Veterans Educational Benefits FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1:  Does the VA pay the school for my tuition?

For veterans using the Chapter 33 Post 9/11, the VA will pay whatever percentage of tuition that you are eligible for directly to the school. The Chapter 33 book stipend and housing allowance is paid directly to the veteran. For all other chapters, you will receive a monthly check at the end of each month. Out of this monthly check you are responsible to pay for your tuition and books.

Question 2:  Can I apply for other sources of financial aid?

Yes. Veterans are still eligible to apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In fact, we strongly encourage that you apply in the event that you need additional financial assistance while at Eastern Florida State College. Applying for financial aid can also serve as backup for payment at the college in the odd event that your benefits are delayed.

Question 3:  How long does it normally take to start receiving checks from the VA?

It normally takes the VA 60 days to process a new veteran. It normally takes 30 to 45 days to process a veteran who is returning to school and an educational assistance program.

Question 4:  Do I have to pay my tuition before I start receiving my VA checks?

The school has a VA deferment that will postpone you having to pay your tuition for up to 60 days in Fall and Spring and 30 days in summer. You can use this deferment once each academic year and the academic year starts in Fall. Just remember that if you use your one deferment in the Fall, you will have to pay your fees in Spring and Summer on the fee due date. 

Question 5:  Does EFSC have a veterans club for students?

The EFSC Collegiate Veterans Society is open to any patriotic individuals who wish to participate. Some of our goals are:

  • To promote veteran awareness throughout the college and community
  • To facilitate the transition from military to civilian life and create camaraderie for our veteran population
  • To help the community through volunteerism and service learning

The Cocoa Campus Chapter meets the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month at 3 PM in the Military & Veterans Service Center, Building 11, Room 113. If you are interested in participating or joining, contact Kim Paige at 321-433-7140 or paigek@easternflorida.edu 

The Palm Bay Campus Chapter meets the last Wednesday of each month at 3 PM in Building 2, Room 338. The Palm Bay Chapter contacts are Keith Pereira at 321-433-5245 or pereirak@easternflorida.edu and Dustin Files at 321-433-5153 or filesd@easternflorida.edu

To learn more, visit the Cocoa Collegiate Veterans Society page at www.facebook.com/efscveterans. The Palm Bay Chapter facebook group can be found at www.facebook.com/groups/PalmBayASV

Question 6:  Can I take any classes I want to take and receive VA benefits?

In order to be certified for VA educational benefits, the VA requires that you be pursuing an approved program of courses leading to a degree or vocational objective. Random selection of classes for VA payment is prohibited. A EFSC advisor can help you choose courses that meet the VA requirements.

Veteran or dependents of veterans using VA educational benefits for a PSAV certificate program cannot be certified for any online or hybrid courses. The VA requires all PSAV programs to be certified in clock hours so only in-classroom classes can be certified for VA educational benefits.

Question 7:  Will the VA pay for developmental education preparatory classes?

The VA will pay for developmental education classes as long as you have not previously taken and passed a higher math course, you are required to take the common placement test, and your test scores determine that you are required to take developmental courses.

If you entered 9th grade in a Florida public school in the 2003-2004 school year, or any year thereafter, and earned a Florida standard high school diploma or if you are a student who is serving as an active duty member of any branch of the United States Armed Services, you are not required to take the common placement test and shall not be required to enroll in developmental education instruction in a Florida College System institution.  VA education benefits can only be certified for courses that are required for your program.  If you are not required to take the placement test, you are not required to take developmental education classes.  This means that we cannot certify you for developmental education courses if you fall into this situation.

If you meet the criteria for the VA to certify you for developmental courses you will need to have a prep memo filled out by an academic counselor noting the developmental education preparatory classes you are required to take due to College Placement test scores. This prep memo must be signed by the academic counselor and yourself. The VA does not allow us to certify veterans for online developmental preparatory classes.

Question 8:  How long do I have to get transcripts sent to EFSC for evaluation?

The VA requires that we report any prior credits from any college you have previously attended. This also includes your DD214 and CLEP tests. The VA allows us to certify you up to a maximum of two terms without reporting prior credits. If at the end of the two terms you are still missing a transcript, we will not be able to certify you until this is received and evaluated by the college.

Question 9:  Can I receive VA benefits for taking online or TV courses?

In some cases the answer is Yes, except for online prep and PSAV certificate programs classes. 

Veteran or dependents of veterans using VA educational benefits for a PSAV certificate program cannot be certified for any online or hybrid courses. The VA requires all PSAV programs to be certified in clock hours so only in-classroom classes can be certified for VA educational benefits.

Question 10:  How does the VA Work Study Program work?

The VA Work Study is a program that allows veterans to work under the supervision of a VA employer while providing VA outreach services, preparing and processing VA paperwork, and working at a VA medical facility or performing other VA approved activities. You can work up to 25 hours per week earning minimum wage, but it is not taxable income. Veterans are required to be training at ¾ time in order to be eligible for the work study program.

Question 11:  Where may I obtain more information about VA Benefits?

To speak with a VA Benefits Counselor concerning your questions or claim please call the VA toll free number at 1-888-442-4551. Telephone service is available Monday through Friday from 8:30am – 4:30pm. The best time to call is early in the morning. Have your claim number (social security number) available. Remember to obtain the name of the VA Benefit Counselor you are talking with.

Question 12:  Does the VA Certifying Official at the college make the final determination of eligibility?

No. The final determination of eligibility and payment of VA Education Benefits is made by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Military & Veterans
Service Center

321-433-7880

MVRS@easternflorida.edu

Locations & Hours

Monday-Thursday, 8 AM - 6 PM

Cocoa Campus
Building 11, Room 113
1519 Clearlake Rd.
Cocoa, FL 32922

Melbourne Campus
Bldg. 1, Rm. 140
3865 North Wickham Road
Melbourne, FL 32935