Office of Veterans and Military Service Members at Lake Erie College assists individuals that have served or are currently serving in the armed forces of the United States, as well as their dependents, in attaining their educational goals.
WHAT IS THE Office of Veterans and Military Service Members?
Our goal is to assist them in transitioning from the military to the college and civilian world successfully by providing academic support, benefit and education counseling, program information, and referrals to appropriate resources.
WHAT SERVICES DOES THE PROGRAM OFFER?
The VETS Program does not replace your academic advisor. Rather, we can help you consider your educational plans in light of your prior military experience and current responsibilities. We can also help you make the transition between the military mindset and expectations and the academic ones.
The VETS Program provides compassionate and knowledgeable responses to your physical, emotional, and cognitive issues. If necessary, we can refer you to other sources of professional help, and we can work with faculty to negotiate adjustments within the classroom environment and with coursework.
Navigating the System
The VETS Program can provide assistance with college procedures and policies, as well as registration, billing, and financial aid. We can help you determine the steps you need to follow and the offices you need to consult to get your questions answered and your problems addressed.
“The Bunker” (College Hall 330) is a vets-only lounge for relaxation and socialization. There are two computers, a refrigerator, microwave, coffee machine, and snacks. The Study Room (College Hall 327) is a space for individual study, small group work, or tutoring. All military-affiliated students are welcome to use these spaces and are encouraged to do so.
WHERE ARE THE V.E.T.S. PROGRAM OFFICES LOCATED?
The V.E.T.S. Program occupies its own wing of the third floor of College Hall.
The Study Room - College Hall 327
The V.E.T.S. Program Office - College Hall 328
“The Bunker” - College Hall 330
WHY SHOULD VETERANS CONSIDER LAKE ERIE COLLEGE?
We emphasize supporting veterans and their families through a “team” approach.
We are a designated Military Friendly school.
We provide assistance to veterans with their application to Lake Erie College and for their GI Bill benefits.
We participate in the “Yellow Ribbon” program.
We provide specialized tutoring and academic services and programming focused on the unique needs of veterans.
We offer advance registration dates for veterans.
We foster collaborative opportunities and relationships for veterans within the community.
We were host to American Legion Post 807 – Ohio’s first American Legion post on a college campus.
We maintain “The Bunker” – a lounge specifically for student veterans for studying and socializing.
We have a chapter of SVA – Student Veterans of America.
We have a certified trauma therapist on campus.
HOW DO I APPLY TO LAKE ERIE COLLEGE as a veteran?
2. Request official transcripts from your high school and all colleges you attended.
Official transcripts are those which are delivered in a sealed, letterhead envelope. They can be mailed or hand delivered.
3. Request military transcripts through Joint Service Transcript (for Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) or CCAF Transcript (for Air Force).
You will receive a certificate of eligibility from the VA.
Use VA Form 22-1990 if you are a first-time student.
Use VA Form 22-1995 if you are requesting a change of program or institution.
Use VA Form 22-5490 if you are a dependent.
Use VA Form 22-5495 if you are a dependent requesting a change of program or institution.
4. Submit these documents to the School Certifying Official in the Financial Aid office.
5. Fill out the FAFSA for any additional financial aid, such as grants or loans, for which you may be eligible.
WHAT EDUCATION BENEFITS ARE AVAILABLE TO ME?
The VA administers several programs:
Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill) – if you have served on active duty after 9/10/2001.
Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty) – if you entered active duty any time since July 1, 1985, and paid into an education fund for one year.
Chapter 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve) – if you are in the Selected Reserve or National Guard, are actively drilling, and are under a 6-year contract.
Chapter 35 (Dependents Educational Assistance Program [DEA]) – if you are a dependent of a member of the Armed Forces who died or who is 100% disabled based on a service-related reason.
Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment [VR&E]) – NOT THE GI BILL – if you are a disabled veteran.
The state of Ohio offers certain benefits:
MIRF (Military Injured Relief Fund) – if you were injured in the line of duty.
Ohio Veterans Bonus – if you entered and left the military from the state of Ohio.
Ohio War Orphans Scholarship – if you are the child of a deceased or severely disabled Ohio veteran.
Ohio National Guard Scholarship – if you have served or are currently serving in the Ohio National Guard.
There are also private scholarships, including:
The Pat Tillman Scholarship – if you are a veteran or the spouse of a veteran committed to a life of service.
Fisher House Scholarships for Military Children – if you are the dependent unmarried child of active duty, reserve, retired, or deceased service member.
The Fry Scholarship – if you are entitled to 36 months of benefits at 100% but are not eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program.
The Edith Nourse Rodgers STEM Scholarship - This is a provision of the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act (Forever GI Bill) that gives extra benefits to students training in the high demand fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
HOW ARE MY EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS PROCESSED?
The School complies with USC 3679, has a policy in place that will allow an individual to attend or participate in a course of education, pending VA payment, providing the individual submits a Certificate of Eligibility for entitlement to educational assistance under Chapter 31 or Chapter 33.
The School does not utilize advertising, sales or enrollment practices that are erroneous, deceptive, or misleading either by actual statement, omission, or intimation. (38 CFR 21.4252 (h)
How does the process begin?
You begin the process by submitting these three documents to the School Certifying Official (SCO) in the Financial Aid Office:
Your certificate of eligibility.
Your course schedule for the semester if you are not yet registered.
What happens next?
The SCO verifies this information and submits it to VAONCE. The process is now in the hands of the VA.
If you have any questions, please call the VA at 1-888-GI-BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551)
How are my tuition benefits paid?
The VA sends tuition benefits directly to the Bursar’s Office. You can check your LEC account through LEO to monitor the status of your charges and payments.
If your account shows a credit balance, the Bursar’s office will mail you a check, generally within two weeks.
If you have any questions about your LEC account, please contact the Bursar’s office at 440.375.7022 or 440.375.7020.
How about my BAH?
The BAH is not handled through the college.
You must report your enrollment every month to the VA to maintain your BAH. (This does not apply if you are receiving Chapter 33 benefits.)
If you are less than full-time, your BAH will be adjusted by the VA.
BAH payments are made one month in arrears. This delay in payment is normal.
If you have any questions about your BAH, please contact the VA.
*** Please note that you must make any calls to the VA yourself. Because of privacy restrictions, the VA will not disclose this information to third parties.
HOW DO I MAINTAIN MY EDUCATION BENEFITS AT LAKE ERIE COLLEGE?
As part of your initial admission process, submit these documents to the School Certifying Official in the Financial Aid Office:
Your certificate of eligibility.
Your course schedule for the semester if you are not yet registered.
The LEC Request for Enrollment Certification Form.
In addition, complete the FAFSA form for any additional financial aid, such as grants or loans, for which you may be eligible.
At the beginning of each semester, submit these documents to the School Certifying Official in the Financial Aid Office:
Whenever any of these changes are made to your registration, you must report them to the Financial Aid Office. These changes may affect your benefits.
Adding or dropping a class – report the effective date of change or the last day of attendance in class.
Auditing a class – report this grade option. Please be aware that the VA will not pay for audited classes.
Withdrawing from a class – report the last day of attendance in the class.
Repeating a class – report any class that is repeated for credit. Please be aware that the VA will pay for a repeated class only if the initial grade was an F.
Receiving an NA (never attended) or an (I) Incomplete – Please be aware that the VA will not pay for these classes. You will be responsible for repaying any money received for these classes.
HOW DOES THE YELLOW RIBBON PROGRAM WORK?
What is the Yellow Ribbon Program?
The Yellow Ribbon Program is a voluntary agreement between the VA and an institution of higher learning to fund tuition and mandatory fees that exceed the amount covered by the Post 9/11 GI Bill. It does not cover room and board or penalty fees (such as late registration or parking fines).
It is not considered a GI Bill “benefit” by the VA because colleges and universities are not obligated to participate in the program.
Lake Erie College does participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, and we impose no limits on the dollar amount you may receive or the number of veterans who may participate.
Am I eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program?
You must be a veteran at the 100% benefit level to be eligible, and you must have GI Bill benefits remaining.
You do not have to attend college full time, but your BAH, book stipends, etc., will be reduced if you do not. These benefits are not part of the Yellow Ribbon Program.
How do I get the Yellow Ribbon Benefits?
Your Certificate of Eligibility from the VA will indicate if you are eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Once your GI Bill education benefits for the year have been exhausted, the LEC Financial Aid office will post our match award (the amount we contribute) to your student account. Once we have done that, the VA will contribute an equal sum.
How are my Yellow Ribbon Benefits applied?
Yellow Ribbon benefits apply after all other education benefits for the year–GI Bill benefits as well as any other grants or waivers–have been used to defray tuition and fees.
Because GI Bill benefits are “front-loaded,” Yellow Ribbon benefits typically are not applied until the Spring Semester, when GI Bill education benefits have been exhausted.
Lake Erie College contributes half of your remaining tuition and fees. The VA will match that amount and send it directly to the college.
To determine the status of your Yellow Ribbon payments, please contact the Bursar’s Office at 440-375-7022 or 440-375-7020.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM DEPLOYED?
Lake Erie College has a policy in place to protect the academic status of our student veterans. Our goal is to ensure that our students are not academically disadvantaged by their service to our country.
Who is covered by this policy?
Students who have received a written order to report for active duty in the Armed Services of the United States due to national, state, or local military duty. This includes current and former members of the United States Armed Forces, Reserve Units, National Guard, and other such military organizations.
What documentation will I need to provide?
The Registrar’s Office will require a copy of your orders for your official student academic file.
Whom should I contact?
The Registrar’s Office – The Registrar, in consultation with the Bursar’s Office and the Financial Aid Office, will help to determine the most beneficial action for the student.
The VETS Program – The VETS Coordinator, in consultation with the academic advisor and the instructors of the affected courses, will formulate and monitor an academic plan for managing course requirements.
What are my options?
Complete withdrawal from all courses, backdated to the start of the term, with 100% refund.
Continued enrollment with special grading options of Pass-Fail, Non-Credit, Audit, or Incomplete (I). Subject to course instructor approval.
Continued enrollment through electronic participation, which may or may not require an adjustment of course assignments. Subject to course instructor approval.
Any other arrangement deemed appropriate and acceptable to all parties.