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Registration & Records
flagInstructions for Veterans

Welcome! We're delighted that you have chosen Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) to continue your education, and want to ensure that you get the most from your VA benefits. To help you understand the process and your responsibilities, we've prepared the following information. Please read it carefully as it contains important information that will affect your benefits.  Also note that the new Post-9/11 GI Bill has recently gone into effect, and this may change your benefits.

Should you have any questions on enrolling at RVCC, please feel free to contact Elizabeth Sullivan, at (908) 526-1200, ext. 8452, or email esulliva@raritanval.edu.

I. GETTING STARTED

Submission of Required Documents? You must submit one or more of the following documents to RVCC. The documents required will depend on your status (ex: discharged service member, active reserves, dependent of disabled or deceased veteran). If you are not sure of your status, contact the Veterans Administration directly at the phone number or web site given below. 

A. Application for Educational Benefits? The Application is available at RVCC or may be downloaded from the Veterans'Administration Web site. The Application is required for all VA students except those in the Vocational Rehabilitation program and dependents of disabled or deceased veterans. New Jersey Army National Guard students who are not applying for VA benefits don't have to submit this form. 

B. DD-214 (Discharge Papers) ? It is required that a copy of the DD-214 be submitted with the Application for Benefits for most VA applicants. This copy must be certified by your local county clerk's office of residence(notarized copies are not accepted).

Somerset County Clerks Office
Somerset County Administration Building
20 Grove Street, 1st Floor
Somerville, New Jersey 08876
(908) 231-7006

Hunterdon County Clerks Office
71 Main Street
     (directly across from the UnionHotel)
Flemington, New Jersey 08822
(908) 788-1221

The DD-214 is required of all VA applicants except members of the active reserves (see paragraph C below), veterans in theVocational Rehabilitation program (see paragraph D below), and dependents of disabled/deceased veterans (see paragraph E below). 

C. Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE) - For members of the active reserves. Forms are available at your unit. Ask your Commanding Officer. 

D. Authorization and Certification of Entrance or Reentrance into Rehabilitation and Certification of Studies - For disabled veterans. Forms are available at the VA Regional office in Newark, New Jersey (please see address below). 

E. Certificate of Eligibility - For dependents ofdisabled or deceased veterans. Forms are available at VA Regional Office in Newark, New Jersey (see address below).  Post-9/11 GI Bill applicants are required to submit a Certificate of Eligibility in order to be certified for benefits.

F. Commander's Certification - For New Jersey Army National Guard members who wish to enroll tuition-free (a maximum of 16 credits). Forms are available at your unit.

G. Visiting Students - A statement from your home college's VA Coordinator is required, stating that the course(s) you wish to take at RVCC are applicable to your program of study at your home college.

II. PAYMENTS AND FINANCIAL ISSUES

A. Payment of Tuition and Fees
You will receive payment of VA benefits directly from the VA, after RVCC certifies your enrollment and the VA determines your eligibility. Please note that the process for the VA to determine eligibility may take from 6-10 weeks from the time your paperwork is received.

Since the VA pays benefits directly to the veteran, most students are required to pay tuition and fees at the time they register for classes. The following exceptions may apply: 

  1. New Jersey Army National Guard members attending under the Tuition Waiver program. Note: the tuition waiver covers only the first 16 credits in a semester. You are responsible for all fees and for any additional credits.
  2. VA Vocational Rehabilitation students. The College will invoice the VA for your expenses, after all required documents are received by RVCC. 
  3. Deferments of Tuition and Fees for Students Applying for Financial Aid - Available to any eligible student through the Financial Aid Office at the College. Do not assume that you are not eligible for financial aid. Student Loans are usually available to students who do not qualify for need-based aid. Please inform the Financial Aid staff member with whom you speak that you will be receiving VA benefits and are interested in a deferment. If you apply for a loan in order to obtain a deferment, you do not have toa ccept the funds, but please make sure you understand the terms of the loan and the deferment. Any student who wishes to apply for financial aid is required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is required of all New Jersey Army National Guard personnel applying for the Tuition Waiver program. Deferments will depend upon the results of the FAFSA. To ensure ample time for completion and processing of financial aid paperwork, all required documents should be submitted at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester you wish to enroll. 
  4. For more information on filing for Financial Aid benefits, please contact the RVCC Office of Financial Aid at (908) 526-1200 extension 8273
III. CERTIFICATION OF ENROLLMENT

A. Certification by RVCC -  RVCC begins certifying VA students whose files are complete following the 10th day of class. It takes at least two weeks to complete the certification process. RVCC will mail you a confirmation of your certification upon completion of the review of your records, which will indicate the number of credit hours you've been certified for during the semester. 

B. Retroactive Certification - If you've first applied for VA benefits at RVCC for the current semester, but previously attended RVCC, we can retroactively certify you for your enrollment during the past year. For example, if you apply for benefits for the Fall semester, but attended the previous summer or spring semester, we can certify you for those periods. However, we will not be able to certify you for the previous Fall semester. 

C. Certification for Degree Requirements Only - Please be advised that RVCC can only certify you for courses that are required in your major course of study, remedial or refresher courses. The VA will not pay benefits on any courses that don't meet the above criteria. The VA calculates the amount of your benefits based on the number of credits you are taking that satisfy degree or certificate requirements. This includes non-credit developmental courses. The College certifies only these credits. You are welcome to register for courses that are not required for your program of study, but the College cannot report these to theVA. To ensure that you register for qualified courses, it's highly recommended that you consult a counselor in the Office of Advising & Counseling each semester. You may arrange an appointment by calling (908) 218-8860. 

D. Repeat Courses - The VA will pay for a course you repeat if you've received a failing grade on your first attempt. If you receive a failing grade on the second attempt, the VA will not pay for another attempt. The VA also doesn't pay for courses you originally passed, but wish to repeat for a better grade.

IV. CHANGES IN YOUR ENROLLMENT If you change your enrollment or major concentration, you must notify the VA Coordinator immediately: 

A. Enrollment Verification
Unless you receiving benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the VA requires that you verify your enrollment with them on a monthly basis by calling theVA at 1-877-823-2378 or visiting www.gibill.va.gov and following the link to the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE).

B. Change in Enrollment for Semester

  1. Add a course. 
  2. Drop a course. 
  3. Withdraw completely from the College. 
We are required to notify the VA of any changes in your enrollment. Changes in enrollment may increase or decrease your VA benefits. If changes are not reported to the VA in a timely manner, an overpayment may occur and you will be responsible for repaying the amount of the overpayment. 

C. Change of Program
You must also report any change in your major or specialization to the VA Coordinator. The VA allows you one change without question. Subsequent changes may not be approved. 

D. Future Semesters 
Continuous Enrollment  - If order for your enrollment to be certified for a succeeding semester (not counting summer sessions), you need to submit a copy of your schedule to Elizabeth Sullivan (Advising and Couseling Office) or Dan Palubniak (Enrollment Services Office).

Break in Enrollment - If you "stop out" for one or more semesters (not counting summer sessions), and subsequently return to the College, you must notify the VA Coordinator in order to reactivate the certification process. Note: Since enrollment in a summer session is optional, non-attendance in the summer is not considered a break in enrollment. Therefore, if you are enrolled in the spring semester, and choose not to enroll for the summer, we will automatically certify you for the following Fall semester when you enroll. 

V. CONTACT INFORMATION - If you have questions, please contact the appropriate office below: 

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION CONTACT INFORMATION
For Questions OnVA Benefits,Eligibility, and Payments:

Phone: 1-888-442-4551 ~  http://www.gibill.va.gov/  
Regional Office: 
Department of Veterans Affairs 
20 Washington Place Newark, NJ 07102 

RARITAN VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE CONTACT INFORMATION

For Questions on Enrollment Certification, College Admissions, and Programs:

Elizabeth Sullivan, (908) 526-1200, ext. 8452, or email esulliva@raritanval.edu
Dan Palubniak, (908) 526-1200, ext. 8206, or email dpalubni@raritanval.edu


 

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