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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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We appreciate your military service!

Whether you're starting college for the first time or returning, ECC is excited to welcome veterans for a rewarding college experience. Expect individualized attention to help you choose a study program that combines your military skills with a field you're passionate about. If you haven't used your benefits yet, follow these steps:

  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 the ECC Financial Aid Office before ECC’s payment due date to secure tuition payment for 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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Understanding how various military benefits cover tuition and fees is crucial for a smooth enrollment process at ECC. 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 – 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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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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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 be for less than the full amount in certain months because benefits start on the day you start school. For example: If classes begin on August 22, your September stipend will be for the nine (9) days you attended in August.
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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 in the Financial Aid Office, Building B, Room B156. He can certify and 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 does not allow you to certify by the Internet. The number to call to verify your enrollment status is 877-823-2378.

 

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How can I meet other students who are veterans at ECC?

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Welcome, Veterans! At ECC, we proudly support our military community through the Military Branches United (MBU) club. Visit the Veterans Resource Center in Building F, Room F201, and inquire about MBU; they'll provide details on when and where the club meets. Our doors are open Monday to Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feel free to drop by and discover the camaraderie and support waiting for you at MBU!

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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 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 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 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 by email at rmost@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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How do I use my military benefit at ECC?

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Ensure the smooth processing of your tuition payment and BHA/MHA by submitting your "Veteran and Military Benefit Activation Form" to the Financial Aid Office before ECC's payment due date. To determine your BHA/MHA amount, check the Illinois BAH (Basic Allowance Housing) Rates. Submit all required items to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office via email at financialaid@elgin.edu or call 847-214-7360 for any questions.

Remember to submit a certificate/eligibility letter for each benefit you wish to use. Make sure you're registered for your courses before sending in the form. If you're using GI Bill® Chapters 1606, Chapter 30, or Chapter 35, you may need to arrange payments with the Student Accounts Office, as these benefits are paid directly to you, not the institution.

It's advisable to meet with your academic advisor for course selection and to apply for financial assistance at studentaid.gov. If you're using the GI Bill®, contact the VA at 888-442-4551 for inquiries regarding deposits made directly by the VA (monthly payments, housing allowance, book stipends, etc.).

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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.

Suppose you are using a VA education benefit. In that case, 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 join the Elgin Community College Chapter of SALUTE, you must be enrolled at ECC, honorably discharged from the armed services, or show proof of your current duty station. You must have finished 12 semester hours (equivalent to one semester at ECC) and maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average (GPA). There is a $35 application fee. For additional details, contact Anitra King at 847-214-7531 or email aking@elgin.edu.

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Contact

Veteran Resource Center

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