prior to enrolling. Contact a L&C VA Certifying Official in Financial Aid for assistance. Veterans and service members may also be eligible for financial aid in addition to state and/or federal education benefits for which they are entitled.

Veteran and Service Member Education Programs

The following are summaries of several state and federal education programs at L&C. Since these programs are always subject to change, for the most current information go to: www2.illinois.gov/veterans/benefits/Pages?education.aspx or www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Chapter 30 - The Montgomery GI Bill® provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible veterans who entered active duty for the first time after June 30, 1985; received a high school diploma or equivalent (or, in some cases, 12 hours of college credit) before the end of their first obligated period of service; received an honorable discharge; continuously served for 3 years, OR 2 years if that is what you first enlisted for, OR 2 years if you have an obligation to serve four years in the Selected Reserve AND entered Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active duty.

Chapter 31 - The Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Vet Success Program (Voc Rehab) is for those veterans with a service-connected disability that creates an obstacle to employment. The purpose of Voc Rehab is simple: Assist service-disabled veterans to train for, find and hold down a suitable job, or achieve independence in daily living. Chapter 31 recipients need approval from their assigned VA counselor each semester in order to receive benefits. 

Chapter 33 - The Post 9/11 GI Bill® provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. Veterans must have received an Honorable Discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill®. You may be able to transfer benefits to your spouse or dependent children.

Chapter 35 - This program is for survivors and dependents of veterans, who died on active duty, died of a service-connected disability, are missing in action or were captured in the line of duty by a hostile force, or are totally and permanently disabled. 

Chapter 1606 - The Montgomery GI Bill® - Selected Reserve is an education program that provides up to 36 months of education benefits to members of the Selected Reserve. This includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserves, as well as the Army National Guard.

Chapter 1607 -   The Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) is an education program that provides up to 36 months of education benefits to members of the Selected Reserves, Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) and National Guard, who are called or ordered to active service in response to a war or national emergency, as declared by the President or Congress.

Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant - For details about this program, see the Scholarship Opportunities section on Other Grants/Scholarships or go to: www.illinois.gov/veterans/benefits/Pages/education. Grant recipients may also be eligible for other forms of financial aid and are encouraged to apply for those at L&C Financial Aid.

Illinois Veterans Grant (IVG) - For details about this program, see the Scholarship Opportunities section on Other Grants/Scholarships or go to www.illinois.gov/veterans/benefits/Pages/education.  Grant recipients may also be eligible for other forms of financial aid and are encouraged to apply for those at L&C Financial Aid.

Illinois MIA-POW Scholarship - For details about this program, see the Scholarship Opportunities section on Other Grants/Scholarships or go to www.illinois.gov/veterans/benefits/Pages/education.  Scholarship recipients may also be eligible for other forms of financial aid and are encouraged to apply for those at L&C Financial Aid.

Tutorial Assistance - For information on VA tutorial assistance, contact the L&C VA Certifying Official in Financial Aid or the L&C Veterans Services Office. Additionally, L&C offers free tutoring in many academic fields through the Student Success Center. Contact them at 618-468-4772 or www.lc.edu/ssc.

Veterans Administration Work-Study Program - VA Work-Study jobs are available both on- and off-campus for veterans receiving education benefits and who are enrolled at least three-quarter time (9 or more credit hours). Contact a VA Certifying Official in Financial Aid or L&C Veterans Services for additional information.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Veteran and Service Member Rate of Attendance

Once a veteran or service member has set his/her education goal, satisfactory progress is expected toward that goal. L&C is required by law to report all changes in status, whether that change is withdrawing from a class, adding a class, unsatisfactory academic progress, academic suspension, or withdrawal from all classes. Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standards for good standing, warning, and suspension are also applicable to all veteran and service member students receiving education benefits. (See the Financial Aid section on Satisfactory Academic Progress for details.)

General studies and community education courses that are not required for a degree are not eligible for VA federal education benefits, nor will courses taken outside your major be used to determine enrollment status for federal education benefits. You should always consult an Academic Advisor prior to registering each semester to make sure the courses you are taking apply to your approved program of study.

All veterans and service members must notify the L&C VA Certifying Official in Financial Aid before withdrawing from classes or adding classes in order to learn how the change may affect benefits. Changes in enrollment status may change monthly benefit amounts. Depending on the circumstances involved, benefits may be reduced effective with the change or they may be reduced retroactively, resulting in money owed back to the VA or the state.

Each semester, all veterans and service members attending L&C and receiving education benefits from the VA or the State of IL must complete a “Certification Request” form and submit it to L&C Financial Aid. In addition, each semester you must submit a copy of your class schedule to L&C Financial Aid. These two documents initiate your L&C certification to the VA/State of IL for education benefits for the upcoming semester. If you do not submit the documents to L&C Financial Aid, you will not be certified as a student and your benefits will not flow. If you have questions, please contact a L&C VA Certifying Official in Financial Aid or the Veterans Services office.

Veteran and Service Member Terms and Concepts

Please review the following terms and concepts to help you secure and maintain your eligibility for education benefits:

Advance Pay - You can apply for advance pay 30-60 days before a semester begins so money may be available to help pay for books, but tuition should be paid first. You cannot apply for advance pay if you are a continuing student.

Break Pay/Interval Pay - If you are a continuing veteran student, according to current law, you will not be paid for the break periods between any terms. 

Change of Program - If you change your major, it must be reported to the VARO by the L&C VA Certifying Official in Financial Aid. However, if you change to a similar major and there is no substantial loss of credit, the VA will not consider this a program change. The VA allows one program change. Second and subsequent program changes must have VA counselor documentation in order to obtain VA approval. It is your responsibility to inform L&C Financial Aid of any change of program you make even if you already discussed the change with an L&C Academic Advisor or your Program Coordinator. 

Enrollment Status - During fall and spring semesters, 6-8 credit hours are considered half time, 9-11 credit hours are considered three-quarter time, and 12 or more credit hours are considered full time. For eight-week courses and Summer semesters, enrollment status is based on the number of 50-minute class sessions per week and follows the above criteria for credit hours. You should always be certain of the number of credit hours you are receiving for the courses and the length of the courses. For example, if an eight-week course ends and you don’t have another course scheduled to begin, you could drop below one of the enrollment thresholds and therefore your benefits would be reduced for the remainder of the semester. Utilizing the services of a L&C Academic Advisor each semester will help ensure you do not encounter credit hour issues.

Financial Aid for Veterans and Service Members - It is possible to receive either veteran or service member education benefits and federal or state financial aid. All veterans and service members are encouraged to apply for financial aid online using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application (www.fafsa.ed.gov). If you have recently been discharged, be sure to inquire about an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) adjustment to determine eligibility. Contact L&C Financial Aid with any FAFSA questions.

VA Monthly Benefits - The monthly payment amounts vary by program and enrollment status. The most current payment information can be found online at www.gibill.va.gov.

Previous College Credit - College credit received from previous educational institutions attended must be evaluated for your L&C program. It is best to have previous coursework evaluated upon initial submission of paperwork to the VA, though a one-semester grace period is allowed. Students must register early and see a L&C Academic Advisor to have this evaluation done in a timely fashion.

Military Training/Experience - College credit for military training and/or experience may be granted to students once they have completed at least one semester hour of L&C credit. L&C will award, upon request, three semester credit hours in Health and two semester credit hours in Physical Education (free of charge) to veterans who served at least one year on active duty and received an Honorable or General Discharge. To receive credit for other military training and/or experience, students need to supply L&C’s Enrollment Center with appropriate documentation, such as DD-214s, official military transcripts, training certificates with course description, etc. After L&C receives all necessary documentation, an evaluation is made by L&C using the American Council on Education (ACE) guidelines. The student may also be interviewed as part of the evaluation process. Credit cannot be granted for military training and/or experience that does not equate to L&C courses. Because this evaluation process can be complicated and time consuming, please start it early. Veteran and service member students should be aware that receiving credit for military training/experience may have an impact on financial aid awards and/or VA education benefits. You are encouraged to contact the L&C VA Certifying Official in Financial Aid to discuss any potential unintended consequences.

Remedial Courses - Generally, most veteran and service member students can receive benefits for remedial courses if they are required before enrolling in college level courses; however, these courses cannot be taken online. Contact the L&C VA Certifying Official in Financial Aid for additional information.

Repeat Courses - Repeat courses may or may not be approved for benefits depending on the previous grade obtained and program requirements. Contact the L&C VA Certifying Official in Financial Aid for additional information.

Additional Veteran and Service Member Contact Information

If you have questions about your eligibility for federal or state education benefits based on military service, contact the L&C VA Certifying Official in Financial Aid, L&C Veterans Services, or one of the following offices:

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs IL Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA)
P.O. Box 66830 833 South Spring Street
St. Louis, MO 63166-6830 Springfield, IL 62794-9432
(888 GI BILL1) or 314-442-4551 217-782-6641
www.gibill.va.gov www2.illinois.gov/veterans
   
IL DVA Service Office VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
231 East Edwardsville Road 521 West Main Street, Suite 15
Wood River, IL 62095 Belleville, IL 62220
618-259-9790 618-239-0087
vaoffice.madison@illinois.gov  

 For more useful links and phone numbers, go to www.lc.edu/veterans

Veterans Services Department

L&C continues to be recognized as a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine. We are proud of that accomplishment and we will continue to support veterans and service members as they pursue their education goals at L&C.

We established a Veterans Resource Center (VRC) on the Godfrey Campus in Caldwell Hall 4335. The center has computers, a printer/scanner/copier, phone, TV, a couch and chairs, lots of brochures and pamphlets, and free bottled water. There is also a VRC on the Nelson Campus in N4, Room 213.

In addition to designating a Financial Aid Advisor to focus on assisting veterans and service members, we have established our Veterans Services Department in Baldwin Hall 2418.

This office is managed by a veteran who himself used state and federal education assistance to obtain a college degree. His job is to assist you during your time at L&C. He will supplement the work of the Enrollment, Advising, and Financial Aid departments in meeting your needs. He will serve as a liaison and advocate for you with other L&C departments, faculty and staff. He is available to confidentially discuss personal issues that are affecting your ability to carry out your education mission and will make referrals as needed to campus and/or community assistance.

Please make contact at some point during the semester. You can just stop by to say hello and be assured you have an advocate on campus. You will also find a variety of information on the tables outside the office and at www.lc.edu/veterans. Terry Lane is the Director of Career and Veterans Services and may be contacted at 618-468-5500 or tdlane@lc.edu.