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Military Student Services

WCU Military student holding WCU Flag

 

WELCOME

Western Carolina University is committed to providing exemplary support to members of the military and veterans, their spouses, and their college-aged children. We provide one-on-one admissions and financial aid counseling to ensure our military students are able to maximize their benefits and receive a high-quality, affordable education. We offer undergraduate and graduate programs at our main campus in Cullowhee, in Asheville at Biltmore Park, and online for those stationed around the globe. In addition to certifying eligible recipients for military and veteran education benefits, the Military Student Services staff will provide information and referral services, help you select the right program for your situation, connect you with other military students, and help you balance school requirements with military obligations. WCU is home to top-ranked programs in fields ranging from emergency and disaster management to emergency medical care to criminal justice.

If you need more information or help along the way, please contact Briana Ford, Director, Military Student Services, at 866.928.4723, 828.227.2135 or blford@wcu.edu.  

Military Student Handbook

Forever GI Bill Communications Toolkit

Distance Learning

Scholarships


TUITION ASSISTANCE

air force tuition assistance

  • Air Force Tuition Assistance
  • Air Force's Personnel Center
  • Apply for TA online using the Air Force Virtual Education Center. This must be done through the Air Force Portal
  • Details can be found on  the Air Force's "Virtual Education Center" Online TA Request
  • You must request TA between 45 & 7 days before the class begins
  • Notify WCU Military Student Services, each semester that you plan to use TA for your classes at military@wcu.edu or 828.227.2135.
  • Provide a copy of your TA Authorization Form AF-1227 to Military Student Services
  • There will be an estimate put on the student's account for the amount we expect to receive from the Military for tuition and fees only. This is just an estimate and may be adjusted based on what tuition assistance actually pays the school.
  • Any additional charges are the responsibility of the student and are due at the regular due dates.
  • If you receive a bill you believe to be incorrect, contact Briana Ford immediately. Do not ignore the bill.

army tuition assistance

  • Army Tuition Assistance
  • Download the GAE Hip Pocket Guide
  • Complete the application.
  • Apply and be accepted to the university.
  • Notify WCU Military Student Services, each semester that you plan to use TA for your classes ag military@wcu.edu or 828.227.2135.
  • Register for class at WCU.
  • Complete the Course Planner in Go Army Ed.
  • Register for the exact same class in goarmyed.com.
  • Available 60 days before the start of classes
  • TA applications MUST be authorized (funded) prior to the term start date.
  • There will be an estimate put on the student’s account for the amount we expect to receive from the Army for tuition only. This is just an estimate and may be adjusted based on what the Army actually pays the school.
  • Any additional charges are the responsibility of the student and are due at the regular due dates.
  • If you receive a bill you believe to be incorrect, contact Briana Ford immediately. Do not ignore the bill.

coast guard tuition assistance

  •  Coast Guard Tuition Assistance
  • Apply for TA online
  • Additional information can be found at https://myeducation.netc.navy.mil/g_user_guide.pdf
  • TA applications MUST be authorized (funded) prior to the term start date
  • Notify WCU Military Student Services, each semester that you plan to use TA for your classes at military@wcu.edu or 828.227.2135
  • Provide a copy of your TA Authorization Form to Military Student Services
  • There will be an estimate put on the student's account for the amount we expect to receive from the Military for tuition and fees only. This is just an estimate and may be adjusted based on what tuition assistance actually pays the school
  • Any additional charges are the responsibility of the student and are due at the regular due dates
  • If you receive a bill you believe to be incorrect, contact Briana Ford immediately. Do not ignore the bill

navy tuition assistance

  • Navy Tuition Assistance
  • Apply for TA online
  • Additional information can be found here
  • TA applications MUST be authorized (funded) prior to the term start date.
  • Notify WCU Military Student Services, each semester that you plan to use TA for your classes at military@wcu.edu or 828.227.2135
  • Provide a copy of your TA Authorization Form to Military Student Services
  • There will be an estimate put on the student's account for the amount we expect to receive from the Military for tuition and fees only. This is just an estimate and may be adjusted based on what tuition assistance actually pays the school.
  • Any additional charges are the responsibility of the student and are due at the regular due dates
  • If you receive a bill you believe to be incorrect, contact Briana Ford immediately. Do not ignore the bill

marine tuition assistance

  • Marine Tuition Assistance
  • Apply for TA online
  • Additional information can be obtained from your Education Services Office (ESO)
  • TA applications MUST be authorized (funded) prior to the term start date.
  • Notify WCU Military Student Services, each semester that you plan to use TA for your classes at military@wcu.edu or 828.227.2135
  • Provide a copy of your TA Authorization Form to Military Student Services
  • There will be an estimate put on the student's account for the amount we expect to receive from the Military for tuition and fees only. This is just an estimate and may be adjusted based on what tuition assistance actually pays the school.
  • Any additional charges are the responsibility of the student and are due at the regular due dates.
  • If you receive a bill you believe to be incorrect, contact Briana Ford immediately. Do not ignore the bill. 

 


VETERANS

Thank you for your service to our country.  We appreciate you! While our expertise is focused on VA Education Benefits, we are happy to assist you with navigating other aspects of the VA. WCU Military Student Services does not determine your eligibility for benefits, as this is a VA decision.  We will help you complete the correct forms, answer your questions, and assist you throughout the process.

General Overview of VA Education Benefits

Montgomery gi bill

  •  Montgomery GI Bill ALL STUDENTS USING THIS BENEFIT MUST CONTACT MILITARY STUDENT SERVICES EACH SEMESTER WHEN YOU REGISTER FOR CLASS TO CONFIRM YOUR BENEFITS.
  • Apply to use this benefit at vets.gov or complete the paper version VA form 22‐1990.
  • Provide a copy of your application and/or your certificate of eligibility to the certifying official.
  • This benefits is paid directly to the student monthly. The VA pays at the beginning of the month for the previous month.
  • All charges at the school are the responsibility of the student and due at the regular due dates.
  • PLEASE KEEP IN MIND: The student must call 1.877.823.2378 or log in to W.A.V.E to verify his/her attendance each month
  • If this is the first time you are using this benefit, it can take the VA up to 12 weeks to process your certification once it is submitted. You may not receive your housing allowance until mid to late semester. Budget accordingly.
  • If you have used this benefits previously at another school, please complete VA form 22‐1995 and provide a copy to the certifying official.
  • If you receive a bill you believe to be incorrect, contact Briana Ford immediately. Do not ignore the bill.

Post 9/11 GI Bill & Yellow ribbon PROGRAM

  • Post 9/11 GI Bill ALL STUDENTS USING THIS BENEFIT MUST CONTACT MILITARY STUDENT SERVICES EACH SEMESTER WHEN YOU REGISTER FOR CLASS TO CONFIRM YOUR BENEFITS
  • Apply to use this benefit at vets.gov or complete the paper version VA form 22‐1990.
  • Provide a copy of your application and/or your certificate of eligibility to the certifying official.
  • The VA will pay the school directly for the tuition and fees. Only the in-state rate is approved. The VA does NOT pay the out of state tuition and fee rate.
  • There will be an estimate put on the student’s account for the amount we expect to receive from the VA for tuition and fees only. This is just an estimate and may be adjusted based on what the VA actually pays the school.
  • With the exception of in-state tuition and fees, ALL charges at the school are the responsibility of the student and due at the regular due dates. This includes housing and meal plans.
  • You will be required to pay some fees up front and be reimbursed later. For example, you must pay the tuition deposit (currently $150) to ensure your place here at the school. This amount will be included in the tuition reported to the VA.
  • Chapter 33 does pay a housing allowance. It is paid directly to the student monthly. The VA pays at the beginning of the month for the previous month.
  • Chapter 33 does pay a book stipend. It is paid directly to the student once in the fall and once in the spring. The amount is based on the number of credit hours, up to $1000 per academic year.
  • PLEASE KEEP IN MIND: If this is the first time you are using this benefit, it can take the VA up to 12 weeks to process your certification once it is submitted. You may not receive your housing allowance until mid to late semester. Budget accordingly.
  • If you have used this benefits previously at another school, please complete VA form 22‐1995 and provide a copy to the certifying official.
  • If you are due a refund, please keep in mind we cannot refund you monies we have not yet received. Therefore, all or part of your refund may be delayed until the funds arrive from the VA. You should expect these funds to arrive mid to late semester. Budget accordingly.
  • The regulations for chapter 33 are complex and the benefits vary based on many different factors. Contact the VA directly for information on your specific benefits. 1.888.442.4551

Yellow Ribbon Program

  • WCU is proud to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program.  This program is designed to help cover the out of state tuition not covered by the Post 9/11 GI Bill. In general, a student must meet the following criteria to qualify for Yellow Ribbon funding
  • Student must be using Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits at the 100% level
  • Student must be charged out of state tuition
  • Student using Post 9/11 benefits at a rate less than 100% do not qualify.  Students charged in state tuition do not qualify.
  • Yellow Ribbon funds are limited and eligibility does not guarantee you will receive funding. Students who qualify will receive an email from the WCU Military  Student Services Office with instructions on how to apply.

RESERVE GI Bill

  • Reserve GI Bill ALL STUDENTS USING THIS BENEFIT MUST CONTACT MILITARY STUDENT SERVICES EACH SEMESTER WHEN YOU REGISTER FOR CLASS TO CONFIRM YOUR BENEFITS.
  • Procedures for applying for this benefit vary by branch. Please contact your ESO or Commander for details.
  • Provide a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility to the certifying official.
  • This benefits is paid directly to the student monthly basis. The VA pays at the beginning of the month for the previous month.
  • All charges at the school are the responsibility of the student and due at the regular due dates.
  • If this is the first time you are using this benefit, please remember it can take the VA up to 12 weeks to process your certification once it is submitted. Budget accordingly.
  • If you have used this benefit previously at another school, complete VA form 22-1995 and provide a copy to the certifying official.
  • If you receive a bill you believe to be incorrect,contact Briana Ford immediately. Do not ignore the bill.

Veterans choice act

  The Veterans Choice Act Legislation allows qualifying students to receive instate tuition rates, even if the student is not a state resident.  In general, to qualify the student must meet the following criteria

  • Student must be using GI Bill benefits, including MGIB, Post 9/11, and Reserve GI Bill.
  • Student is being charged out of state tuition.
  • Student begins school within three years of the service member’s separation from the military.

Students who appear to meet the eligibility requirements will receive an email from the Military Student Services Office with instructions on how to apply.  You may also contact Military Student Services and ask for a review of your eligibility.

Vocational rehabilitation

  • Vocational Rehabilitation ALL STUDENTS USING THIS BENEFIT MUST CONTACT MILITARY STUDENT SERVICES EACH SEMESTER WHEN YOU REGISTER FOR CLASS TO CONFIRM YOUR BENEFITS.
  • Once you are approved for this benefit and have been accepted at the university, go to military.wcu.edu and complete the “Military Education Benefits Notification” form.
  • Always follow the instructions provided by your case manager.
  • There will be an estimate put on the student’s account for the amount we expect to receive from the VA for tuition and fees only. This is just an estimate and may be adjusted based on what the VA actually pays the school.
  • You may charge supplies at the book store, if approved. Check with your case manager for details.
  • You will be required to pay some fees up front and be reimbursed later. For example, you must pay the tuition deposit (currently $150) to ensure your place here at the school. 
  • This amount will be included in the tuition reported to the VA.
  • If this is the first time you are using this benefit, please remember it can take the VA up to 12 weeks to process your certification once it is submitted. Budget accordingly.
  • If you are due a refund, please keep in mind we cannot refund you money we have not yet received. Therefore, all or part of your refund may be delayed until the funds arrive from the VA. You should expect these funds to arrive mid to late semester. Budget accordingly.
  • If you receive a bill you believe to be incorrect, contact Briana Ford immediately. Do not ignore the bill.

SPOUSES & DEPENDENTS

Thank you for your support of our service members.  We appreciate you, too! During your time as a Catamount, feel free to reach out to our office with any questions you may have. WCU Military Student Services does not determine your eligibility for benefits.  This is a VA decision.  We will help you complete the correct forms, answer your questions, and assist you throughout the process.

General Overview of VA Benefits for Spouses and Dependents

Dependents Education Assistance

  • Dependents Education Assistance ALL STUDENTS USING THIS BENEFIT MUST CONTACT MILITARY STUDENT SERVICES EACH SEMESTER WHEN YOU REGISTER FOR CLASS TO CONFIRM YOUR BENEFITS.
  • Apply to use this benefit at vets.gov or complete the paper version VA form 22-5490.
  • Provide a copy of your application and/or your certificate of eligibility to the certifying official.
  • This benefits is paid directly to the student on a monthly basis. The VA pays at the beginning of the month for the previous month.
  • All charges at the school are the responsibility of the student and due at the regular due dates.
  • If this is the first time you are using this benefit, please remember it can take the VA up to 12 weeks to process your certification once it is submitted. Budget accordingly.
  • We cannot discuss the student’s account, including benefits, unless the student has completed the release of student information form.
  • If you receive a bill you believe to be incorrect, contact Briana Ford immediately. Do not ignore the bill.

Post 9/11 GI Bill Transfer of Entitlement

  • Post 9/11 GI Bill Transfer of Entitlement ALL STUDENTS USING THIS BENEFIT MUST CONTACT MILITARY STUDENT SERVICES EACH SEMESTER WHEN YOU REGISTER FOR CLASS TO CONFIRM YOUR BENEFITS.
  • Service member transfers all or part of his/her Post 9/11 GI Bill to the dependent.
  • The dependent applies to use this benefit at vets.gov
  • Provide a copy of the application and/or student’s certificate of eligibility to the certifying official.
  • The VA will pay the school directly for the tuition and fees. Only the in-state rate is approved. The VA does NOT pay the out of state tuition and fee rate.
  • There will be an estimate put on the student’s account for the amount we expect to receive from the VA for tuition and fees only. This is just an estimate and may be adjusted based on what the VA actually pays the school.
  • With the exception of in-state tuition and fees, ALL charges at the school are the responsibility of the student and due at the regular due dates. This includes housing and meal plans.
  • You will be required to pay some fees up front and be reimbursed later. For example, you must pay the tuition deposit (currently $150) to ensure your place here at the school. This amount will be included in the tuition reported to the VA.
  • Chapter 33 does pay a housing allowance. It is paid directly to the student monthly. The VA pays at the beginning of the month for the previous month.
  • Chapter 33 does pay a book stipend. It is paid directly to the full-time student once in the fall and once in the spring.
  • PLEASE KEEP IN MIND: If this is the first time you are using this benefit, it can take the VA up to 12 weeks to process your certification once it is submitted. You may not receive your housing allowance until mid to late semester. Budget accordingly.
  • If you have used this benefits previously at another school, please complete VA form 22‐1995 and provide a copy to the certifying official.
  • If you are due a refund, please keep in mind we cannot refund you monies we have not yet received. Therefore, all or part of your refund may be delayed until the funds arrive from the VA. You should expect these funds to arrive mid to late semester. Budget accordingly.
  • The regulations for chapter 33 are complex and the benefits vary based on many different factors. Contact the VA directly for information on your specific benefits at 1.888.442.4551
  • If you receive a bill you believe to be incorrect, contact Briana Ford immediately. Do not ignore the bill.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

I should have received a payment from the VA this month.  Where is it?

  • We make every effort to process your certification to the VA in a timely manner.  Unfortunately, once we send it to the VA, it is out of our hands and we can no longer see the status of your certification.  Here are some tips to check on your payment:
  • Check with the Certifying Official to be sure you have completed all the requirements and your certification as been processed.
  • Is this the first time you are using the benefit?  It can take the VA up to 3 months to process your payment for the first time.
  • Create an Ebenefits account. You can check your payment status anytime!  
  • Call the VA and ask for the status of your certification. 1.888.442.4551

Where’s my refund?

  • The VA does not disburse funds on the same timeline as the Department of Education.   We cannot issue your refund until all the funds have arrived.  The VA generally pays mid-to-late semester (October for fall & March for Spring).  In some cases, you may receive a partial refund when Financial Aid processes them and a second refund later in the term when the VA pays.

I am being deployed and cannot finish my semester.  What should I do?

  • First, contact Military Student Services to discuss your options right away. Our office can work with you to find the best solution for you.  Second, notify your professors.  Finally, follow through with the instructions from Military Student Services.

I have training and I am going to miss class.  What should I do?

  • Notify your professor as soon as possible. It is helpful if you let them know at the beginning of the semester this might happen.  WCU is a military friendly school.  If you need additional assistance or documentation for your professor, contact Military Student Services.  While the final decision is up to the professor, we can advocate on your behalf.
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