Veterans Services at Golden West College

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Veterans Services is staffed by GWC school employees. We do not represent the VA: there are many questions we cannot answer.  Call the VA’s Education Call Center in Muskogee, OK, at 888 442 8551 for authoritative answers from a VA representative.  You may also find answers on the VA’s website http:/

How do I apply for VA educational benefits?

Veterans and dependents using CH33 Post 9/11 Transfer of Eligibility apply for educational benefits online at http:/ using the VONAPP (VA Form 22 1990).  Dependents using CH35 Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program apply for benefits using VA Form 22 5490.

I am a nonresident. Will the VA pay my nonresident fees?

The VA will not pay nonresident fees.  However, recent changes under both Section 702 of the federal Veterans Choice Act of 2014 and California’s Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act (VACA) waive nonresident tuition for qualifying veterans and dependents using CH30 Montgomery or CH33 Post 9/11 benefits while living in California.  A “covered individual” is defined as:

  • A veteran eligible for educational assistance under either the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (MGIB-AD) or Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefit programs who resides (lives) in California (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the community college within three years of discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • An individual eligible for transferred education benefits under either the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (MGIB-AD) or Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefit programs who resides (lives) in California (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the community college within 3 years of the transferor’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • An individual eligible for benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (provides Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to the children and surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty while on active duty) who resides (lives) in California (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the community college within three years of the Service member’s death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
If you believe you qualify, contact Veterans Services or the GWC residency clerk for the VACA exemption form.  You will also need to submit a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility, DD214 and one proof of residence.
How long do I have to wait before I know if I’m eligible for benefits?

Allow 6 to 8 weeks for the VA to process your application. Once approved, the VA will send a Certificate of Eligibility confirming your eligibility for benefits.  Veterans Services will need a copy for your file.

How much will I be paid?

Compensation questions should be directed to the VA’s Education Call Center at
888-442-4551 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday.

How do I change my DD info?

You can change your account through eBenefits or by calling the VA at 1 800 827 1000.

When will I receive my allowance?

GI Bill benefits are based on school attendance or rate of pursuit and are paid in arrears. If a school term ends midmonth, expect to receive a prorated payment at the end of the month.  Depending on the option chosen, you will be paid by direct deposit or receive a check via USPS.

Why should I opt for direct deposit?

Payments by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer are strongly encouraged. If you have a checking or savings account, Direct Deposit is a simple, safe option to receive your education benefits. Also, errors involving Direct Deposit can be corrected more quickly than a check can be reissued.

What is the Monthly Housing Allowance for GWC?

Monthly Housing Allowance payment amounts for those using Post 9/11 (CH33) benefits are based on the Department of Defense’s Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates for an “E-5 with dependents” for the zip code of the school. BAH rates can be found at the following website: Monthly Housing Allowance amounts are prorated based on a student’s benefit level and may be further reduced based on the rate of pursuit rounded to nearest multiple of 10. Benefits are only payable when the rate of pursuit is more than 50%, and the student is not on active duty. Effective August 1, 2016, the monthly allowance for a student using Post 9/11 whose eligibility is 100% and who is attending fulltime with at least one class on campus is $2475. The allowance for the same student taking only online classes is $805.50, which is equivalent to one-half the national average military Basic Allowance for Housing.

Are VA educational benefits taxable?

Veterans benefits paid under any law administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs should not be reported as income to the Internal Revenue Service.  You will not receive a W-2 from the VA.

Am I eligible for Unemployment Compensation?

Each state has its own rules about how to qualify and how to apply to apply.  If you’ve recently left the military, you may be eligible for Unemployment Compensation for Ex-service members (UCX)

What is W.A.V.E.?

W.A.V.E. is the VA’s Web Automated Verification of Enrollment.   Students using CH 30, 1606, and 1607 benefits must self-certify their attendance at the end of each month by using W.A.V.E or calling the toll free Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone line at 1-877-823-2378. 

No payment can be made until the month is over and you verify that you were still in attendance for that month.
What is eBenefits?

eBenefits is a joint VA/DoD web portal that provides resources and self-service capabilities to veterans, service members, and their families to research, access and manage their VA and military benefits and personal information. 

After creating an account, you can use eBenefits to set up a profile, add and manage favorite links, access military personnel records such as your DD 214, view healthcare information, and more. 

To set up a basic or premium account, go to
Does GWC give veterans priority registration?

ALL students must complete orientation, placement testing, and have a Student Education Plan (SEP) in order to be granted priority registration. 
GWC will grant first level priority to a student who has met these criteria and who is:

(a) a member or former member of the Armed Forces of the United States, who is a resident of California, and who has received an honorable discharge, a general discharge, or an other than honorable discharge, and to any member or former member of the State Military Reserve, for any academic term attended for four academic years after he or she has left state or federal active duty, which he or she shall use within 15 years of leaving state or federal active duty.

(b) A former member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the State Military Reserve who received a dishonorable discharge or a bad conduct discharge is not eligible for priority registration for enrollment pursuant to this section.
Proof of current military status (military ID or DD214 Member 4) must be submitted to the Veterans Services Office.
It is important to remember:

  • once students have completed 100 or more units, they will lose their registration priority;
  • students must remain in good academic standing to receive priority registration.
Why do I need a Student Education Plan?

In order to qualify for priority registration, all students must have met with a counsellor for a Student Education Plan (SEP).  Veterans must submit official transcripts from all schools attended previously before scheduling their appointment.

Why do I need to submit official transcripts?

VA requires schools to all evaluate credits from all colleges and universities you’ve attended previously.  Official (sealed) transcripts must be submitted as soon as possible after applying for admission.  After transcripts have been evaluated, the counsellor will meet with the student to create a comprehensive Student Education Plan. Failure to submit transcripts will delay certification for benefits.

How do I send transcripts to Veteran Services?

VA requires schools to evaluate all prior credit for all students using GI Bill benefits. Students must submit official transcripts from all previously attended colleges. There are several ways to do this. Most colleges are able to send the transcript directly to Golden West College. Transcripts should be mailed to the following address:

Golden West College
15744 Goldenwest Street
Huntington Beach CA 92647-3103

Transcripts can also be sent electronically to Please note that the transcript must come directly from a trusted transcript provider, not the student. At this time, we do not accept transcripts electronically from Student Clearinghouse. Most other providers such as Paradigm, Docufide, and Parchment are accepted.

Students may also deliver transcripts to the Enrollment Center or Veteran Services so long as they are sealed, official transcripts. Please write your student ID number on the envelope before turning it in.

Prerequisites, Corequisites, and Advisories

A Prerequisite is a requirement which must be met before enrollment in a course. A Corequisite is a condition of enrollment consisting of a course that a student is required to take simultaneously in order to enroll in another course. Math and science lectures often have corequisite labs. An Advisory or Recommended Preparation is a condition of enrollment that is advised, but not required, to meet before or in conjunction with enrollment in a course or educational program

What about credit for military service?

Based on a review of the DD214 #4, the college recognizes and grants academic credit to veterans who completed a minimum of one year of active honorable service in the armed forces.  This credit includes 3 units for AA Degree Area E—Self Development on the GWC General Education pattern, or Area E—Self Development on the California State University General Education Pattern (CSDU  GE Breadth).  Three additional units of elective credit are awarded toward the GWC AA Degree to equal a total of 6 units.

The School Certifying Official says some of my classes can’t be certified.

Only courses that satisfy program requirements as outlined by the curriculum can be certified for VA purposes.  Remedial, pre requisite and co requisite classes can be certified for educational benefits.

What should I do if there is a change in my enrollment?

Changes in enrollment should be reported immediately to your School Certifying Official.  The SCO will report the changes to the VA Regional Processing Office. If the VA does not receive prompt notice of a change, you will be liable for any overpayment of benefits.

What happens if I change my enrollment?

If you withdraw from one or more of your courses after the end of the school's drop period, VA may reduce or stop your benefits on the date of reduction or withdrawal.  If you withdraw from a course after the end of the drop period, you may have to repay all benefits for the course.

Can I take classes at another school while attending GWC?

Yes.  You can receive benefits for class/es taken concurrently if the classes are equivalent to GWC class/es required to complete your educational program. Submit a Parent School Letter Request Form to GWC Veterans Services (your primary school). Veterans Services will send a Parent School Letter (PSL) to the secondary school authorizing them to certify the class/es for educational benefits. You will be a guest student
If the secondary school is outside the Coast Community College District, you must submit official transcripts after grades are posted.

I’m confused about CH33 Post 9/11 educational benefits.
  • The student’s length of creditable active duty service determines the percentage of benefits that will be paid under the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
  • Rate of pursuit applies specifically to CH33. VA calculates rate of pursuit by dividing the number of credit (or credit hour equivalents) pursued by the number of credit considered to be full-time by the school.  The resulting percentage is the student’s rate of pursuit. 
  • A Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is paid directly to the student at the beginning of each month for training during the previous month. 
    • BAH is paid if the student’s rate of pursuit is more than 50%.   To determine what will be paid to the student, the BAH rate will be multiplied by the rate of pursuit and rounded to the nearest multiple of 10.
    • Students whose enrollment is exclusively distance learning (online) will be eligible for a monthly housing allowance equal to 50% of the national average for all Basic Allowances for Housing. 
    • Active duty personnel (including those on terminal leave) and their spouses utilizing transferred entitlement are not eligible for BAH.  Once separated from active duty, students (and their spouses) will become eligible to receive the monthly housing allowance on the first day of the month following separation.
  • The amount payable for BAH is based on the military’s BAH rates for an E-5 with dependents.  The rate is adjusted yearly and becomes effective at the beginning of the academic year (August 1). 

As of August 1, 2015, the rate paid to students attending GWC will be based on $2433 per month of full time attendance.

  • The books and supplies stipend pays $41.67 per credit certified, to a maximum of $1000 per academic year beginning August 1. 
  • Interval pay was eliminated in August 2011. This means that the housing allowance is paid only for the time the student is enrolled in school.
  • Mandatory fees--charged to all students at the time of registration--are covered by CH33 educational benefits. This includes charges such as college service, health and course material fees, but does not include parking permits, uniforms and tools.
What do I do with my CalVet fee waiver?

In recognition of the sacrifices made by veterans while serving our country with honor, the State of California may grant their dependents a tuition fee waiver while attending a California Community College, a campus of the California State University system, or a campus of the University of California System.  The waiver is valid for one academic year, so students must reapply each year.  In addition to submitting an application to the California Department of Veterans Affairs, dependents should complete the Board of Governors Tuition Fee Waiver form available on the school’s website.
Please note: the Financial Aid Office recommends students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which includes the BOG application. Students who have been approved for the CalVet tuition fee waiver should take their Authorization Letter to the Financial Aid Office. The CalVet waiver is for tuition only. Students must pay any and all remaining fees, or they will be dropped in accordance with the non-payment drop schedule.

For more information about this program, contact your local County Veterans Service Office.
I’m eligible for Tuition Assistance.

Active service members using Tuition Assistance should take their TA authorization form to the Director of Admissions & Records.  The office is located in the Enrollment Center.

Do I need a parking permit?

Yes. GWC is a pay to park site: all vehicles utilizing parking lots are required to display a valid permit at all times. Permits, which are sold by semester, are purchased online  or by day from the dispensers located in each lot. 

Citations are issued for violations of the campus parking rules and regulations.
How do I get a copy of my DD214?

For information on replacing a DD214, go to this website:

Can I get a Veterans designation on my California Drivers License and ID?

The California DMV and CalVet have launched a new program honoring our veterans by allowing them to apply for a “Veteran” designation on their California drivers licenses and ID cards. As an added bonus, the new ‘Veteran’ designation means businesses can easily confirm Veteran status when offering discounts.”

  1. 1. Get Records. Find your military discharge certificate (DD214). If you need assistance obtaining your military records, then contact any County Veteran Service Officer (CVSO).
  2. 2. Visit Any CVSO. Take your DD214 and government identification to any CVSO to obtain your Veteran Status Verification Form. For faster CVSO service, you can make an appointment with any CVSO by calling 844-737-8838 or finding your local CVSO at
  3. 3. Visit Any DMV. Go online or call DMV for an appointment. Then bring your Veteran Status Verification Form to any DMV field office. Pay any application fees in addition to a $5.00 Veteran designation fee, and complete all application and testing requirements. To schedule an appointment at any DMV field office, visit a or call 800-777-0133.

The DMV has set up a webpage specifically designed to assist Veterans, Active Military, and their families.