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.
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.
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 debt if you change your courses.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 the 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.
Military transcripts can be requested from the Joint Services Transcripts website.
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.