Veterans Affairs Education Benefits
Note: All policies are subject to change based on institutional and federal guidelines.
Eligibility, Enrollment Certification Process (22-1999)
Verification of Enrollment (Chapters 30, 1606 and 1607)
Notification from the Department of Veterans Affairs
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Changes to: Address/Phone Information, Enrollment Status, Program of Study
Websites for Further Information
Central Piedmont is extremely proud of its long-standing relationship with the men and women in uniform that bravely serve this country, those who have served, and their families. The mission of the Central Piedmont Veterans Affairs Education Benefits Office is to enhance the educational experience of veterans and eligible family members by providing access to education benefits within a supportive environment. Central Piedmont is dedicated to providing the highest quality and comprehensive support to student veterans in an atmosphere that provides commitment, respect and academic excellence.
Central Piedmont is approved by the North Carolina State Approving Agency for the enrollment of persons eligible for education assistance benefits from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. The college provides training opportunities for veterans, eligible National Guard/Reservists, and eligible dependents (spouse and/or children).
For additional information regarding these benefits, which are administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, contact one of the following offices:
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - 1.888.442.4551
- Mecklenburg County Veterans Service Office - 704.336.2102
- District Office of the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs - 704.563.2037
- Central Piedmont Veterans Affairs Education Benefits Office - 704.330.6552
- Central Piedmont Center for Military Families and Veterans - 704.330.6126
Priority Registration for Veteran Students
Central Piedmont offers priority registration to students using veterans' benefits and veterans who submit a member 4 copy of their DD214 to Student Records. Veteran students are encouraged to register early to achieve timely program completion and certification processing.
Veteran students are in the unique position of having to meet requirements as specified by both the Department of Veterans Affairs and the North Carolina State Approving Agency (NCSAA). Although Central Piedmont Veterans Affairs Office does not work for the Department of Veterans Affairs, it works closely with them to ensure students' needs are met. The college strives to meet the DVA goal of “Putting Veterans First.”
For eligibility to receive VA education benefits, students are required to complete the following 6 steps:
1. Apply for VA education benefits.
All Veterans, National Guard/Selected Reserve and Survivors and Dependents of Disabled Veterans can apply online for benefits. Applications are available at ebenefits.va.gov. From there, applicants are directed to the eBenefits website, for the online application. A Certificate of Eligibility from the Department of Veteran Affairs is sent to the student after the application is processed.
2. Complete all Central Piedmont admission steps.
3. Submit official transcripts to Central Piedmont Records for evaluation.
Request official copies of high school, military and all prior college transcripts to be sent to Student Records in the Central High Building along with the Member 4 copy of the DD214.
Evaluation of Transcripts
Students receiving Veterans Affairs education benefits need to request official academic transcripts be sent from all previous schools to the Central Piedmont Student Records Office, regardless of whether they received credit for the courses. VA regulations require that all prior college credit be evaluated toward the student’s current degree plan and re-evaluated if/when the student changes programs or place of training. Students are not eligible to be certified for any course for which they already have received credit, even if the course was completed prior to the establishment of eligibility for benefits.
Important Notice: A VA file is not complete until all official high school, military (including DD214 member 4 copy) and college transcripts are evaluated by the Student Records office.
4. Meet with an Academic Counselor to be admitted into a VA Approved Program of Study.
Selection of Degree Program
In order to receive veterans affairs education benefits, VA regulations require that students have a “predetermined and identified educational, professional or vocational objective.” Benefits cannot be authorized for courses which do not lead to the completion of this objective. Courses which do not apply to the selected program are considered unrelated courses and are not eligible for benefits. Therefore, any such courses will not be certified. Since only required courses can be certified, students need to access their MyCollege account with their student ID and password to run a report and confirm all courses are required for their program of study before they register for classes.
Important Notice: Chapter 35 students must pursue a degree program to be eligible for certification in virtual/distance learning courses. Chapter 35 students seeking a diploma or certificate are not eligible to be certified for virtual courses, per federal regulations.
Per Federal guidelines, all developmental courses and labs need to be taken in seated classroom settings for VA certification. Developmental courses offered online as Internet and/or telecourse-blended seated classes with an online lab component are not eligible for certification for Veterans Affairs education benefits. Developmental courses are courses with numbers less than 100 such as DRE 096, DMA 020, etc.
Central Piedmont is approved for VA students to pursue dual degrees simultaneously. Diplomas and certificates do not qualify for the dual degree program. Students must meet certain criteria to be certified for Veterans Affairs benefits while seeking two degrees. Students desiring a second degree should contact the Veterans Affairs Education Benefits Office (VAEBO) for more information.
5. Submit forms for education benefits.
Students are required to complete and submit a VA Student Packet along with other required documents to the VAEBO. The VA Student Packets are located at cpcc.edu/veterans. Click on the FORMS tab and access the packet for the type of benefit that utilized at Central Piedmont. The original signed forms are required to be submitted to the Central Piedmont VA office.
6. Attend a mandatory VA Annual Certification Workshop to be eligible for certification.
Students are required to attend a VA Annual Certification Workshop each academic year to meet the requirements for VA certification of education benefits. The purpose of the annual workshop is to inform students of:
- VA regulations that may affect their eligibility for certification,
- VA and college attendance policies, and
- how to avoid financial liabilities.
The schedule for the VA Annual Certification Workshop is posted online at cpcc.edu/veterans.
After the Veterans Affairs Education Benefits Office has certified a student’s enrollment to the VA Regional Processing Office, students using Chapter 30, 1606 and 1607 benefits need to verify their hours have not changed. This action is required on the last calendar day of each month by calling 877.823.2378 or by using WAVE (Web Automated Verification of Enrollment) through benefits.va.gov/gibill/.
To prevent student debt, the Central Piedmont Veterans Affairs Education Benefits Office is responsible for transmitting all changes of enrollment, immediately to the VA Regional Processing Office. Students are responsible for notifying the Veterans Affairs Education Benefits Office immediately:
- when changes are made to their enrollment, and
- to complete a VA Schedule Adjustment Form.
All enrollment certifications are electronically transmitted through the VA Once Reporting System. The Department of VA transmits an electronic message directly to a students' Central Piedmont email account when any type of activity is transmitted by a VA Certifying Official to the VA Regional Processing office. A student's Central Piedmont email address is the official means of communication from the college. It is always important to notify the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Central Piedmont Veterans Affairs Education Benefits Office and the Student Records Department of address, phone number or email address changes to prevent delays in communication.
VA education benefits are discontinued for students who cease to make satisfactory progress toward completion of their program. Veterans and eligible dependents/spouses are required to seek academic assistance by contacting their instructor, counselor, advisor, or the Center for Military Families and Veterans before academic difficulties place them on “Probation” or “Suspension.” A grade point average at the end of each semester/term of 2.0 or higher is required to meet the criteria for satisfactory academic progress for VA eligibility.
Unsatisfactory Attendance: Unsatisfactory attendance in courses may result in an administrative withdrawal. An administrative withdrawal is reported to the VA Regional Office and education benefits are discontinued at that time. It is important for students to contact the VAEBO if they have absences of more than two weeks and/or have stopped attending.
Satisfactory Progress: Students receiving VA education benefits need to maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.000 to be considered making satisfactory progress.
Pass – A grade of “P” (Pass) is used for successful completion of DMA or DRE courses. The grade of “P” is included in a student’s SAP calculation as attempted and completed credit hours.
Fail - A grade of “R” (Fail) is used for unsuccessful completion of DMA or DRE courses. The grade of “R” is included in a student’s SAP calculation as attempted and not completed credit hours with a GPA of 0.0.
If a veteran student requesting benefits is currently on “Probation” or “Suspension”, a notification is sent to the student’s Central Piedmont email. If the student is on Suspension, eligibility is terminated until the student meets the Standards of Academic Progress required to regain eligibility for VA education benefits.
Unsatisfactory Progress, Probation: Students who fail to achieve a semester GPA of 2.0 are placed on academic probation for the next semester. Students on probation are required to attend an On Track meeting with a counselor in the Center for Military Families and Veterans during the probationary term before they can be certified.
Unsatisfactory Progress, Suspension: If a student on VA probation fails to achieve a semester GPA of 2.0 at the end of the first probationary semester, the student is reported to the Veterans Affairs Regional Office as terminated due to unsatisfactory progress. The student is no longer eligible for certification until both the term and cumulative GPA is brought up to a 2.0. VA Education benefits are discontinued by the Department of Veterans Affairs for any student reported for unsatisfactory progress. These standards are in accordance with the Department of Veterans Affairs Code of Federal Regulations, Title 38, Part 21, Sub-part D, Section 21.4277.
Failing Grades: Veteran students who complete a course but earn a grade of “F”, may still receive VA benefits. Any student who does not complete the final exam and does not attend class through the last scheduled day receives an unearned grade of “F”. The VA Regional Office is notified of any student who fails to attend class and fails to take the final exam and such students are classified as having received an over payment of funds. Any over payment is the student’s responsibility. VA students may receive benefits to retake a required course if they previously received a failing grade.
Note: Courses completed with a grade of “D” cannot be re-certified if the college accepts the grade toward graduation.
Graduation: Students applying for Graduation must inform the Central Piedmont VA Education Benefits Office once they have verified they are in their last semester at the college. If students need additional hours for full-time status, they can be certified for all courses (whether or not in program of study) they are taking during their graduating semester. This benefit may be used only once at Central Piedmont. Previously passed courses or courses transferred in from other colleges cannot be certified.
Changes to: Address/Phone Information, Enrollment Status, Program of Study
Changes to Address/Phone Number
To report a change of address/phone number, veteran students should update their address/phone number through the Student Records Department or at mycollege.cpcc.edu, email the Veterans Affairs Education Benefits Office at firstname.lastname@example.org and contact the VA Regional Office at 1.888.442.4551.
Veteran students are responsible for and required to notify the Central Piedmont Veterans Affairs Education Benefits Office immediately of any withdrawals, attendance issues, change of address, phone number or email address, pending or approved program changes, course substitutions and/or waivers and graduation. Veteran students are responsible to the US Department of Veterans Affairs for repaying over payments.
- Withdrawn, Non-Attendance: It is the student’s responsibility to report all withdrawals or attendance issues to the Central Piedmont Veterans Affairs Education Benefits Office immediately to prevent over payments. Students are required to complete a VA Schedule Adjustment form within five business days of the change in enrollment. The last date of attendance must be verified by the instructor for all withdrawals. VA students are allowed a one-time penalty exclusion by the VA Regional Processing Office for officially withdrawing up to six credit hours. Students can be paid up to the last instructor-confirmed date of attendance for those six hours. This exclusion must be approved and processed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. After that time, students must provide the VA Regional Processing Office in Buffalo, New York, with mitigating circumstances or repay any benefits received. If the student attends classes throughout the semester and receives a “W” (non-punitive) grade, this must be reported to the VA Regional Processing Office and is not part of the six-hour, one-time exclusion - even if a student can document attendance through the last day of class. Students are responsible for over payments resulting from non-punitive grades. Failure to notify the Central Piedmont VA Education Benefits Office of withdrawals and continued acceptance of educational funds may be considered fraud. Students are encouraged to register only for those classes they know they can complete.
- Withdrawn, Never Attended - A grade of “WN” is assigned when a student registers for a class and never attends the class prior to the census date. “WN” grades are not included in the SAP calculation as attempted credit hours or assigned any GPA rating. The Department of VA does not pay education benefits for any courses assigned a “WN” grade.
Change in Program of Study
Changes in program of study must be submitted to the VA Regional Processing Office by the Veterans Affairs Certifying Official. This is necessary because re-evaluation of all prior credits earned must be completed to ensure their full utilization. VA students can be certified only for courses fully accepted for their program of study as reflected in the college catalog. VA students desiring a program change should contact a VA Certifying Official, first. However, all program changes are initiated through Academic Counseling Services or a counselor in the Center for Military Families and Veterans and the required form must be completed:
- Application for Change of Program, VA Form 22-1995 (Veterans, National Guard/Reservists, CH 33 Transfer of Entitlement)
- Application for Change of Program, VA Form 22-5495 (Dependent/Spouse & Fry Scholarship).
This form is accepted only after the program code has been officially updated by an Academic or VA Counselor.
Students using Veterans Affairs (VA) educational benefits generally are approved for only one program of study at a time. However, exceptions can be made for students pursuing two programs at the same school, if the veteran can provide reasonable justification that both programs apply to a single career field.
Double Major or Dual Objective
- Students have a double major when they are enrolled in two degrees at the same time, at the same school.
- Students have a dual objective when they are enrolled in and pursue a degree and a Non-College Degree (NCD) (certificate or diploma) at the same time, at the same school.
Conditions Permitting Double Majors or Dual Objectives
- School policy allows double majors and/or dual objectives
- Both programs are approved at the school by the North Carolina State Approving Agency (NCSAA)
- Both programs reasonably can be said to lead to the same career field
NOTE: Veterans Affairs now states that a general Associate in Arts or Associate in Science program may be used as a double major with most other programs, as they can reasonably relate to any career field. Two Associate in Applied Science degrees still must be reasonably related to the same career field.
Conditions When Double Majors or Dual Objectives are Not Permitted:
- Students cannot enroll in two Non-College Degree programs (certificate or diploma)
- Ch35 students cannot be certified for a dual objective (i.e., a combined program with a degree and an NCD certificate or diploma program) - although, they can be certified for double majors
- If either program is not approved by the NCSAA
VA forms available at benefits.va.gov/gibill/ are:
- VA Form 22-0296 - Direct Deposit Enrollment
- VA Form 22-1995 - Application for Change of Program or Place of Training – Veterans, National Guard/Reservists, Transfer of Entitlement
- VA Form 22-5495 - Application for Change of Program or Place of Training for Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance, Fry Scholarship
American Legion: legion.org/
Apply for financial aid: fafsa.ed.gov
DD 214 online request: vetrecs.archives.gov
Department of Veterans Affairs: va.gov/
Disabled American Veterans: dav.org/
Education Benefits online application: ebenefits.va.gov
GI Bill Programs, Pay Rates, Applications, Forms: benefits.va.gov/gibill/
Returning service members: oefoif.va.gov/
VA Vocational Rehabilitation: benefits.va.gov/vocrehab/
Veterans’ Benefits Administration: vba.va.gov/