FAQ Regarding Benefits

To be eligible for Veterans Administration (VA) education benefits, you must fall into a category referred to as a “Chapter”.

You maybe eligible for more than one education benefit; however, you cannot receive payment for more than one benefit at a time.

See GI Bill® Chapters to determine which chapter is appropriate for you. If you are eligible for more than one benefit, you should contact the VA to discuss your education plans.

Please remember that VMSS cannot determine eligibility. If you are unsure about your eligibility, please contact the VA.

See the New Student Getting Started page.

Shoreline Community College offers two types of degrees:

  • University Transfer Degrees – which generally fulfill the 1st two years of college requirements and prepare you to transfer to a 4-year college or university to complete your bachelor’s degree. 
  • Professional/Technical Degrees – which generally provide you with the specialized knowledge and skills necessary to directly enter the workforce upon completion of your program.

The VA requires that you declare a major in order to receive VA education benefits. You can change your major in the future if necessary. If you are undecided as to a major, you have two options:

  • You can declare your major as “General Transfer”. This major encompasses general education courses required for a University Transfer degree including English, Math, Humanities, Social & Natural Sciences.
  • You can select a major based on your current interests. This usually means selecting a major that gives you knowledge/skills in the occupational field in which you hope to become employed.

The Shoreline Community College Catalog contains information on degree types and majors. See also our degrees and certificates page.

You can register for classes online through ctcLink or submit a registration form in person at the FOSS (5000) Building.

  • Enroll ONLY in classes that meet your education goal. 
  • Refer to the Shoreline Program Pages to guide you in your course selection. 
  • The VA will not pay for courses that are not on your plan sheet.
  • The Veteran & Military Student Services Office can assist you with course selection. Contact Rosemary Whiteside for academic advising.

In short, yes! It is your responsibility to notify the Shoreline Veteran & Military Student Services Office prior to or at the beginning of each quarter you wish to receive benefits. See Receiving Your Benefits for more information.

View payment rates on the VA website.

No, when your enrollment is certified, the number of credits you are taking is reported to the VA and you are paid at the rate to which you are entitled. 

Please keep in mind that if you are enrolled for less than half-time (6 credits in fall/winter/spring or 4 credits in summer), only tuition is generally covered – BAH or other benefits will not be included.

Payment takes about 24 days from the time your enrollment is certified.

Yes, if you are placed on academic probation for three quarters, your VA education benefits will be suspended.

If you fail a class, the Shoreline Veteran & Military Student Services Office will contact you and/or your instructor to document your last date of attendance for the class. As long as you attended class for the entire quarter, you will not have to pay the VA back. The following can result in an overpayment by the VA and require you to owe money back:

  • Getting a ‘W’ grade (withdrawing from a class)
  • Getting a ‘Z’ (hardship withdrawal) grade
  • Getting a ‘NP’ (no credit) grade
  • Getting an ‘I’ (incomplete) grade
  • Registering for, but not attending a class

If you have turned in the required paperwork to Veteran & Military Student Services, requested certification, and it is your first quarter, the delay is likely due to the backlog that happens at the beginning of each quarter. You can call the VA to check the status of your certification or contact Joshua Salois for more information.

  • For GI Bill-related inquiries: 1-888-442-4551
  • For other VA questions: 1-800-698-2411

If you prefer email or cannot get through on the phone: Ask VA

Call the VA directly or use Ask VA. You also need to notify Shoreline of your address change by updating your information in your ctcLink Account.

For information on replacing a DD214, see Veterans Service Records.


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 website at benefits.va.gov/gibill.