Here are the key items to know:
1. Apply to UC: http://www.ucclermont.edu/admissions/apply.html. Currently, you must apply into a degree program. Certificates or the police academy outside of the criminal justice degree program are not covered by the VA.
2. Once you’ve submitted your application, forward all high school, college, and military transcripts to UC Clermont. All branches of the military give college credit for your service. Visit these websites to request your military transcript be sent to UC Clermont:
• AARTS (Army, Army National Guard or Army Reserve: http://aarts.army.mil/)
• SMART (Navy & Marines: https://smart.navy.mil/smart/welcome.do)
• CCAF (Community College of the Air Force: http://www.au.af.mil/au/ccaf/transcripts.asp)
• USCG (Coast Guard: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cgi/forms/CG_FORM_1561.pdf)
3. I recommend you go to the VA’s GI Bill website at http://gibill.va.gov/ to apply for your VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) as soon as possible. Click on the “Apply for Benefits” button to complete the Veteran Online Application (VONAPP). This notifies the VA that you are seeking to use your benefits. They will make a determination based on your application, DD214, and other service documents as to your eligibility for benefits. This process can take some time so it is a good idea to do it as soon in the process as you can since the school cannot start your benefits until they have the COE from you. Do not give the original copy of your COE or any other official document to anyone. When these documents are requested, only provide a copy.
4. Receive your UC Clermont acceptance letter and return the ‘confirmation form’ with $50 fee to UC Clermont Student Services or online at: https://webapps.uc.edu/admissionsconfirmation/undergrad/Login.aspx
5. After you have confirmed your admission to UC Clermont, you must come see me to complete some forms. My office hours are listed below. Bring a copy of your VA COE. Two forms are required: the Annual Declaration of VA Benefits Use and the Veterans Benefits Statement of Understanding. The Annual Declaration form is required each year you attend UC Clermont. You will also be required to provide a copy of your COE to me the first time you apply. Once we submit your initial paperwork to the UC VA Certification office on main campus, you will need to call them in a week or so to determine the status of your benefits. Note that there is only one phone number to reach the Certification office (513-556-6811) so you may encounter a busy signal or message during their normal hours of 10AM to 4PM M-F. There is no voice mail for the number. So, in lieu of a phone call, you can email the Certification office at firstname.lastname@example.org to advise them you are a new Veteran student at UC Clermont and need to find out your status. Always include your student ID (M#) when emailing.
6. Apply for financial aid and grants. If you are getting GI Bill benefits for the first time, it will take some time (as much as 3 months) for the VA to process your claim. By applying for financial aid and grants, you can pay for your tuition, fees, and books up front, avoiding any late fees, and then repay any loans you get when your GI Bill payments start coming. In most cases, you do not have to repay grant money.
8. Receive your invitation to and attend the UC Clermont Orientation. Follow the provided web link in the invitation to schedule your orientation session or call 513.732.5319.
9. At the UC Clermont Orientation you will meet your academic advisor and sign up for classes.
Establishing your VA educational benefits will take some time, so please remain patient, knowing that we will process your paperwork as quickly as possible. For more information about using your benefits at UC Clermont, please visit: http://www.uc.edu/registrar/veterans_educational_benefits.html.
I also suggest that you work with our local Veterans’ Service Commission Office (VSO) to discuss FAQs and learn more about your package. ’s VSO website is: http://www.clermontcountyveterans.com/. Each county has its own VSO that you can locate on the internet with a Google search.
During each term you attend UC Clermont, the VA Certification office will send you a document that you’ll need to bring to my office here at Clermont (or you can leave at the main desk in Student Services). No appointment is necessary, just drop in. Note that I am part-time and only here Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8AM to 5PM. I’ll process the form and return it to the VA Certification office via our direct inter-office mail system. It is a good idea for you to make a copy of every document you receive regarding your benefits and keep it in a special file.
Director, Veteran Affairs
SCPO (E8), USNR Retired