Veteran Services

Veteran Services

Services

Hinds Community College recognizes the sacrifice and service of members of the United States Armed Forces and their families. We strive to provide superior service and support to our Veterans and their dependents. Our office is able to assist Veteran students and qualifying dependents use their benefits to cover college expenses. Feel free to contact the Office of Veterans Services for assistance with:

  • Changing careers
  • Upgrading job skills
  • Preparing to transfer to a four-year institution
  • Using your educational benefits
  • Getting involved at Hinds Community College

As a military student, Hinds Community College recognizes the personal sacrifices that you have made for your country. Whether you served on the front lines or were holding the home together while a loved one was away, we understand that it takes dedication and commitment to endure these hardships. Now let Hinds CC give you the assistance you may need in getting started with college.

By recognizing the unique needs of Hinds Community College’s military students and their families, the Office of Veteran Services has been established to assist service members and the families gain the most from their educational experience.

The Office of Veterans Services provides assistance and support to promote a smooth transition from the military to the academic environment. Veteran Services often collaborates with department’s district wide to assist veterans with services which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Military transfer credits
  • Residency status
  • Academic accommodations
  • Withdrawals due to deployments
  • Referrals to on and off-campus service providers

At Hinds CC, we are dedicated to accompanying you every step of the way to meet your educational goals. Just as you have given us your best in service, it’s our turn to give you our best in higher education. As a first step, we can help you navigate the process of accessing your GI Bill Benefits.

Resources

Benefits

Most of Hinds CC’s programs, in accordance with Veterans Administration (VA) criteria, are approved by the Mississippi Veterans’ Affairs Board’s State Approving Agency and will lead to a college degree or approved certificate. A veteran can use any of the VA education programs, receive Federal Tuition Assistance, and other outside scholarship programs to assist with paying for college.

There are many different types of VA education programs and the benefits associated with each program vary from program to program. VA education programs mostly included a monthly housing allowance but in some cases, they can pay for tuition, books, and tutoring. In certain circumstances, educational benefits may be transferred to a dependent. All VA education programs are awarded by the Veterans’ Administration. For information regarding the VA process for educational benefits and to enroll in the VA’s GI Bill or other education programs please visit the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website or call 1-888-442-4551.

At each Hinds CC location, there is an academic advisor available to help you learn about Hinds CC and direct you to community and educational resources. However, the Veterans’ Service Office is located on our Raymond Campus. Veterans need to be aware that in most cases, Hinds CC’s concentration areas and learning experiences are approved for VA programs, but it’s always good to check with the Veteran Services Office to be sure that all courses are approved. Veterans receiving educational benefits must comply with Hinds CC and VA expectations, regulations, and Federal laws.

If at any time you need help applying for the VA education programs, discerning VA correspondence, or navigating the VA process please call Hinds’ CC Veteran Services or reach us by email at VeteranServices@hindscc.edu.

Veterans with disabilities may be entitled to additional benefits. To learn about VA vocational rehabilitation benefits call 1-800-827-1000.

Certification Request

BEFORE completing this Certification Request please do the following:

  1. Register for specific classes.
  2. Turn in transcripts from EVERY institution you have EVER attended.
  3. Turn in a copy of your VA Certificate of Eligibility OR your CH 31. Authorization (VA students only). Contact the VA at 1-888-442-4551 for details.
  4. Know your VA File Number (VA students only). Contact the VA at 1-888-442-4551 for details

If you do not complete these steps before submitting this form we cannot send enrollment reports to the VA or your Tuition Assistance provider. Instead you will be contacted by our office and asked to resubmit the Authorization Form after you have completed the above steps.

Registration

When registering for classes there are guidelines posted by the Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs that you must follow to receive your Education Benefits. If you do not follow these guidelines the Office of Veteran’s Benefits will not be able to certify one or more of the classes you are enrolled in. In addition to certifying classes, the Office of Veteran’s Benefits is responsible for reporting changes in your enrollment. You should promptly notify the Office of Veteran’s Benefit’s to prevent overpayments. Generally, the VA cannot pay for:

  • Courses that do not lead to the declared degree at the Institution being attended.
  • Courses you complete but receive a grade which will not count towards graduation.
  • Courses that you do not attend.

Once an overpayment is made a debt is created to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs can pursue this debt by:

  • Add interest charges and collection fees to your debt.
  • Withhold future benefits and apply them to your debt.
  • Turn your debt over to a private collection agency.
  • File suit in federal court to collect your debt.
  • Withhold approval of your VA home loan guarantee.
  • Collect the debt from your federal income tax refund

FAQs

How do I start my VA benefits at Hinds CC?

Before you can start your benefits at Hinds you have to apply for benefits with the VA. Apply for Eligibility with the VA early. It can take the VA 4-6 weeks to process your education benefit claim before they begin processing your enrollment at Hinds CC. After you have applied for benefits pick up a Hinds CC Application for Veterans’ Benefits at any campus or on required forms section on the Hinds CC website under Veterans Services.

Can I receive Financial Aid and VA benefits at the same time?

Yes, many veterans may be eligible for Financial Aid as well as VA Benefits. In fact it is encouraged to apply for Financial Aid to help with books and supply costs. You can apply for Financial Aid on the Federal Student Aid website website.

I am a Post 9/11 recipient and I received a letter from the VA saying Hinds CC reported I was not charged tuition and fees. How can I fix this?

The original report with no charged tuition and fees informs the VA of your enrolled hours so that they can award the book stipend to you in a timely manner. A second report with your tuition and fee charges is sent to the VA after the last day to drop/add a course. After that date Hinds CC will report your tuition and fees to the VA. This is done to prevent the VA from charging you with a debt if you change your courses.

Why does the VA show I’m enrolled in 9 hours when I’m actually enrolled in 15 hours?

There are several reasons for the VA to do this, the most common being:

  • Modular Terms
  • Unverifiable Courses
  • Repeated Courses

Modular Terms occur when there are different start and end dates within a semester. At Hinds CC there are several modular terms each semester, these are full terms, online terms, and eight week terms. If you are enrolled in 9 hours during the full term and 6 hours during the eight week term the VA may show as only being enrolled in 9 hours until the eight week term begins.

Unverifiable Courses are courses that are not in line with your pursuit of a degree at Hinds CC. If you are taking courses that are not required to graduate at Hinds CC, the VA will not count them as cares taken and they will not be calculated in your benefit payments.

Repeated Courses are similar to unverifiable courses in that they are not required to graduate at Hinds CC. Repeated courses can be courses that you have already passed or courses that are taken to satisfy a need that has already been met. For example if your degree requires a Fine Arts elective and you have already taken Music Appreciation, then Art Appreciation would be considered a “Repeated Course” because the need has already been met.

My prior school won’t release my transcript. Can I still get VA education benefits at Hinds CC without my transcript?

No the VA requires that an institution has ALL official transcripts before the school can verify your enrollment to the VA. If you cannot get your transcript from your prior school, you should contact the prior school and resolve the reason they are holding your transcript. You will not be able to receive VA benefits at Hinds CC until the official transcript is on file.

I have not received my VA payment. When can expect it to be sent to me?

The VA sends all payments to the students and in the case of Post 9/11 recipients they will send one payment (tuition and fees) to the school. You will receive payments directly from the VA for Monthly Housing Allowance or Book and Supply stipends. The school cannot issue payments on the VA’s behalf. If you are having issues with VA payments or simply wish to find out the status of your payment you should contact the VA directly at 1-888-442-4551 or you can contact them through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website.

The VA has not received anything from Hinds CC about my enrollment. When will Hinds CC send my enrollment to the VA?

It can take the VA 4-6 weeks to update their records, from the time the school sends the information to them. Please plan ahead and allow for this when applying to use VA benefits at Hinds CC. Hinds CC Veteran Services staff recommends that all VA and Veteran Services paperwork be turned 6 weeks prior to the first day of class. Anything between 6 weeks and the first day of classes will result in a delay of benefits.

I am taking courses and planning to transfer to (any university) However, the VA still does not approve them. Why aren’t they approved?

If the enrolled classes are not part of the degree plan published by Hinds CC or in the Articulation Agreement then they will not be counted. Even if the university you plan to attend says they will accept them. The understood intent of the VA education benefits is to assist you with graduation at your current school not your anticipated school. The Hinds CC published degree plan is the only reference that can be used by Hinds CC students.

For Career/Technical Programs the Hinds CC catalog will be the reference for allowed courses.

For Academic programs with intent to transfer to a Mississippi public 4-yr university, Hinds CC uses the Articulation Agreement between Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and the Mississippi State Board for Community and Junior Colleges. This agreement can be found on the SBCJC website.

For Academic programs with intent transfer to a private university, you will have to check with the university to see if they have an agreement with Hinds CC in your particular major. If they do not then you will need to enroll under General Studies and carefully plan out each semester so that your classes match both General Studies and your anticipated major.

How do I get access to my military transcript?

Military transcripts can be requested from the Joint Services Transcripts website.

How much can I expect to receive each month for my VA benefits?

VA benefits are paid differently based on the different chapters of the GI Bill. You can view a list of the rates on the GI Bill Rate Tables website.

Contact

Bryan Grove
Asst. Dir. of Veterans Services
Bryan.Grove@hindscc.edu
P: 601-857-3226

Bryan Spurlock
Outreach Coordinator &
School Certifying Official
Bryan.Spurlock@hindscc.edu

Tara Neblett
Veterans Services Advisor &
School Certifying Official
Tara.Neblett@hindscc.edu