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Veterans Services FAQ


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I just got out of the service, and I am interested in going to college; where do I start?

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Thank you for your military service! Whether starting college for the first time or re-entering college, ECC welcomes veterans home to a great college experience. Expect personalized attention to help you select a program of study which incorporates the skills you learned in the military with work in a field you enjoy. If you have never used your benefits, you should:

  1. Complete the application for benefits at benefits.va.gov/gibill.
  2. Complete an application for admission.
  3. Register for classes.
  4. Submit the following to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office:

Submit your paperwork “The Veteran and Military Benefit Activation Form” to Financial Aid Office before ECC’s payment due date to secure tuition payment of classes and BHA/MHA. To see how much your BHA/MHA will be, visit Illinois BAH (Basic Allowance Housing) Rates. All items must be submitted to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office via email at financialaid@elgin.edu or call 847-214-7360 with any questions.

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How will my tuition be paid?

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IVG, ING, the MIA/POW Scholarship, and GI Bill® Chapter 33 (Post 9/11) will send tuition and/or fee payments directly to the school.

  • If you are not receiving 100 percent of tuition coverage from Chapter 33, you are responsible for any balance due to ECC.
  • The IVG and ING will cover tuition charges and the once-per-term registration fee. The student is responsible for all other non-tuition-based fees. 
  • The MIA/POW Scholarship does not cover the once-per-term registration fee. 
  • If you are receiving other benefits (s), you must complete a payment plan to secure your classes for that semester. It is recommended that all students apply for federal student aid.
  • Fees – Please note that if you owe more than $10 in fees and do not pay your balance, you will be dropped from your classes.
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What if I have general questions about veterans affairs, who do I contact?

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Anitra King, Career & Student Veteran Success Specialist, can be contacted at 847-214-7531 or emailed at aking@elgin.edu. She is located in Building F, Room F207. Anitra can assist you with:

  • Your application for benefits
  • Questions you may have regarding your benefits
  • Instructor and class issues and concerns
  • Career planning
  • Any other concerns you may have
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Who is the certifying official at Elgin Community College?

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Ryan Most, financial aid advisor & VA certifying official. He can be contacted at 847-214-7360 or by email at rmost@elgin.edu. He is located in the Financial Aid Office, Building B, Room B156. He is available to certify, answer questions on any military benefit: BHA/MHA, IVG, ING, TA, and financial aid awards / scholarships. You must submit paperwork for each term or semester.

 

Verification of Enrollment Status

  • Chapter 31, Chapter 32 & Chapter 33 - ECC will certify monthly that you are still enrolled. If you make any changes to your schedule, please update that information with the Financial Aid Office to avoid any overpayments or delays in receiving monthly stipends.
  • Chapter 30, Chapter 35, Chapter 1606 & Chapter 1607 - You, the student, must complete the certification monthly by visiting gibill.va.gov/wave to avoid any overpayments or delays in receiving monthly stipends. By telephone, only this agency is not allowing you to certify by the internet. The number to call to verify your enrollment status is 877-823-2378.
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What are other military benefits available for veterans at ECC?

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Federal Benefits

888-442-4551

benefits.va.gov/gibill

  • Chapter 30 - Montgomery - GI Bill - (until 1985)
  • Chapter 31 - Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Chapter 33 - Post 911
  • Chapter 35 - Survivors’ and Dependence Educational Assistance Program
  • Chapter 1606 - Montgomery Selected Reserve

State Benefits

Illinois Student Assistance Commission

800-899-4722

isac.org

  • Illinois National Guard Program - ING
  • Illinois Veteran Grant Program - IVG

MIA/POW Scholarship

217-782-3564

MIA/POW Scholarships are for spouses and dependents of MIA/POW military service members.

Need more information on these benefits?

 

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How long will the process take?

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Allow 30 to 60 days from when you complete your veteran application at VA Benefits Education and Training.

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What if I am not sure which benefits from using?

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  • Visit your VA education benefits online with GI Bill® benefits. 
  • Visit the GI Bill® Comparison Tool and enter the requested information to compare benefits.
  • Schedule an appointment with the Veteran Certifying Official at 847-214-7360.
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How can I meet other students who are veterans at ECC?

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ECC sponsors a club just for veterans - Military Branches United (MBU). Stop by the Veterans Resource Center, Building F, Room F201, and ask about MBU, and they will have information on where and when the club meets. Open Monday to Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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When will my housing benefits/stipends start with Chapter 30, 33, or 1606?

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  • A monthly housing allowance (MHA) or educational stipend is paid directly to the student at the beginning of each month for the previous month.
  • Your housing allowance/ stipend may not be for the full amount in certain months because benefits start on the day you start school. For example: If classes begin August 22, your September stipend will be for the nine (9) days you attended in August.
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How do I contact the certifying official at Elgin Community College?

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The official certifying works in the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, Building B, Room 156. They can be contacted at 847-214-7360 or email financialaid@elgin.edu

Verification of Enrollment Status

  • Student schedule certifications for all GI Bill chapters are submitted upon request by the student. Each semester, the student submits their written request by completing the Veteran Checklist and Certification Packet and returning it to the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. 
  • MGIB-Active Duty (Chapter 30), Chapter 35, Chapter 1606 - The student must complete the monthly certification by visiting the GI Bill Home page and clicking “Verify School Attendance” on the right side of the page or calling 877-823-2378 to avoid any overpayments or delay in receiving monthly stipends.
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What other military benefits are available for veterans at ECC?

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Federal Benefits

1-888-442-4551 – benefits.va.gov/gibill.

  • Chapter 30 - Montgomery - GI Bill - (until 1985)
  • Chapter 31 - Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Chapter 32 - V.E.A.P. (Veterans Educational Assistance Program)
  • Chapter 33 - Post 911
  • Chapter 34 - older version of chapter 31
  • Chapter 35 - Survivors’ and Dependence Educational Assistance Program
  • Chapter 1606 - Montgomery Selected Reserve
  • Chapter 1607 - R.E.A.P. (Reserved Educational Assistance Program)

State Benefits

1-800-899-4722 – isac.org

  • Illinois National Guard Program - ING
  • Illinois Veteran Grant Program - IVG

POW and MIA

1-217-782-6641 (MIA/POW scholarships for spouses and dependents only).

Need more information on these benefits? Visit benefits.va.gov/gibill.

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What if I want to drop a class?

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You should always consult with the Veterans Academic Advisor before dropping a class. ECC’S Student Veterans' Academic Advisor, Tiffany Bruno, can be contacted at 847-214-7390 to schedule an appointment today!  Questions?  Email Tiffany at tbruno@elgin.edu.

If you are using a VA education benefit, you should speak with the VA Certifying Official, Ryan Most, if you have any questions about the financial repercussions and/or effect on your VA benefits. He can be contacted at 847-214-7360. If you're on campus, stop by Financial Aid in Building B, Room B Room 156. 

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How do I join SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society?

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To register for the Elgin Community College Chapter of SALUTE, you must be enrolled at ECC, honorably discharged from the armed services, or provide proof of current duty station. You must have completed 12 semester hours or its equivalent of 1 semester at ECC and have a minimum 3.0-grade point average (GPA). There will be an application fee of $35. Contact Anitra King at 847-214-7531 or email aking@elgin.edu for more information. 

The induction ceremony will be held Tuesday, May 9, 2023.

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How do I use my military benefit at ECC?

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Submit your paperwork “The Veteran and Military Benefit Activation Form” to Financial Aid Office before ECC’s payment due date to secure tuition payment of classes and BHA/MHA. To see how much your BHA/MHA will be, visit Illinois BAH (Basic Allowance Housing) Rates. All items must be submitted to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office via email at financialaid@elgin.edu or call 847-214-7360 with any questions.
 
  • You submit a certificate/letter of eligibility for each benefit that they wish to use.
  • You must be registered in their courses before submitting this form.
  • If you are using GI Bill® Chapters 1606, Chapter 30 and Chapter 35 may need to set up payment arrangements with the Student Accounts Office. These benefits are paid directly to the student and not to the institution.
  • You are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor to select their courses.
  • You are encouraged to apply for financial assistance at studentaid.gov.
  • If you are using the GI Bill® must contact the VA at 888-442-4551 for questions regarding deposits that are made directly by the VA (monthly payments, housing allowance, book stipends, etc.).
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Contact

Veteran Resource Center

Building F, Room 201
847-214-7531
veteranservices@elgin.edu