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Tips for Using VA Benefits / GI Bill® at ACC

by Lance D. Coppin
, School Certifying Official / Financial Aid Advisor
 - Veteran Education Benefit Office / Financial Aid

Using your VA Benefits / GI Bill® can seem complicated, but we’re here to help. We’ve created checklists and compiled information to help you navigate making the most of your benefits during your time at ACC. If you have questions we didn’t answer, let us know. We’re here to help you Move Mountains!

Who can use VA benefits / what are eligibility requirements?

Service members who have meet the time requirements from the Military to receive VA Education Benefits and their dependents.

  • Chapter 33 - Post-9/11 GI Bill® if served on active duty for at least 90 days, whether continuous (all at once) or interrupted (for shorter periods over time), after September 10, 2001.
  • Chapter 31 - Veteran Readiness and Employment
    If you have a service-connected disability that limits your ability to work or prevents you from working, Veteran Readiness and Employment (formerly called Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment) can help. This program helps you explore employment options and address training needs. In some cases, your family members may also qualify for certain benefits.
  • Chapter 36 - MGIB-SR if you’re a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard Reserves, Army National Guard, or Air National Guard, and you meet all of the requirements listed below.
    All of these must be true. Chapter 36:
    • Have either a 6-year service obligation (you agreed to serve 6 years) in the Selected Service, or
    • Are an officer in the Selected Reserve who agreed to serve 6 years in addition to your initial service obligation, and
    • Meet other requirements
      Learn more about MGIB-SR

Can my spouse or dependent children get VA education benefits?

What important things do you need to know before using VA benefits? 


The VA has a calculation based on your weeks and credits and is best when weeks and credits run concurrently. For ACC’s Fall and Spring semesters 12 credits at 15 weeks is the base for this calculation, since ACC is a semester school. So with the calculation, you need one traditional style class for 7 credits for 15 weeks to receive 50% MHA of your benefit level.

  • 1 traditional style class and 12 credits for 15 weeks = full-time
  • 1 traditional style class and 8-11 credits for 15 weeks = 3/4 time (three quarter time)
  • 1 traditional style class and 7 credits for 15 weeks = half time

The shorter the weeks, the less credits needed to get to the 100% of your benefits.

ACC Summer semester:

  • 7 credits at 10 weeks to receive 100%
  • 4 credits at 10 weeks to receive 50%

The following modalities will be classified as TRADITIONAL style classes for the VA as reported from ACC:

  • CL – Classroom Based
  • HL - HyFlex with Lab
  • HY - Hybrid
  • WC – WebCast

The following modalities will be classified as ONLINE style classes for the VA as reported from ACC:

  • RM – Remote Real-Time
  • RH – Remote Hybrid
  • HF – HyFlex
  • CB – Competency Based
  • ON – Online

Learn more about GI Bill® benefits: 

Also, you can always call the VA STUDENT HOTLINE, 888.442.4551, and they will be able to give you more details on your benefits.

We also also encourage you to submit a FAFSA.

How much time does it take to process VA benefits at ACC? 

Students need to submit a Request for Certification EVERY SEMESTER after they have registered for their classes and their schedule is set to be certified to the VA. Once the Veteran Education Benefit Office (VEBO) gets the RfC it is processed within two (2) weeks. VEBO looks into any issues and will send the VA the weeks and credits so they can start the MHA and book stipend. After the ADD/DROP date, for all specific Parts of Term, is when ACC VEBO send the tuition and fees to the VA to get paid.

Can you use VA benefits for textbooks, housing, bills? How do the benefits come to students?

The MHA and Book Stipend will get sent directly to the students. A VA Ed. Benefit Chapter 33 user will get $48.67 a credit up to a $1000 a year for books. Chapter 31 will get a bookstore credit they can use at the book store based off the amount from their counselor.

What can impact your benefits? 

Any drops or withdrawals after the RFC has been submitted and definitely after the VA has received the certification from the VA can cause a student to have a debt and owe either the VA or ACC.

Are there scholarships available for military, military-connected, and veteran students?

ACC has a scholarship: Daniels Fund / Boundless Opportunity Scholarship (BOS)

Are there courses that VA benefits won’t cover costs for?

VA will not pay for courses that do not go directly to a student degree. The VA will also not pay for remedial classes that are taken online.

If you have questions or want to learn more, visit the Veterans page on the ACC website or contact ACC's vets [at] arapahoe [dot] edu (Veteran's Benefits team) / 303.797.5934.

*GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website.