Information About Your Benefit Payments

The VA will not cover the cost of any course that does not fit into your degree plan, unless you receive permission to substitute.

Students must submit requests for course substitutions through the academic appeal process. We recommend that you meet with a VA Academic Advisor each semester before registering for classes to make sure that your courses will fit into your degree plan.

You should register for classes as soon as registration begins and submit your VA Enrollment form as well as any other required paperwork to the Military & Veteran Services Office. The sooner you submit your VA Enrollment information, the earlier your certification can be processed.

Chapter 33

The Department of Veteran Affairs pays tuition and fees directly to HCC, according to your level of eligibility (10%-100%). The level of coverage is stated in your Letter of Eligibility from the VA. If you are any percentage that is less than 100, you will be responsible for the remaining balance.

The VA will send your monthly Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) directly to you. You will also receive a book stipend once a semester. The book stipend will not exceed $1,000 per academic year.

In order to be eligible to receive BAH you must be enrolled in at least 51% rate of pursuit for your program. For example, in a 15-week semester you must be enrolled in at least 7 credit hours for the entire 15 weeks.

Mitigating Circumstances for Veterans
New VA Policy Begins November 15, 2015

The VA now requires that students using the Post 9/11 or Chapter 33 GI Bill Educational benefits to provide documentation of mitigating circumstances when they withdraw from a course after the drop/add period has ended and they receive a non-punitive grade. Mitigating circumstances are documented, unanticipated and unavoidable events that interfere with the pursuit or completion of a course and result in a student receiving a non-punitive grade.

Acceptable mitigating circumstances must be provided in order to pay benefits for the period of attendance prior to the drop date. If they are not provided and accepted, any benefits paid from the beginning date of the term will be considered an overpayment, and a debt may be established.

Mitigating circumstances may be claimed by submitting documented evidence when you withdraw or otherwise incur an overpayment. Claims may be submitted on a VA Form 21-4138 with an explanation of the circumstances. The VA decides whether to accept mitigating circumstance.

The following are some general categories of mitigating circumstances:

  • Course cancelled by the college
  • Serious illness of the veteran or dependent
  • Unanticipated call to active duty military service
  • Immediate family or financial obligations requiring a change in employment that precludes pursuit of course
  • Serious illness or death in the eligible veteran's or dependent's immediate family

Examples of unacceptable mitigating circumstances include - but are not limited to:

  • Withdrawal class(es) to avoid a failing grade
  • Disliking an instructor
  • Any courses attempted or a call to active duty that was anticipated before the term began

Chapters 30, 35, 1606, 1607

Benefits are paid directly to you by the Department of Veteran Affairs after the semester starts. You can go to and click on Montgomery GI Bill for current information on benefit payments. Unless you are receiving another financial aid program (e.g. PELL grant, etc.), you will be responsible to pay tuition and fees to Harford Community College by the tuition payment due date. If you are dropped for non-payment, it will be your responsibility to get reinstated in your classes.

Enrollment Verification: If you are receiving Chapter 30, 1606, or 1607 VA educational benefits, you will be required to verify your enrollment monthly on WAVES. Failure to verify your enrollment will delay your next benefit payment. If the number of hours you post in WAVES differs from your actual enrollment, you should contact the Military and Veteran Services office. (WAVES enrollment verification should be completed on the last day of each month.)

Chapter 31

The Department of Veteran Affairs – Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment program will provide payment for all tuition and fees directly to Harford each semester. The cost of books and supplies will also be covered under this program as determined by the student Voc-Rehab counselor. In addition, you will receive a monthly stipend as outlined in your contract.

Students under this program must submit a VA form 1905 to the Military and Veteran Services office in order for the certification to be processed. After the certification is processed, students may pick up a book voucher.

You must contact the coordinator for Military and Veteran Services, if any of the following situations arise:

  • Change In Class Schedule: If your class schedule is changed for any reason any time either during the semester or before the semester begins, whether this is due to a complete withdrawal from the class or if the class is cancelled by Harford due to low enrollment
  • Change In Degree Plan
  • Non-attendance
  • Change In address, telephone number, and e-mail
  • Repeating a class
  • Struggling in a class and you need assistance

Military Friendly 2015Top Military Advanced Education and Transition 2016