Military Educational Benefits
West Coast University is approved for training of Veterans, active duty military and eligible persons for most academic programs under the provisions of Title 38, United States Code. University Financial Aid Directors serve as Certifying Officials for each campus. Students interested in Military or Veterans Educational Benefits should contact the Financial Aid Department for a current list of approved programs. Veterans or active duty military who are unsure of their eligibility should contact the Veterans Administration or Department of Defense directly. Eligible students must maintain satisfactory academic progress to continue receiving educational benefits.
All official transcripts detailing prior higher education credits and military JST credits must be submitted to the Registrar's office by the end of the first term of enrollment. WCU will not certify enrollment for after the first term of enrollment unless all transcripts have been received and reviewed by the campus Registrar.
Blended Courses: Blended courses will be reported to the Department of Veterans Administration as either "Residential" or "Distance," depending on the total number of instruction hours provided for the course. See your campus Financial Aid Director if you have questions about the designation of a specific course or courses.
Online courses and Blended courses that are designated as "Distance" may result in a reduction of any Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) that you may be eligible to receive. Contact your benefit liaison at the Department of Veterans Administration for more details.
Post 9/11 GI Bill® Yellow Ribbon program
The California on-ground undergraduate campuses participate in the Post 9/11 GI Bill® Yellow Ribbon program. A limited number of qualified students will receive the offer each academic year. Offers are made on a first-come, first-serve basis. Submit a Yellow Ribbon application via WCU's secure student portal to request consideration for these funds.
Additional Eligibility Requirements: Only individuals entitled to the maximum benefit rate (based on service requirements) may receive Yellow Ribbon funding.
Exception: Effective August 1, 2018, recipients of the Fry Scholarship and Purple Heart recipients awarded on or after September 11, 2001 may use the Yellow Ribbon Program under Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act (Forever GI Bill).
Department of Defense Tuition Assistance Program
West Coast University is approved for training of active-duty service members through the Department of Defense's Tuition Assistance Program.
The Financial Aid Office at each campus is the designated point of contact for financial advising. The Student Affairs Office at each campus is the designated point of contact for academic advising and access to disability counseling. The Career Services Office at each campus is the designated point of contact for job search activities.
Service members who wish to use Tuition Assistance must obtain advance approval from their Service, and must speak with an Educational Service Officer (ESO) or counselor within their Military Service prior to enrolling.
Depending on your branch, you may be eligible to receive up to 100% Federal Tuition Assistance from military service, with a $250 cap per semester hour up to $4,500 fiscal year annual limit.
Select your specific branch of service for more information on the Tuition Assistance program.
The Top-Up Benefit
If you are eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill® (MGIB) Active Duty or Post-9/11 GI Bill® and plan to use Military Tuition Assistance (TA), you can use the Federal Assistance Top-Up benefit to cover the difference between your college course cost and the amount that TA will cover.
To use the Top-Up, you must be approved for Federal Tuition Assistance and be eligible for Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty benefits or Post-9/11 GI Bill. To be eligible for MGIB benefits, you must be an MGIB - Active Duty participant and have served at least two full years on Active Duty.
The amount of the benefit is limited to the amount you would receive for the same course if regular benefits were being paid. In no case, can the amount paid by the military combined with the amount paid by VA be more than the total cost of the course.
If you receive the Top-Up benefit, your regular VA benefits will be reduced. If you are utilizing the Montgomery GI Bill your entitlement is charged based on the dollar amount of benefits VA pays you. You will be charged one month of entitlement for each payment you receive that is equal to the full time monthly rate for the GI Bill. If you are utilizing the Post-9/11 GI Bill, your entitlement is charged based on the training time you are enrolled in. If you are going to classes at the half-time training level you will be charged for a half month of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for each month you are enrolled and receiving GI Bill benefits no matter how much money your are reimbursed.
The benefit is available for all courses that began on or after October 30th, 2000. A copy of an approved Tuition Assistance Authorization form for the course is required. If you have not requested VA benefits before, you should submit VA Form 22-1990 to establish eligibility.
GI Bill is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by the VA is available at the official U.S. government website at benefits.va.gov/gibill.
Documentation Required for Military Tuition/Fees Rates
Students must document their eligibility for military tuition/fee rates by submitting one of the following to the campus Financial Aid Office:
Active Duty/Reserve/DoD/VA Employee
- Leave & Earnings Statement (LES) - or
- Statement of Service (Provided by Command)
- DD214 Member Copy 4 Showing Honorable Discharge - or
- VA Certificate of Eligibility for GI Bill Benefits
Active Duty & Reserve Spouse/Dependents
- VA Certificate of Eligibility from transfer of education benefits - or
- Marriage License and Spouse LES and unexpired U.S. Driver's License
Limited Interest Rates, No Accrual of Interest, and Deferment of Federal Student Loans
Some service members may qualify for limited interest rates and deferment of student loans under specific conditions. To receive the benefits below, contact your federal student loan servicer for information about the documentation you must provide to show that you qualify:
- Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, if you took out student loans prior to entering the military or being called to active duty, the interest rate on those loans will be limited to 6% during your active duty military service. This applies to both federal and private student loans (and other loans as well).
- For all Direct Loans, first disbursed on or after October 1, 2008, no interest will be charged for a period of no more than 60 months while you are serving on active duty or performing qualifying National Guard duty during a war, other military operation or national emergency, and are serving in an area of hostilities qualifying for special pay. For Direct Consolidation Loans, this benefit applies to the portion of the consolidation loan that repaid loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2008.
- You will qualify for deferment of repayment on any of your federal loans while serving on active duty in the military, or performing qualifying National Guard duty, during a war, military operation, or national emergency. If your period of active duty service includes October 1, 2007, or begins on or after that date, your deferment will be extended for an additional 180 days after the demobilization date for each period of qualifying service.
- If you are a member of the National Guard or other reserve component of the U.S. armed forces (current or retired) and you are called or ordered to active duty while you are enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school or within six months of having been enrolled at least half-time, you qualify for deferment of repayment on your federal student loans during the 13 months following the end of your active duty service, or until you return to school on at least a half-time basis, whichever is earlier.