Veteran Educational Benefits

Military & Veterans Educational Benefits

Central Arizona College (CAC) is proud and honored to serve Military and Veterans students, along with their spouses and dependents, for their education needs. CAC has been approved by the State Approving Agency (SAA) to administer the VA Education Benefits program and is approved for Military Tuition Assistant (TA) for all branches of the United States Armed Forces. We offer a wide variety of degrees/certificate programs to help service members and their families, along with veterans and their spouses and dependents, to reach their education goals. Along with this, we are a dedicated staff that helps guide and direct students in choosing a degree that will help them achieve their career path. We also help guide students on how to use their VA Benefits more efficiently. The Military & Veteran’s Services Department at CAC is located at the main campus in Coolidge, Arizona, and is excited to help students in getting started using Military or Veterans benefits here at Central Arizona College.

Updates & Reminders

Spring registration is NOW OPEN!

Registration is now open, so please  make an appointment
with an academic advisor. Please make sure to get your
signed MAP from the academic advisor.
See New or Current student tab for more information.

The Military & Veterans’ Student Center

The center is open to all Military and Veteran CAC students, along
with their spouses and dependents. Check out the center today!
Located at the Signal Peak Campus in Coolidge in Building M.
Phone: 520-494-5506

Changes to Fall 2019 Schedule?

All  changes to schedules after the term has started
will need to be reported to the School Certifying Official
by the student, within 24 hours to avoid debt with the VA.
This includes students being dropped by instructors from class.
ADD/DROP VA Form

Financial Warning SAP Requirements

All VA students using VA Education Benefits, whether
using student loans or not, are required to follow the
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy set by CAC.
Any student on Financial Suspension cannot
use VA Education Benefits to pay for college.

New Student Orientation Schedule for Spring

All students coming to CAC for the first
time, or those that just want more information,
should reserve their spot. Please see attached
flyer for more information.
New Student Orientation

Spring VA Paperwork Due!!

Just a reminder that all campuses will be
closing for the Winter Break, so all VA
paperwork will need to be completed and turned
in by December 19, 2019.
**Winter Break 12/23/2019 to 1/2/2020**

Dates to Remember:

12/19/2020: All VA paperwork due for the Spring Term

12/20-01/02/2020: College Closed for Winter Break

01/06/2020: Spring Certification Paperwork Deadline

01/20/2020: College Closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

01/21/2020: Weekday & Online Classes Begin

01/21-01/28/2020: Class Changes/Drop-Add

Contact Us:

Elizabeth Barrett

Military & Veteran’s Services
School Certifying Official
Email: Elizabeth.Barrett@centralaz.edu
Phone: 520-494-5517

Ricardo Torres

Office Assistant II
Veteran’s Services & Student Accessibility Services
Email: Ricardo.Torres@centralaz.edu
Phone: 520-494-5524

Welcome to Veterans Services

Here at Central Arizona College (CAC), we are approved for all Chapters of the G.I. Bill® through the State Approving Agency (SAA). Below is some basic information for students looking to attend or transfer to CAC. Before applying, please take the time to read through all the information below. If you have any questions regarding the chapters or CAC policies, please feel free to contact the School Certifying Official at CAC.

Central Arizona College also offers Tuition Assistance (TA) for all branches of the United States Armed Forces. Please see the Active Military Tab for more information.

VA Education Benefits Factsheet

VA  Education Benefits Checklist

U.S Department of Veterans Affairs Education Programs

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Degree and Certificate Programs

All students must declare a Master Academic Plan (MAP), which is either a transferable degree, an Associate of Applied Science degree, or Certificate. Below is a link to Central Arizona College’s  list of programs, and description of the degree/certificate programs:
CAC Degrees and Certificates

Please note that not all degree/certificate programs listed in the catalog are eligible for VA educational benefits. Please click on the link below for a list of degree/certificate programs that are not cleared by the VA for approval for VA education benefits.
 NOT approved degrees/certificate programs 

Mandatory Advising

All students receiving VA education benefits at Central Arizona College (CAC) are required to meet with an academic advisor every semester to create or update their degree/certificate programs. Academic Advising is available at all campuses and most learning centers at CAC. Additionally, online advising is available to students with extenuating circumstances that are unable to meet with an advisor in person. Students will need to obtain a signed Master Academic Plan (MAP) for their program of study from their academic advisor. This MAP will then be submitted to the SCO by the student for certification purposes. It is recommended that students schedule an appointment with an advisor as soon as the registration period is open for the upcoming semester.

Prior College and Military Transcripts

Students eligible for VA Education Benefits at Central Arizona College (CAC) who have attended other higher education institutions, must submit official transcript(s) to CAC for evaluation of transfer of credit into the degree/certificate program. Failure to disclose attendance/transcript(s) from previous college(s) is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and is grounds for denial of admission or immediate suspension if enrolled.

For Military Transcripts, the Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard Joint Service Transcripts (JST), will need to be ordered through the Department of Defense (DoD).  A free unofficial copy of the JST can be downloaded as a PDF document and submitted to the School Certifying Official (SCO). This is NOT a substitution for an official transcript. For students who served in the Air Force, transcripts can be requested through the CCAF website.

New Student Application Process

Step 1. Apply for VA Education Benefits:

All students using VA Education Benefits will need to go through vets.gov to apply for the benefit or to change/update current benefits.

Veterans:

Spouses/Dependents:

  • First Time Application for Spouses/Dependents: Select Apply For Education Benefits and fill out VA Form 22-5490 for the Survivors and Dependents Assistance (DEA). If using Post/911 as a transfer of benefits from the veteran, please fill out VA Form 22-1990e.
  • Spouses/Dependents Changing Schools: Select Change Your Current Education Benefits and fill out VA Form 22-5495 for DEA and 22-1995 for the POST/911

Please note that all VA Forms, whether applying for the first time or updating the current benefit, can take up to 30 days to process.

Step 2. Documents for Veterans Services Office, School Certifying Official (SCO)

All students using VA Benefits for the first time will need to submit the following documentation to the School Certifying Official (SCO):

  • NEW Veteran/Dependent VA Education Benefits’ Admission form. This form will be filled out only once and does not need to be submitted again.
  • VA Certification Request Form. This form will need to be submitted every semester.
  • A copy of the Certification of Eligibility (COE) or eBenefits page. The COE will be mailed to the applicant after the VA application (22-1990/22-5490/22-1990e) has been approved. Students completing the 22-1995 or 22-5495 will need a copy of the new COE on file, not the eBenefits page.
  • Unofficial copy(s) of transcript(s) of all college(s) that VA Benefits were previously used.
  • For Veterans Only, if obtaining your Joint Service Transcripts, an unofficial copy will need to be provided
  • Degree/Certification Master Academic Plan (MAP)  signed by the academic advisor. Please note that the VA will not cover any course not listed on the MAP.

**All transcripts will need to be on file by the second term, or SCO will terminate benefits.**

Step 3. Apply for Admissions

Central Arizona College requires all students to be fully enrolled before meeting with an academic advisor or be able to complete Placement Testing 

To apply, select ApplyNow on the main website and fill out the electronic form. Once the application has been processed, an email with be sent with login information and a student CAC Identification  number.

It is also advised that before students meet with an advisor, placement testing is completed. Academic advisors can use this information to create an accurate schedule. Please note that the VA will cover remedial courses (courses below 100 level) if they are taken on campus. Online and Hybrid remedial courses will not be covered by the VA.

Step 4. Meet with Academic Advisor

The VA requires that all students using VA Educational Benefits meet with an Academic Advisor and have a Master Academic Plan (MAP) completed.

  • Make an appointment to meet with an Academic Advisor: The Advisor will discuss degree/certification programs and complete the MAP required for students to be registered for classes and use VA Benefits.
  • Adding/Changing Courses: Students using VA benefits will be required to meet with an academic advisor any time a student adds or changes a course. An updated MAP will be required for any course changes.
  • VA Hold: A VA Hold will be placed on the account of the student using VA benefits. The Hold ONLY prevents students from making changes to classes or registering on their own. The VA Hold will remain on a student’s  account until the benefits have been exhausted or the student has requested to no longer use the VA Benefit.

Please Note: The VA Benefits will NOT cover any course(s) that is not applicable to the current degree/certification program. 

Returning Students

Current Students:

Students who have used the VA Education Benefit within the last year at CAC will need to provide the following information:

  • VA Certification Request Form
  • Updated Master of Academic Plan (MAP), signed by an academic advisor
  • Student Schedule
  • Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA and/or transcripts (if applicable). Students who have yet to turn in their COE or transcripts, and are in their second semester, will not receive VA benefits until those documents have been received.

If changing your program, please contact the School Certifying Official (SCO) prior to changing the program to get correct forms on file. All program changes will need to be completed four weeks prior to the start of the term.

Re-entry Students:

Students who have previously used VA Education Benefit at CAC, but have not used them in over a year, will need to provide the following information:

  • Completed and approved 22-1995/225495 with the VA. Please remember this process can take up to 30 days to be approved.
  • New COE from the VA on file. The COE will be mailed to the student by the VA once the 22-1995/22-5495 has been approved.
  • VA Certification Request Form
  • MAP of current degree/certification program signed by the academic advisor
  • Student schedule

Please contact the SCO for additional questions on the re-entry process. Depending on the length of time passed, the SCO may need additional documents. 

Using Tuition Assistance (TA)

The Tuition Assistance (TA) program offers active service members the opportunity to attend college with financial assistance through the Department of Defense (DoD). Students are approved to use TA at Central Arizona College (CAC) for  both online and classroom modality as long as the courses are applicable to a degree/certificate program.  Students using the TA program will need to notify the School Certifying Official (SCO) and fill out the TA Form to help keep record of students using TA.

To apply for the TA, students will need to go through their branch of service education center and follow the processes needed to be approved for TA. Each education center should have education officers there to provide support and guidance on how to apply and submit for the TA. Below are links to each branch of military:

United States Army (USA)

United States Marine Corp (USMC)

United States Navy (USN)

United States Air Force (USAF)

United States Coast Guard (USCG)

Military & Veterans’ Student Center

Central Arizona College is proud to announce the opening of the Military & Veterans’ Student Center!

For over two years, the college has been working with foundations such as, SEE4VETS and The Purple Heart Foundation, to create an environment where students who have served or are currently serving, may come and relax and enjoy their time between classes. The center is a place where student veterans and their spouses and dependents may utilize resources such as free WiFi and a quiet place to work. We are hoping all will come an enjoy!

Center Information:

Military & Veterans’ Student Center
8470 N. Overfield Rd.
Coolidge, AZ 85128
Signal Peak Campus
Phone: 520-494-5506
Email: CACVetsCenter@centralaz.edu

Hours of Operation:
Mon.-Thurs. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Closed Fridays

The center will be closed for all major holidays as well as Spring and Winter Break

Other Resources

SOT Scholarship: This scholarship is only for those that have no VA Benefits to use or have exhausted them. Students will need to submit the application to Margaret Dooley.

HOHP Veteran Center: Home to Eagle One and other resources offered to all Veterans and their families.

NCHP: Helping veterans with resources for success and housing.

Facts and Questions

When will students receive the MHA and book stipend for Chapter 33 POST/911?

The Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) for POST/911 is typically paid at the end of the month if the student submitted all necessary documents before the beginning of the school term. Students will typically see the MHA come into their accounts by the first weekend of the next month; however, the MHA is paid out by the VA. Students are encouraged to contact the VA first about missing MHA payments before contacting the School Certifying Official (SCO).

The book stipend can vary depending on when the certification was submitted, but it is generally the first weekend of the next month.

National Education Call Center: 888-442-4551

How long does it take to receive the monthly income for Chapter 30 & 35?

Chapter 30 Montgomery and Chapter 35 DEA are paid out at the end of the month. Students will typically see the monthly income check the first weekend of the next month. Students are encouraged to contact the VA first about missing monthly income checks before contacting the School Certifying Official (SCO).

National Education Call Center: 888-442-4551

What documents are needed to be certified for VA Education Benefits?

In order for the School Certifying Official (SCO) to submit a certification, students will need to submit the VA Certification Request Form, a signed Master Academic Plan (MAP) and student schedule to the SCO. More documentation could be required depending on each students situation. Please see NEW STUDENT tab on the school’s VA Educational Benefits Website or CURRENT STUDENT to see if other documents are needed for a submission.

Please note that the VA Certification Request Form and MAP will be required EACH semester the student would like to use their VA Benefits to pay for school.

What is a COE and when is it needed?

The Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is a document sent via mail to the students once their application has been approved by the VA. It will also be mailed when a student completes a  Change in Training Location form with the VA. The COE will need to be on file with the School Certifying Official (SCO) before the start of the student’s second semester or benefits will be terminated.

The SCO will NOT submit for certification unless a COE has been received or verbal confirmation from the VA.

Some chapters are able to use eBenefits in lieu of the COE. Please check with SCO to see if it is acceptable.

How do students apply for VA Education Benefits with the VA?

For first time students, please see the NEW STUDENT tab on the CAC VA Education Benefits website. It will give a step by step process of how to apply for the VA Education Benefits.

What is the purpose of the VA Hold and how long will it be on a student’s account?

The VA hold prevents all students using VA Education Benefits from registering courses, adding courses, or changing courses without seeing an Academic Advisor first. The hold does not affect finances from seeing class schedules. It only prevents registration and will remain on the student’ss account until the student is no longer using VA benefits or has exhausted them. If a student chooses to no longer use the VA benefits, then the student must submit an email to the School Certifying Official (SCO) to have the Hold removed.

What is a "MAP" and why is it needed for certification?

For every semester a student is using VA benefits to pay for school, the student needs to have a MAP (Master Academic Plan) which is a requirement for VA Compliance. The MAP will be filled out by the academic advisor, as well as signed to prove  that all courses being taken are applicable to the degree. The MAP will need to be updated  each semester by the advisor.

The VA will not cover courses that are not applicable to programs.

Do veteran students need to obtain their Military Joint Service Transcripts? If so, how?

Students are required to have all official transcripts on file with Central Arizona College by the second term for any colleges/military the student has notated on their application with CAC. Veteran students may obtain a copy of their military transcripts through the DoD.

If a student does not wish to obtain the Joint Service Transcript, they will need to notify the School Certifying Official to notate it in the file.

Will I receive a full MHA for Chapter 33 POST/911 if all my courses are online?

Yes, if the student is full time and at 100% eligibility for the POST/911, but the amount will reduce due to the courses being fully online. Please see the comparison tool on the VA website to calculate the MHA for online only courses.

When will Tuition and Fees be paid for Chapter 33 POST/911?

Tuition and Fees for the POST/911 Chapter can take 2-16 weeks to get to a school. Students using this chapter will not have to worry about having that amount paid off before registering for the next term.

Please note that if the student has any other fees on file, such as a book charge fee, then the school can prevent them from being registered until those fees are paid.

Do Chapter 35 DEA students have to report attendance as Chapter 30 Montgomery do?

No, for now only Chapter 30 Montgomery students must report their monthly attendance through WAVES found on the eBenefits website.

Do students have to turn in paperwork to the School Certifying Official (SCO) every semester?

Yes, the School Certifying Official (SCO) will need the VA Certification Request Form and MAP for EACH semester the student would like to use their VA Benefits to pay for school. Without the VA Certification Request form, the SCO does not have authorization from the student to submit to the VA.

Will the VA pay for remedial courses?

The VA will pay for remedial courses (courses below 100 level), if the course is completely on ground, not online or hybrid, and if the academic advisor has approved the student to take the course and placed it on the MAP.

Why does the Book Stipend for Chapter 33 POST/911 come so late, and what is the Promissory Note?

Certifications for enrollment for Chapter 33 are not submitted until a week before school starts due to CAC purge dates. This prevents the book stipend from being sent early enough for students to get books, so CAC has set up a Promissory Note for Veterans and Dependents to charge up to $500 at the CAC bookstore. A student may only charge on designated dates set up by the bookstore.

The promissory is NOT free money. Students, not the VA, will have to pay back the bookstore if they choose to use the Promissory Note. Please see the home page for Bookstore Charge Dates.

When will the certification be submitted to the VA by the School Certifying Official (SCO)

For Chapter 33/911, the certification process will be done in two parts, if the paperwork was received from the student a week prior to classes starting.

The first submission will be a week before the term begins. Once the Add/Drop period is completed, and there are no changes to the schedule, a second submission will be placed for tuition and fees. Emails will be sent out from the VA for each transaction. There is no need to contact the School Certifying Official (SCO) that the emails were received.

For all other chapters, certifications will be submitted at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the term date, if the submission paperwork was received prior to that start of the term.

Any and all changes made to a student’s schedule will need to be notified to the SCO by the student on the day the change occurred to prevent debt and error with the VA. This includes being dropped from classes in error, choosing to be dropped from class, instructors dropping the class, or start dates changing.

Does Central Arizona College accept Tuition Assistance for Active Military?

Yes, Central Arizona College has an active MOU with the DoD for all branches of service.

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