FAQ Regarding Benefits

1. What am I eligible for?

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.


2. How do I get started?

See the New Student Veteran Getting Started page.


3. How do I pick a major/program of study?

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.


4. How do I enroll in classes?

You can register for classes online 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 Veterans Programs Office can assist you with course selection. Contact Rosemary Whiteside for academic advising.


5. Do I renew my benefits each semester?

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


6. How much money will I receive from my VA education benefits?

View payment rates on the VA website.


7. Do I have to be attending school full-time to get benefits?

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. 

*Note that if you are enrolled for less than six credits, you will receive tuition only (no BAH or other benefits).


8. What is the VA's turnaround time for payment?

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


9. Can my VA education benefit payments be suspended for any reason?

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


10. Do I have to pay back the VA if I fail a class?

If you fail a class, the Shoreline Veterans Programs 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 ‘V’ (unofficial withdrawal) grade
  • Getting a ‘Z’ (hardship withdrawal) grade
  • Getting a ‘NC’ (no credit) grade
  • Getting an ‘I’ (incomplete) grade
  • Registering for, but not attending a class


11. My payment is late; is my claim OK?

If you have turned in the required veterans paperwork to the Veterans Programs Office 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 claim or contact Chad Springer for more information.


12. What is the VA's phone number?

1-888-442-4551: When you hear the automated system answer, dial 1 then 0.


13. I can't get through to the VA; what should I do?

The VA often has high call volume times. Try again or try calling in the mornings.


14. What should I do if I change my address?

Call the VA directly or change your address under the VA’s “ask a question” section on the VA website. You also need to notify Shoreline of your address change.


15. How do I get another DD214 if I lost mine?

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 Web site at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill