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Veterans Benefits

Veterans and military families – welcome to Texarkana College! The TC Financial Aid and Veteran Services Office is here to help you navigate the college admissions process, apply for and use educational benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs, and attend Texarkana College. Whether you are just now transitioning out of military life or are seeking a degree decades after your discharge, we strive to be your advocate and aid on campus.

Learn About Available Benefits

The Financial Aid and Veteran Services Office (located on the first floor of the Nelson Administration Building) is the official point of contact at Texarkana College for all federal VA educational benefits, the Texas Hazlewood Act, and military Tuition Assistance through the Department of Defense. This office should also be a veteran’s or Service member’s designated first point of contact for academic and financial aid advising, including access to disability counseling, to assist them with completion of studies and with job search activities.

If you are considering college, know your options! Veterans with an honorable discharge (or in certain limited cases, with a “general – under honorable conditions” discharge) usually qualify for some form of service-related educational assistance. The variety of options can be a bit confusing, but the key is to narrow down your search and not be afraid to ask questions.

Apply for Federal VA Benefits

Now that you know what benefit program you wish to request, you must apply for it. The key to success here is to start early. The Department of Veterans Affairs processes millions of claims each year, and “procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on theirs.”

You can apply online or by mailing paper forms.  The VA and Texarkana College suggest applying online if you are comfortable doing so – it’s free, secure, and faster because no one has to re-type your document once it is received.

To apply online, please visit www.vets.gov, click on Apply For Educational Benefits, and click Find your Educational Benefits from. If you prefer to apply using a paper application, contact the Financial Aid and Veteran Services Office or a local VA office for forms.

Once you have submitted your application, expect a turnaround time of 4-6 weeks; applications submitted during peak registration months may take longer (June – August, November – January). After the VA makes a decision on your claim, they will send a letter to the mailing address you provided on your application either denying your claim or granting you a “Certificate of Eligibility” for educational benefits.

Request for Certification

Hazlewood Benefits

Unlike federal VA benefits, eligibility for the Hazlewood Exemption is determined by each individual college. Students wishing to apply for the Hazlewood Exemption at Texarkana College should read our college’s Hazlewood information below, then submit their application directly to the TC Financial Aid and Veteran Services Office.

Please allow at least 2 weeks for processing, especially during peak registration months.

Under Texas Education Code 54.341, Texas veterans attending public colleges in the state of Texas may be eligible for an exemption of most tuition and fees under the Hazlewood Act. The exemption covers all tuition, dues, fees, and other required charges for up to 150 semester credit hours, including fees for correspondence courses. It does not cover deposit fees, student service fees, VCT reservation fees, penalty fees (such as late registration or “three-peat” fees), or any charges for books, school supplies, toolkits, student housing, meal tickets, or clothing.

To be eligible for the Hazlewood Exemption, the veteran must have a Texas address listed as their “Home of Record” or “Place of Entry into Service” on their DD-214, must have served an aggregate 180 days or more of non-training active duty time, must have an honorable or “general under honorable conditions” discharge, and must currently reside in the state of Texas. For cases where a spouse or child wishes to receive Hazlewood based on the veteran’s service, the veteran in question must still meet the requirements listed above, and the recipient must live in Texas during the semester in which they use the exemption. In all cases, the Hazlewood recipient (whether veteran, child, or spouse) must not be in default on a student loan guaranteed by the state of Texas in order to be eligible.

There are three categories of students who can apply for the Hazlewood exemption: Texas veterans, children of Texas veterans receiving transferred hours through the “Legacy” Hazlewood program, and spouses or children eligible for their own 150 Hazlewood hours due to a Texas veteran’s service-related death or 100% disability.

For more information or to download the Hazlewood Exemption application, please visit the Texas Veterans Commission’s Hazlewood website.

  • The Hazlewood Exemption may be used in conjunction with “Title IV” financial aid like the Pell grant.
  • It may not be used in conjunction with Veteran Readiness and Employment (Chapter 31) or the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) at the 100% rate.
  • Students may use Hazlewood in conjunction with other VA educational benefits (Chapters 30, 35, and 1606).

Veterans wishing to apply for the Hazlewood exemption must submit a complete Hazlewood application along with all required documents to the TC Financial Aid and Veteran Services Office. Do not mail the application to the Texas Veterans Commission. Please allow at least 2 weeks for processing.

Also, please note that Texas state law (SB 1210, passed in 2014) requires veterans receiving the Hazlewood exemption to maintain a certain standard of academic progress to remain eligible for the exemption. These standards are outlined under the Texarkana College Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy for financial aid. A Hazlewood recipient who merits suspension under this policy cannot receive the Hazlewood exemption again until they are granted probation through improved grades or a successful appeal.

Veterans who are eligible for the Hazlewood Exemption may transfer their unused hours in bulk to a child through the Hazlewood “Legacy” Program. Be advised that this is an “all or nothing” transfer – the veteran is not allowed to use Hazlewood while their child is using it, and only one child at a time may use the transferred hours. The veteran has the authority to take back the unused hours back from the child for his/her own use or to transfer them to another child; however, this transfer/recall must occur in between semesters.

Children’s eligibility for the Hazlewood exemption expires after their 26th birthday, with no exceptions. If their birthday falls in the middle of a semester, their eligibility for Hazlewood will expire at the end of that semester. Please note that grandchildren are not eligible for the Hazlewood exemption unless they have been legally adopted by the grandparent/veteran and court documents can be produced in evidence of this. Spouses or parents of veterans are not eligible for the Legacy program.

Finally, please note that the state of Texas requires colleges to uphold a standard of academic progress for children of veterans using the Hazlewood “Legacy” program. These standards are outlined under the Texarkana College Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy for financial aid. A “Legacy hours” recipient under financial aid suspension cannot receive the Hazlewood exemption until they are granted probation through improved grades or a successful appeal.

For children to apply for a transfer of Hazlewood hours under the “Legacy” provision, they and their veteran-parent must complete the Hazlewood application and submit all supplemental documents listed on the cover-page checklist. When all required documents have been gathered, please submit both applications and all required documents to the Texarkana College Financial Aid and Veteran Services. Please allow at least 2 weeks for processing.

If a Texas veteran has been killed in action or has received a 100% service-related disability rating through the Department of Veterans Affairs, the veteran’s spouse and children may each be eligible for their own Hazlewood Exemption benefit of up to 150 credit hours. Because each person has their own Hazlewood hours and nothing is being “transferred” in this case, multiple family members may use the exemption during the same semester. The child’s or spouse’s Hazlewood has no negative bearing on the veteran’s eligibility for his/her own 150 hours, so veterans do not have the right to recall or revoke these benefits once granted.

As with the “Legacy” program, children of 100% disabled or combat-deceased veterans lose eligibility for the Hazlewood exemption after their 26th birthday. If their birthday falls in the middle of a semester, their eligibility for Hazlewood will expire at the end of that semester. Please note that grandchildren are not eligible unless they have been legally adopted by the grandparent/veteran and court documents can be produced in evidence of this.

To apply for their own Hazlewood exemption hours, eligible spouses and/or children must complete the Hazlewood application and submit all supplemental documents listed on the cover-page checklist. If the veteran is still living, he or she should co-sign it; if deceased, documentation of death must be supplied. When all required documents have been gathered, please submit both applications and all required documents to the Texarkana College Veterans Services Office. Please allow at least 2 weeks for processing.

Regardless of whether the recipient is a veteran or their child, spouse, or tax dependent, all recipients must register on the TVC’s Hazlewood Database so that their total used Hazlewood hours can be tracked. Please sign up for the Hazlewood Database before submitting your paper application to the college.

In addition, Texas state law requires that students who receive exemptions and/or waivers to tuition and fee charges make due progress toward the completion or a degree or certificate in order to continue receiving benefits. Because the Hazlewood exemption falls under this category (SB 1210), veterans and their family members who use the Hazlewood exemption must also make satisfactory academic progress to remain eligible.

Hazlewood Frequently Asked Questions

Students submit a renewal application to the TC Financial Aid and Veteran Services Office for each new full semester (fall, spring, summer) they wish to use the benefit. January Mini courses may be bundled in with a Spring renewal application, and May Mini courses can be bundled with Summer, but be sure to prominently note on your application that you wish to use Hazlewood for mini-courses so that this is not overlooked.

As long as you have had no major breaks in your enrollment and use of the Hazlewood Exemption at Texarkana College (i.e. did not sit out either fall or spring), you may submit the shorter “Continuation of Enrollment” renewal app available on the TVC’s Hazlewood website. If you did have a major break in enrollment, you must submit another full original application, but you can omit the supporting materials (DD-214, ineligibility letter from the VA, residency documentation etc.) as long as it hasn’t been more than 3 years since you last used Hazlewood at Texarkana College.

Students must submit the Hazlewood application by the end of the semester for which they wish to be reimbursed.

We allow veteran-students to use both, and we plan to continue this practice unless new regulations prohibit it. As stated earlier, students may use Hazlewood in conjunction with all other VA aid except for Veterans’ Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31) and the Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33) if received at the 100% rate.

Yes. Hazlewood-eligible veterans wishing to use the exemption to cover their child’s high school dual credit tuition may do so. Complete the applications and necessary documentation for either the Legacy transfer or the child’s own hours due to the veteran’s service-related death or disability (as appropriate), and submit this to the Texarkana College Financial Aid and Veteran Services Office. Please allow at least 2 weeks for processing.

Only in limited cases. Hazlewood can only apply to continuing education courses if the state of Texas provides formula funding to pay for the particular course desired. Hazlewood-eligible veterans wishing to use the exemption for a continuing education class must inquire at least 4 weeks before the starting date of the course, with the inquiry limited to a particular course, to give the Financial Aid and Veteran Services Office time to research whether the exemption may apply. There are absolutely no exceptions to this time-limit requirement, and requests submitted less than 4 weeks ahead of time will be denied outright.

Hazlewood will not cover the student service fee ($5 per credit hour each semester), books and supplies, parking permit, on-campus housing charges, penalty fees such as late fees or excessive repeat fees, or the reservation fee for courses taken through the Virtual College of Texas (VCT). As stated above, it will not usually cover non-credit continuing education classes.

GI Bill®

Texarkana College is approved by the Texas Veterans Commission under the provisions of Title 38, U.S. Code for VA educational benefits to train veterans and other eligible persons for approved programs and courses required for those programs. Students may use the GI Bill® or related benefits to pursue certificate or degree programs taken on a for-credit basis. 

New or returning veterans are often surprised to find that not one, but *many* variants of the GI Bill® currently exist, and knowing which one to apply for can be confusing if you aren’t familiar with the details. Please use the following guide to narrow down your search and learn which GI Bill® is right for you.

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 Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Recent veterans of active-duty military service may choose from two versions of GI Bill®: the Post-9/11 GI Bill® or the Montgomery GI Bill®. To be eligible, you must have an honorable discharge. Both versions of the GI Bill® provide excellent educational opportunities, but they operate differently, and one or the other might be more beneficial to you depending on the manner in which you wish to pursue your degree. Please contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs using their self-service “Ask A Question” web site or visit our Veterans Services Office to receive counseling on which version might work best for you.

Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33) – For veterans with at least 90 days of non-training active-duty service after September 11, 2001. To receive the full benefit, 36 months (3 years) of active-duty service are required. This GI Bill®s pays the school directly for your tuition and fees, and it provides you with a book stipend and a monthly housing allowance as long as you are attending school over the half-time rate. (“More than half time” in regular-length semesters means at least 7 credit hours.) The Post-9/11 GI Bill® is usually preferable if you plan on going to school full-time.

Montgomery GI Bill® (Chapter 30) – For veterans with 36 months (3 years) of active-duty service. This GI Bill® pays you directly, and you are then responsible for paying the school. Although it does not pay up-front, the Montgomery GI Bill® sometimes results in the veteran receiving a bit more money over the long term than he or she would with Post-9/11 at Texarkana College because Montgomery pays a set rate based on a national average, and our tuition is comparably very affordable. There are no penalties for attending at the half-time rate or less (meaning 6 credit hours or fewer) with this benefit, so if you plan on only taking one or two classes per semester, the Montgomery GI Bill® might be your best choice.

Although your original GI Bill® benefits have likely expired if you were discharged over 10 years ago and have not yet applied for them, you may still qualify for through the VA Vocational Rehabilitation program (Chapter 31).

VA Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31) – For veterans and service-members with a service-related disability percentage of 10-20% or more who have a serious employment handicap. This program pairs you with a vocational counselor and pays for tuition, fees, books, and supplies. VA Vocational Rehab is designed to help you get the training you need to get a good entry-level job in the field of your choice. In cases where veterans have service-connected disabilities so severe that they cannot immediately consider work, this program offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible. Please note that the application process for Chapter 31 is different from any other veterans’ educational benefit! You must contact the VA directly to initiate the application process, and they will set up an interview to determine if you are a good candidate for the program. For more information, call 501-370-3780.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has set up the following educational benefits for reservists or guardsmen who have served long enough to earn a “Notice of Basic Eligibility” (NOBE). To determine if you are eligible to receive this document, please speak with the commanding officer of your unit.

  • Selected Reserve Montgomery GI Bill® (Chapter 1606) – For service-members or veterans with a six-year obligation to serve in the Selective Reserve who are in good standing with their unit. This GI Bill® pays you, and you are then responsible for paying the school. You may use it in conjunction with military Tuition Assistance.
  • Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33) – If you were called to active duty for at least 90 days, you qualify to apply for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Spouses and/or children of combat-deceased or disabled veterans may qualify for educational benefits under the Survivor’s and Dependents’ Assistance program (Chapter 35). In certain cases, veterans eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill® may also apply for a “Transfer of Eligibility” to donate some or all of their educational benefits to a spouse or child. Finally, children whose parents died in military action after September 10, 2001, may be eligible to receive the Post-9/11 GI Bill® under the John David Fry Scholarship.

  • Survivor’s and Dependents’ Assistance / “DEA” (Chapter 35) – For spouses and/or children of veterans who have died as a result of military service or who have received a 100% service-related disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Multiple children can use this benefit, but they are only eligible between the ages of 18-26. (Extensions are possible but very rare.)
  • Transfer of Eligibility – Veterans who have served at least six years of active-duty service and commit to an additional four *OR* have already served ten years of active duty *OR* are retirement-eligible and commit to an additional four years may transfer part or all of their Post-9/11 GI Bill® eligibility to a spouse or child. Transfers of Eligibility must be approved through the Department of Defense before they can be implemented by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Due to the complexity of this particular application, please consult the Department of Veterans Affairs directly rather than the TC Veterans Services Office for guidance on how to apply.
  • Post-9/11 GI Bill®: Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship – Under Public Law 111-32, the children of service members who died in the line of duty after Sept. 10, 2001 may be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33) under the title of “Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship”. It functions exactly like the regular Post-9/11 GI Bill® at the 100% rate. Those who wish to apply may do so by submitting VA Form 22-5490 (online or mailed), the same form used to apply for Chapter 35 DEA benefits.

Academic Progress Requirements

As with all student aid, there are academic standards that must be met in order to continue receiving payments through the GI Bill® or any other educational benefit provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Texarkana College requires all students using VA benefits to adhere to the same Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards needed to receive federal financial aid like Pell grants or student loans. This academic progress policy requires you to uphold the following standards as a student:

  • Maintain at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA (including developmental classes), which means a “C” average or better
  • Complete at least 67% of the classes you attempt
  • Complete your chosen certificate or degree without building up more than 150% of the credits required to graduate

The SAP evaluation process is run after each semester, shortly after grades post, and you will be notified via student email if you go on a “warning” or “suspension” status. If you go on suspension due to circumstances outside your control, you have a brief time frame in which you can appeal to possibly regain eligibility through a probationary semester.

Remember —  if you are on suspension for regular financial aid, you are also on suspension from VA benefits (and vice-versa)!

Please note that if TC reported your suspension to the VA prior to a successful financial aid appeal, you must complete a form VA 22-1995 and list “Requesting Reinstatement of Benefits” in the remarks section. Contact one of the VA certifying officials in the TC Financial Aid and Veteran Services Office for help filling out this form. We will co-sign it and send it to the VA on your behalf, confirming that your appeal was approved.

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 Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Visit the Financial Aid and Veteran Services Office

After you receive your “Certificate of Eligibility,” bring it to the TC Financial Aid Office and speak to one of our VA certifying officials. They will go over your educational benefits with you and explain how to use them. They will also have you fill out forms for new students using VA benefits at Texarkana College. If you would like to fill these forms out in advance, please download and submit the packet available in PDF format below.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and certain programs may have additional requirements beyond what is listed here. If you will visit the offices and people it suggests, however, they will point you in the right direction and ensure you are 100% ready for the semester ahead.

Veteran Benefit Packet

Please note this packet is not required for Hazlewood Exemption recipients.

Make a Plan of Action for Admissions

As a veteran, you know that one of the keys to a successful mission is to have clearly-defined objectives. The same is true for the college admissions process! The Office of Veterans Services has put together a checklist that summarizes the main requirements for admission at Texarkana College.

Veteran Admissions Checklist

Know the Costs, Meet the Deadlines

It’s important to know the full cost of your program to confirm that your military benefit will completely cover it. In addition to tuition and fees directly assessed by the college, you may also need to plan ahead to budget for some items not charged by Texarkana College, but related to attending college generally. (This includes things like the cost of room and board in our area or the cost of transportation to get back and forth from college.) Please click the prompt below to answer three questions to see the “Cost of Attendance budget” calculated by the TC Financial Aid Office for a student within your category:

Cost of Attendance Estimator

You can also visit TC’s Online Bookstore to see the exact cost of the books and supplies for your courses.

In accordance with the Isakson and Roe Act of 2020, students using Chapter 30, 31, or 33 VA Educational Benefits (a.k.a. the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill for Active Duty, or Veteran Readiness and Employment) qualify for in-state tuition as long as they physically reside in the state of Texas, regardless of how long they have lived in-state. If you have questions about this provision, or if you believe you qualify for in-state tuition as a result of it and are not currently receiving tuition at the in-state rate, please contact the TC Financial Aid Office at financial.aid@texarkanacollege.edu.

Finally, you should also be aware of deadlines related to financial aid and registration. The statewide priority deadline for financial aid in the state of Texas is January 15. Those who complete their FAFSA before this date will receive first priority for all state financial aid.

Texarkana College also has internal priority deadlines for each semester. If you complete your FAFSA and turn in all required documentation by these priority deadlines, we can guarantee we will have your financial aid application fully evaluated and any VA benefits or military Tuition Assistance processed prior to the start of the new semester. If you submit your paperwork after the priority deadlines, we will continue to work on it but can no longer guarantee completion prior to the payment deadline. Depending on the exact nature of your benefit or financial aid, you may need to make a down-payment and later be reimbursed when your financial aid or military-related benefits finish processing.

Contacts

Becky Fant

VA Certifying Official

Jesse Hausler

Veteran Services Specialist