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Rules to Remember - Guidelines to VA Certification
Enrollment - Semester Certification
Enrollment certification for VA education benefits is not automatic. Students should submit a Request for Certification form every semester in order to initiate their educational benefits. We strongly recommend that students accomplish this as soon as they have secured classes in order to expedite the processing of educational benefits.
While receiving VA Educational benefits, students may be concurrently enrolled at more than one school during the same semester. The parent school is whichever school the student is pursuing a degree or other program objective. Veteran students are responsible for informing the Supplemental School's Veterans' Office where their Parent School is located. Upon confirmation from the Parent School, the Supplemental School will complete the certification for the benefits form (VA form 22-1999) and send a copy to the Parent School.
Veterans and dependents are cautioned when enrolling in short-term classes, i.e., 1st 8 week. The VA will only consider your enrollment for the actual days in the short-term class, not for the entire semester.
What the VA Will and Will Not pay For
RECOMMENDED CLASSES – The VA does NOT pay for recommended classes – only required classes.
CHALLENGED CLASSES – The VA will NOT pay for any class that is challenged. You must attend a class to receive payment for it.
REQUIRED PREREQUISITES AND REMEDIAL CLASSES – The VA WILL pay for required prerequisites. They will also pay for remedial classes for which the student has been placed through assessment testing.
ONLINE CLASSES/DISTANCE EDUCATION – The VA WILL pay for TV courses, online courses, and independent study classes. Payment for these classes will cover only the period the class is in session.
REPEATED CLASSES – You may repeat a course and receive VA payment for it if you received an “F”, “NP” or “W” grade on the original attempt. The VA does not pay for repeats of “D” or better grades; or for incomplete grades, unless the Incomplete is changed to an “F” grade. EXCEPTION: When a class is required for a major and must be passed with a certain grade level to progress to another required class (prerequisite) then the VA will pay for the repeat.
CREDIT BY EXAMINATION: The VA will NOT pay for credit by examination sections. This is course credit given by examination based on work experience, foreign language proficiency, or any other process outside the conventional academic setting.
If you don’t attend class,you are not entitled to benefits. If a student stops attending a class they must drop officially with the college and report the drop to the VA certifying official. This is a student responsibility – not ours. Federal law requires that students report any change in enrollment status, which might affect their VA education benefits to the school and the VA. Your signature on the Request for Certification form shows acceptance of the responsibility to keep the VA certifying official informed of any change in student status.
When there is an overpayment, the VA will ask for repayment of the overpaid benefits. If you ignore the VA’s request, they can withhold future GI bill payments, disability payments, or depending upon the situation, they can take a student to court, charge interest, and they may take future tax return refunds, attach wages, put legal holds on property or deny home loans.
The VA certifying official monitors student enrollment on a weekly basis via the computer and updated unit reports are sent to the VA. When adding or dropping classes, the student must report the drop or add directly to the VA certifying official.
F Grades (and F grades based on non-attendance)
Since the VA will not pay benefits for the period after a student has ceased attending class, the FLC VA certifying official is required to check student attendance for all classes in which a student receives a “F” grade. It is possible that a student received the “F” grade as a result of non-attendance, and we are required to contact students to learn the basis for the grade.
Each semester the academic progress of each VA student will be monitored for “F” grades. A letter will be sent to each veteran student who receives an “F” grade asking why the student received the grade. Veterans students are required to state if they completed the class and received the “F” on the basis of work completed, or if they ceased attending the class in which case they must indicate the month and the day the last attended.
The reason for the “F” grade will be noted in the student’s file. No further action will be necessary for those who received a “F” grade based on work completed in the class. If the “F” grade is a result of non-attendance, the VA will be notified of the last date of attendance reported by the student and the VA will reduce the student’s units and pay rate effective the date the student indicated as the last date of attendance. Students do have the opportunity to provide mitigating circumstances to the VA for their non-attendance. The form can be picked up in our office. Mitigating circumstances are those which directly hinder a student’s pursuit of a course(s) and which are judged to be beyond the student’s control. Following are some general categories of mitigating circumstances: Serious illness of the student, serious illness or death of an immediate family member, immediate family or financial obligations, discontinuance of a course by the school.
If veteran students do not return the letter as directed, the VA certifying official will follow VA regulations and automatically report the last date of attendance for the “F” grade as the last official date to drop the course. At FLC, this is the end of the “W” grade period.
Post 9/11 GI Bill Tips and Reminders
* Remember that the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing and books and supplies stipends are paid "in arrears." This means that your housing stipend for August won't be received until September. Also, if you are starting school for the first time, your first payment may not be for a full month of housing because the VA pays from the actual day you start school.
* Tuition and fee payments go directly to the school.
* Be sure to inform VA if you change your direct deposit information
Round-Out is a program which allows students who have a limited number of courses remaining in their program to add non-required courses and be paid at a higher rate. Round-Out may only be used in the final semester of attendance. It may be used once at the 2-year college level and again for the 4-year level. Speak to the VA Certifying Official or a counselor for more information about this option.