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Military Student Support Services

Veteran or Family Member

  • Research career options, schools and education options to narrow down what you want to do and where you want to go using the tools from the VA at:
    http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/get_started.asp
    • Do the career quiz using CareerScope.
    • Compare VA benefit programs; you may be eligible for more than one and will have to choose.
  • Apply to SouthArk.
  • You will also need the following:
    • Official copies of your high school transcripts or GED scores
    • Copy of your childhood immunization records
    • Copy of placement test scores (ACT, SAT) or you can take the COMPASS in our Testing Center. Ask your adviser for information.
    • Copy of your DD214
    • Official copies of any other college or military transcripts.
  • Meet with an adviser at SouthArk as soon as possible to discuss majors, degree plans, and success strategies.
    • Include in your talk any issues or situations that might interfere with your academic success such as work, family, medical visits, injuries and/or disabilities.
    • The adviser will refer you to a VA Peer Mentor. Meet with the VA Peer Mentor to discuss some of the processes and review your progress.
  • Apply for benefits through VONAPP, Veterans Online Application found on the VA website at:
    https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal?_nfpb=true&_nfxr=false&_pageLabel=Vonapp
    • When you are finished, there is a form that you will bring to the VA Rep at SouthArk.
  • Apply for Federal Financial Aid (Pell Grant, etc.) at: www.fafsa.gov (SouthArk's school code is 013858)


Turn in any additional documents requested by the school or the VA as soon as possible. If you need help finding them or turning them in, let us know.

VONAPP

The VONAPP (Veterans On Line Application) Click on Apply for Benefits and you will be brought here. This is an official U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website that enables service members, veterans and their beneficiaries, and other designated individuals to apply for benefits using the Internet.

vonapp

 Helpful User Information
 UserName:
 Password:
 Keep this page handy

Again, remember it will take some time to do the app. A copy of your DD214 will be helpful.
Keep your username and password on this page and keep it in a safe place so you will always be able to find it when you need it!
After completing the steps above, you can bring these completed documents to the VA representative at SouthArk located in Student Services office.

    • Certificate of Eligibility (or print off application from VONAPP)

Form 22-1990 (new students)
Form 22-1995 (returning students)

    • DD-214/NOBE (Notice of Benefits Eligibility)

IMPORTANT NOTE
Immediately upon enrolling in classes and/or changing your schedule (adding/dropping courses or completely withdrawing), send or bring a copy of your detailed statement to your VA Rep and let them know.

A detailed statement can be obtained from the campus bookstore or the school business office. The VA Rep will certify your classes accordingly. Keep a copy for your records.

You MUST notify your VA Rep of any changes in your schedule.

FIND the VONAPP!

https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal
 

find vonapp

At the top right corner of the page there is a Register button. Click there to set up your eBenefits account.

Or – click on the tab apply for BENEFITS. Here you will find links to eBenefits, VONAPP, Disability and other benefits.

find vonapp2

Transcripts and Credit for Prior Learning

capsWe understand the value of your training and experience. Our institution strives to accept military credit for academic credit whenever possible.

Our Registrar reviews all military transcripts to see whether anything can be counted as academic credit. Your adviser will explain the process and provide you with the forms you need.

We also understand that you may have credit from other institutions. We do not want you to have to repeat courses, so we will evaluate any credit that you earned from a regionally accredited university.

Please request your transcript from the following sources and have it sent to the address below:

Send all transcripts, both military and civilian, to the following address:

Office of Admissions
South Arkansas Community College
P. O. Box 7010
El Dorado, AR 71730

Other Sources for Education Funding

National Scholarships and Grants

Imagine America Foundation: Military Award Program
http://www.imagine-america.org/grantsformilitary

Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship information:
http://ualr.edu/admissions/vault/Fry_Scholarship.pdf

MilitaryScholar.org: This site offers a scholarship for children of military members.
www.militaryscholar.org

National Military Family Association: This site has useful information for military families as well as a scholarship program for spouses of military members.
www.nmfa.org

Veteran Related Scholarship Information:
http://www.hpu.edu/Military_Campus_Programs/MCP_Docs/Scholarship_info.pdf

Arkansas Specific Scholarships

Arkansas Community Foundation http://arcf.org/Scholarships/OurScholarships/tabid/426/Default.aspx
Arkansas Service Memorial Scholarship Endowment

    • $2,500
    • Children of Arkansans who lost their lives in service in the state, nation, or community

AT&T War Memorial Scholarship Fund

    • $2,500
    • Arkansas veterans enrolling full-time at an accredited two- or four-year college or university in the State of Arkansas

Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) www.adhe.edu. Application deadline is June 1. By applying at this site, you may qualify for the following:

    • AR Challenge (Lottery) Scholarship
    • Military Dependents (MDS) Scholarship
    • Go! Grant
    • Workforce Improvement Grant

AVETP Grant
http://www.arkansas.gov/esd/Programs/Veterans/AVETP.htm  

Provides funding for veterans to increase opportunities for assessment, training, supportive services, employment, and retained employment in Arkansas. Our local contact is Ms. Tammie McKinnon tmckinnonATsouthark.edu 864-8459

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment

Chapter 31

What is the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program?

The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program is authorized by Congress and is sometimes referred to as the Chapter 31 program.

The program assists Veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs. This includes completing a degree program that will help the veteran do that.

Services that may be provided by the VR&E Program include

    • Comprehensive rehabilitation evaluation to determine abilities, skills, and interests for employment
    • Vocational counseling and rehabilitation planning for employment services
    • Employment services such as job-training, job-seeking skills, resume development, and other work readiness assistance
    • Assistance finding and keeping a job, including the use of special employer incentives and job accommodations
    • On the Job Training (OJT), apprenticeships, and non-paid work experiences
    • Post-secondary training at a college, vocational, technical or business school
    • Supportive rehabilitation services including case management, counseling, and medical referrals
    • Independent living services for Veterans unable to work due to the severity of their disabilities

Go to the VA website for more information.
http://www.benefits.va.gov/vocrehab/  

How VA Processes Monthly Educational Benefits

  • Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB-AD/Chapter 30)
    • Monthly benefit paid to student
    • Student uses monthly benefit to pay tuition/fees to school
    • May be eligible for kicker if part of the original enlistment contract or part of a re-enlistment contract
    • Must certify enrollment with your VA Regional Office at the end of each month, by phone or on-line
  • Vocational Rehab and Employment Services (VRE/Chapter 31)
    • Tuition and fees paid directly to school
    • Books charged through school and paid directly to school
    • Monthly stipend to student
  • Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)
    • Tuition and fees paid directly to school
    • Book stipend paid to student, $41.67 per credit hour, up to $1000 available from August to August. Payment amounts vary based on the following:
      • Payment eligibility rating, a range of 40% to 100%
      • Enrollment status, full-time or less
    • Monthly housing stipend (BHA/BAH) paid to student. Payment amounts vary based on the following:
      • Payment eligibility rating, a range of 40% to 100%
      • Enrollment status, full-time or less, and enrolled more than 50% rate of degree pursuit
      • Enrolled in all on-line courses, and enrolled more than 50% rate of degree pursuit
      • If spouse is currently active duty, not eligible for monthly housing stipend
  • Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program
    • (DEA/Chapter 35)
    • Monthly benefit paid to student
    • Student uses monthly benefit to pay tuition/fees to school
  • Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR/Chapter 1606)
    • Monthly benefit paid to student
    • Student uses monthly benefit to pay tuition/fees to school
    • May be eligible for kicker if part of the original enlistment contract or part of a re-enlistment contract
    • Must certify enrollment with your VA Regional Office at the end of each month, by phone or on-line
  • Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP/Chapter 1607)
    • Monthly benefit paid to student
    • Student uses monthly benefit to pay tuition/fees to school
    • May be eligible for kicker if part of the original enlistment contract or part of a re-enlistment contract
    • Must certify enrollment with your VA Regional Office at the end of each month, by phone or on-line

To find your VA Regional Office, go to:
http://www.va.gov/directory/guide/division.asp?dnum=3&isFlash=0  

Other VA Educational Monthly Benefits Eligibility Policies and Considerations

1. SouthArk Payment Plan: VA checks may take time to process. Students can set up a payment plan to hold classes until the VA begins to pay.
     A. Once classes are scheduled, students can start a payment plan from their student account under View/Pay Bill
     B. Down payments and enrollment fees are processed immediately.
     C. Once VA payments begin, students must contact SouthArk's business office to switch payment options.
2. Students who are receiving benefits under Chapter 30, 1606, and 1607 must request payment at the end of each month by using one of the following:
     A. By calling 1-(877)823-2378, Automated Verification of Enrollment (W.A.V.E.)
     B. Going online at www.gibill.va.gov Click on verify attendance (W.A.V.E.) Tab then create account and submit enrollment for payment.
3. The Veterans Regional Office will not pay for the following:
     A. A course that does not pertain to the degree you are seeking
     B. On-line developmental (remedial) courses
     C. A course already passed at an acceptable level at SouthArk or any other school
         — (Check with your adviser: a grade of "D" may be an acceptable grade for your degree requirement.)
4. SouthArk reports regularly to the Veterans Regional Office. If any of the following actions result in your having been paid more than what you are eligible for, you may have to repay the amount in excess of your eligibility:
     A. Dropped class
     B. Term withdrawal
     C. NC (no-credit) grade in a non-developmental course
     D. Non-attendance grade (grade of F)
     E. Incomplete grade that is subsequently replaced with an NC (no-credit) grade
5. SouthArk also reports the following information to the Veterans Regional Office:
     A. Academic probation
     B. Suspension
     C. Graduation

Where to find more Information

www.militaryonesource.mil  

Military OneSource is a confidential Department of Defense-funded program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, Guard and Reserve Component members, and their families. Information includes, but is not limited to, deployment, reunion, relationship, grief, spouse employment and education, parenting and child care, and much more.

Military OneSource also offers confidential non-medical counseling services on-line, via telephone, or face to face. Eligible individuals may receive confidential non-medical counseling addressing issues requiring short-term attention, including everyday stressors, deployment and reintegration concerns, parenting, grief and loss, and marital problems as well as assistance with financial management, taxes, career services, health and wellness, and other issues. This personalized support is available 24/7 no matter where you live or serve.

www.vetsuccess.va.gov  

Veteran's employment resources. This site provides employment resources for veterans. It includes links to job search sites specific to veterans as well as other tools such as translating military skills into work related skills and creating resumes.

National Guard

The Guard Tuition Incentive Program (GTIP) is a state-funded award to assist soldiers with their educational expenses.

Application requirements have changed beginning with the Fall 2013 semester.

You may send an email to: (ng.ar.ararng.list.education-officialATmail.mil ) for the NEW Application dated 1 July or contact your Unit.

    • Fall term applications are accepted July 1 – August 15
    • Spring term applications are accepted November 1 – December 15

GTIP approval process:

    • If you are approved for GTIP assistance, the Arkansas National Guard will submit the names of eligible students to the AR Department of Higher Education (ADHE). ADHE will compile the names and send to SouthArk on a roster.
    • New Policy – AR National Guard will not pay GTIP funds for less than full-time (12 college credit hours).
    • Your official enrollment will be reported to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education as of SouthArk's 11th class day of the Fall or Spring semester. You will need to be enrolled full-time on the 11th class day to receive these funds.

For more information, visit the AR National Guard Education website or call the Education Services Officer at (501) 212-4021.

Active Duty and Reserve

    • Check with your unit for instructions on determining eligibility, benefits, and how to access them.
    • Research career options, schools, and education options to narrow down what you want to do and where you want to go using the tools from the VA at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/get_started.asp
      • Do the career quiz using CareerScope.
      • Compare VA benefit programs; you may be eligible for more than one and will have to choose.
    • Apply to SouthArk.
      http://www.southark.edu/index.php/home-apply-to-southark
      • Meet with an adviser to discuss majors, degree plans, and success strategies. Include in your talk any issues or situations that might interfere with your academic success.
    • You will also need the following:
      • Official copies of your high school transcripts or GED scores
      • Copy of your childhood immunization records
      • Copy of placement test scores (ACT, SAT) or you can take the COMPASS in our Testing Center. Ask your adviser for information.
      • Official copies of other college or military transcripts.
    • Apply for Federal Financial Aid (Pell Grant, etc.) at: www.fafsa.gov (SouthArk's school code is 013858)
    • When information from your unit is returned to you, review your eligibility information. Ask questions if you have any. We will help any way that we can to explain how your benefits will work here.
    • Turn in any additional documents requested by the school or your unit as soon as possible. If you need help finding them or turning them in, let us know.
    • Additional benefits may be available through state programs. Ask the VA Peer Mentor or representative on campus.

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