Your Veterans Benefits

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As a veteran, you are eligible for benefits while attending Kirkwood Community College. The school can back up to 12 months to certify you for benefits, but it does require some time for the VA to process for payment. So start your application process early!

Below you'll find some helpful information about your benefits. The VA representative is available to help you with questions regarding admission and an application for educational benefits. 

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The VA representative is available to help you with questions regarding admission and an application for educational benefits.

There may be options available to you regarding payment procedures, enrollment certifications, etc., which can be explained when you apply for VA assistance. Please remember that although the school can back up to 12 months to certify you for benefits, it does require some time for the VA to process for payment. 

Paperwork

You must apply to be eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) benefits. Forms are available at the VA office located in 216 Kirkwood Hall.

While it is not required, it is recommended that all paperwork be routed through the Kirkwood VA certifying official. Copies of all paperwork will be made and maintained in the student's file.

The Process

  • The VA Certifying Official will assist you with paperwork, guide you through the process of gathering the supporting documentation, and forward your application packet to the VA Regional Processing Office, which guards against loss and allows the VA certifying official to function as an advocate for you.
  • Once an application is received by the RPO, it becomes a permanent part of your VA file.
  • Upon receipt of your application, the VA RPO will assign you a file or claim number. Generally, this will be your social security number.

If your benefits are a result of having been on active duty, you will be asked to submit a certified copy of your DD214. This form must be certified by the county recorder’s office.

For students who previously received VA benefits while attending another school, VA Form 1995 (Change of Program or Place of Training) must be completed and on file in the student’s folder at Kirkwood. A new form must be filled out for each change of major or change of schools.

Monthly benefit payments received under the Montgomery GI Bill® (active or reserve), VEAP and the Dependents' Educational Assistance Program will be sent directly to the student-veteran.

In some cases, checks may be directly deposited into your bank account. Those funds are never sent directly to the school. It is important that you keep the VA informed of the address where you want correspondence (including your check, if appropriate) to be sent.

You need to update the address with both the Kirkwood VA certifying official and with the St. Louis office. Their phone number is: 888-442-4551.

Your Tuition Bills

You need to be aware that when your bill is posted on MyHub, it will have a "Date Due" listed. That’s when the school expects the bill to be paid.

You should be aware that the VA always pays after the fact, each month. There is no money up front for tuition and books.

You may pay the bill by cash, check, credit card, or apply for financial aid. Check with your VA certifying official for other payment options. If you are receiving National Guard, Army Reserve Tuition Assistance, or Chapter 33 Post 9/11 Tuition Assistance, notify your certifying official.

Chapter 31 Payments

The VA will make a payment directly to the school when a student is attending under the VA Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation program. In that case, once you have met with a counselor from VAVR, received confirmation of approval to go to school, registered for classes, and notified the school’s VA certifying official, your account will be marked as paid.

A dollar amount for books and supplies will be entered on the computer, and you will be sent to the bookstore to charge your books. The VA will then be billed for the total amount of your expenses.

Chapter 33 Payments

Chapter 33 Post 9/11 also pays tuition directly to the school, depending upon your eligibility tier. The book stipend and monthly Basic Allowance for Housing are paid by the VA directly to the student.

Information regarding the following additional programs can be obtained from the VA certifying official in the One Stop office in 216 Kirkwood Hall.

  • Iowa National Guard Tuition Assistance: Available from the State of Iowa, payable through Iowa College Aid.
  • National Guard and Army Reserve Tuition Assistance: Federal dollars available to pay tuition for reservists. Information at ARMY IgnitED.
  • Student Loan Repayment Program: If listed in your contract
  • Tutorial Assistance: Benefits for tutorial assistance are the same as in the regular Montgomery GI Bill®.

Work Study Benefits

Veterans may be eligible for a work-study program in which they work for VA
and receive hourly wages. Veterans must train at the three-quarter or full-time rate. The types of work allowed include:

  • Outreach services for VA and State Approving Agencies.
  • VA paperwork.
  • Work at national or state veterans’ cemetery.
  • Work at VA medical centers or state veterans homes.
  • Other VA approved activities.

Kirkwood Support

If you have any questions about your benefits, our Veteran Services Coordinator on Kirkwood's Main Campus in Cedar Rapids can help you work through issues with your application, payments, and more. 

Ramona Taylor
Veteran Services Coordinator/School Certifying Official
OneStop Office, 2nd floor Kirkwood Hall
319-398-4962 
veterans@kirkwood.edu  

Eligibility for GI Bill educational benefits can be extended to veterans, members of the Selected Reserves, or National Guard. Additionally, children or spouses of service-connected deceased or totally and permanently disabled veterans can be eligible for benefits.

Specific questions on eligibility should be directed to the Department of Veterans Affairs or at the toll-free number 888-442-4551.

You may receive benefits under only one VA education chapter at a time, even if you have eligibility under more than one chapter. See chapters details below.

Kirkwood's Veterans Lounge is located at 119 Nielsen Hall. It's a place reserved just for students who have served our country.

This study lounge space has four computers, a printer, snacks, and a microwave. This is a great place to find up-to-date information and talk with other veterans. 

Lounge Hours
M-Th 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
F 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

As part of the DVA application process, you are required to predetermine an educational, professional, or vocational objective. You are required to comply with Kirkwood’s standards, rules, and regulations regarding entrance and continuance in your program.

Learn more about federal regulations for keeping your benefits.

GI Bill® Chapters

The Montgomery GI Bill has different sets of eligibility requirements based on your active duty service. The benefits available under each category may vary depending on your particular situation and length of active service. You need to meet only one set of eligibility requirements to obtain benefits.

The basic requirements for eligibility under Chapter 30 are:

  • Becoming a member of the armed forces after June 30, 1985.
  • Contributing the amount required ($100/month).
  • Receiving an honorable discharge.
  • Receiving a high school diploma, GED certificate, or having completed 12 semester hours leading to a college degree prior to completing the initial obligated period of active duty, and completing your initial obligated period of active duty.

If you were separated from active duty for reasons that could be classified as "convenience of the government," you may be eligible for Chapter 30 benefits without meeting the length of service requirement.

Additional forms of eligibility include:

  • Chapter 34/30 conversion.
  • Chapter 32/30 conversion.
  • Involuntary separation with an honorable discharge.
  • Voluntary separation with VSI or SSB, and an honorable discharge.

Monthly payments under Chapter 30 will depend on time in service, which branch of service you were in, and the amount of hours taken each semester.

To be eligible under Chapter 31, you must receive or be entitled to receive compensation for a service-connected disability at a rating of 20% or greater. You must have been discharged or released from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable. The need and nature of vocational rehabilitation necessary to overcome your disabilities are determined by the DVA.

Generally, Chapter 31 expires 12 years following the date you were notified of your eligibility. That time frame may be extended at the discretion of the DVA. Benefits include payment of tuition, fees, books, supplies, and a monthly subsistence allowance.

In addition to Chapter 31 benefits, you may also want to consider vocational rehabilitation programs administered by the state of Iowa. You may contact the VAS for more information.

Chapter 32, the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP), was established for persons who entered active duty on or after January 1, 1977, and before July 1, 1985.

To be eligible you must have:

  • Contributed money to and enrolled in VEAP while on active duty and before April 1, 1987.
  • Served on active duty for a period of 181 days or more, unless sooner discharged for a service-connected disability.
  • Been discharged or released from service under conditions other than dishonorable.

Eligibility for Chapter 32 benefits ends 10 years after your date of release from active duty. If you have eligibility under Chapter 32, you will be entitled to a maximum number of monthly benefit payments for full-time training equal to the number of months you made contributions.

Benefit Payment

Your monthly benefit payment for full-time school attendance is calculated as follows:

THE SUM OF:

  • Your contribution.
  • Matching funds by the DOD equal to double your contribution.
  • Any additional contributions (kickers) by the DOD.

DIVIDED BY:

  • The maximum number of monthly benefit contributions you made, not to exceed 36.
  • The number of months is lengthened and the dollar amount/month is proportionately reduced for less than full-time attendance.

If you have concluded your training program and no longer desire to receive the DVA educational benefit, you may apply for a refund of the unused portion of your contribution.

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. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill became effective for training on or after August 1, 2009. The amount of support that an individual may qualify for depends on where they live and what type of degree they are pursuing.

Under this bill, you may receive:

  • A tuition and fees payment (paid directly to the school) not to exceed the tuition and fees at the most expensive state Institution of Higher Learning (IHL).
  • A monthly housing allowance based on the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents.
  • An annual book stipend of $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment.
  • A one-time rural benefit payment for eligible individuals.

Approved training under the Post-9/11 GI Bill includes graduate and undergraduate degrees, and vocational/technical training. All training programs must be offered by an institution of higher learning (IHL) and approved for GI Bill benefits. Additionally, tutorial assistance, and licensing and certification test reimbursement are approved under the Post- 9/11 GI Bill.

Note: If you participated in the $600 buy-up under the Montgomery GI Bill or REAP, you will not receive that additional benefit under the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

Payments of education benefits under Chapter 34 generally ended on December 31, 1989. Chapter 34 was available to persons who enlisted before, or were on active duty prior to, January 1, 1977.

Under certain conditions, benefits formerly payable under Chapter 34 are now payable under Chapter 30. Eligibility for any benefits from Chapter 34/30 ends on the 10th anniversary of the date of your release from active duty.

Spouses and dependent children (ages 18-26) of deceased veterans or veterans who are 100% permanently and totally disabled are eligible, provided that the veterans death or disability was/is service connected.

Also included are the spouses and dependent children of service persons in cases where those service persons have been listed for more than 90 days, and who remain in one of the following three categories:

  • Missing in action.
  • Captured in the line of duty.
  • Forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign power.

If you are an eligible child 18 years of age or older, or if you are under 18 and have graduated from high school, the DVA may begin your educational benefits. In addition, if you have not yet received your high school diploma, you may use your Chapter 35 benefits for courses leading to a high school diploma, a GED certificate, for deficiency or remedial training, or for refresher training. You may receive up to five months of such full-time training without any entitlement charge if you meet eligibility requirements.

You are entitled to 45 months of training, provided that you complete the training by the delimiting date.

In order to be eligible for Chapter 1606 benefits, you must:

  • Commit to a six-year obligation after July 1, 1985 in the Selected Reserves or the National Guard.
  • Complete your high school diploma or GED certificate.
  • Complete your IADT (Initial Active Duty for Training).
  • Be participating satisfactorily in the required training for your unit.

Your period of basic eligibility dates from the time you complete your requirements, and lasts for a period of 10 years. If you separate from the Selected Reserves or National Guard, your entitlement ends on the date of separation. If you separate as a result of a disability, you may remain eligible for the entire 10 years, even though you are not training.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2016 ended the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) on Nov. 25, 2015, for new school enrollments.

Due to Congressional mandate, Veterans Affairs (VA) will only grant REAP eligibility to those enrolled in school before November 25, 2015, or during their school's last term, quarter, or semester ending prior to that date.

The change affects beneficiaries differently:

  • Current REAP beneficiaries: Veterans who were attending an educational institution on Nov. 24, 2015, or during the last semester, quarter or term ending prior to that date, are eligible to continue to receive REAP benefits until Nov. 25, 2019.
  • REAP beneficiaries not attending school: Veterans who applied for REAP but were not attending an educational institution on Nov. 24, 2015, or during the last semester, quarter or term ending prior to that date are no longer eligible to receive REAP benefits. Many of these veterans may be eligible to receive benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill®.
  • New REAP applicants: Veterans who have not enrolled in school and applied for REAP benefits prior to Nov. 25, 2015, are no longer eligible for REAP benefits. However, in most cases, those veterans will be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

If a veteran is no longer eligible for REAP: He or she may still be eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, depending on the individual's dates of service.