Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I apply for benefits?
You can apply for benefits at VA.gov
Will I be dropped from classes if my benefits don't arrive prior to classes starting?
No, you will not. Simply contact the School Certifying Official, Annmarie Paolucci at: firstname.lastname@example.org
How many credits do I need to be full time?
You need to be registered for at least 12 credits each semester with the exception of summer and intersession. If you take class during summer or intersession you will need to contact Annmarie Paolucci at email@example.com to determine the requirements for full time.
Do all my classes need to be on campus?
If you are receiving Chapter 33 or Chapter 31 benefits, at least one class must be on campus per semester in order to receive the full VA Housing Allowance. If you take all online classes, you will receive half the national average. Learn more about half the national average
Can I take any class I want?
No, The VA will only pay for classes that are REQUIRED for your degree. Only courses that satisfy requirements outlined by the curriculum guide or degree evaluation form can be certified for VA purposes. If a student takes a course that does not fulfill a program requirement, it cannot be certified for VA purposes. Excessive free electives, for example, cannot be certified. Veterans Services may request a Degree Audit from you and your advisor prior to VA Certification.
What if I need to withdraw from a class or classes?
Prior to withdrawing from a class, you should contact NSCC Veterans Services so you can discuss your options and understand how your VA benefits will be affected.
For Chapter 33 recipients: Effective January 5, 2021 the VA instituted a new policy regarding withdrawing from classes (Section 1019 of PL 116-315).
Debts resulting from withdrawing from classes after the add/drop period, where the student receives a “W” grade are as follows:
- Student Debt: Monthly Housing Allowance and Book Stipend
- If you do not have a mitigating circumstance, you may be required to pay back all the Housing Allowance and Book Stipend received for the class(es) you withdraw from
- School Debt: Per the VA’s new regulation effective January 5, 2021, (Section 1019 of PL 116-315) the school must send the VA the tuition and fees for the class(es) withdrawn from. Once Financial Services refunds the tuition and fees to the VA, the student will have a debt with North Shore Community College. A hold will be placed on the student’s account until the balance is paid – this can restrict a student from enrolling in new classes, getting a transcript and applying for graduation.
- Mitigating Circumstance: If a student drops a course or withdraws from school after the drop period and receives
a non-punitive grade, VA will reduce benefits effective the first day of the term
unless mitigating circumstances are found. Mitigating circumstances are circumstances
beyond the student's control that prevent the student from continuing in school or
that cause the student to reduce credits.
If you need to withdraw from classes or a class due to mitigating circumstances, you must provide documentation to NSCC Veterans Services so your VA certification can be adjusted accordingly.
If a student fails to provide NSCC Veterans Services with proper documentation, the VA certification will be adjusted as a regular withdrawal.
Can I take a repeat class?
Classes that are successfully completed may not be certified again for VA purposes if they are repeated. However, if a student fails a class, or if a program requires a higher grade than the one achieved in a particular class for successful completion, that class may be repeated and certified to VA again.
What if I can't obtain full time enrollment in my last term
The VA allows for "Rounding Out" - effective August 1, 2021 the VA has a new rounding out Policy:
Beginning on Aug. 1, 2021, students can “round out” in their last term only if they are taking classes that are approved for their program of education. Classes approved for a program of education means those that can be used to satisfy the graduation requirements of the program as specified in the curriculum. Classes that have been previously completed cannot be used to round out the student’s course load.
To obtain full-time enrollment in their last term, they will be allowed to select from the other courses in that category.
You will need to work with an Academic Advisor to ensure you are taking appropriate classes.
Can I get credits for my military experience?
You may be eligible for credits through your Joint Service Transcripts. If you are a Marine Corp, Army or Navy Veteran, NSCC’s Center for Alternative Study can evaluate your JST for potential college credit. For more information: https://www.northshore.edu/cas/veterans/
If you are an Air Force Veteran, please send your Community College of the Air Force transcripts to NSCC for evaluation. For more information: https://www.northshore.edu/registrar/transfer-courses.html
Additional FAQ'S and Answers may be found on the VA's website