OCtech is approved for training under title 38, U. S. Code, Chapters 30, 31, 33, 35 and Title 10, U. S. code, Chapter 1606 and 1607. The approval covers day and evening curriculum programs. Because of the nature of technical curricula, some courses may not be approved for VA educational benefits. OCtech maintains a full-time Veterans’ Affairs Office to assist veterans and eligible students already enrolled, as well as those seeking admission.
In accordance with Title 38 US Code 3679 subsection (e), OCtech adopts the following additional provisions for any students using U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Post 9111 G.l. Bill® (Ch.33) or Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Ch. 31) benefits, while payment to the institution is pending from the VA. This school will not:
- Prevent the student's enrollment;
- Assess a late penalty fee to;
- Require student secure alternative or additional funding;
- Deny their access to any resources (access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities) available to other students who have satisfied their tuition and fee bills to the institution.
- However, to qualify for this provision, such students may be required to:
- Provide Chapter 33 Certificate of Eligibility (or its equivalent) or for Chapter 31, VA VR&E's contract with the school on VA Form 28-1905 by the first day of class.
Note: Chapter 33 students can register at the VA Regional Office to use E-Benefits to get the equivalent of a Chapter 33 Certificate of Eligibility. Chapter 31 student cannot get a completed VA Form 28-1905 (or any equivalent) before the VA VR&E case-manager issues it to the school.
- Provide written request to be certified;
- Provide additional information needed to properly certify the enrollment as described in other institutional policies
General Information: The federal, state or private agency administering these educational assistance programs has sole responsibility for determining eligibility and awarding benefits. Most Federal VA educational benefits must be used within 10 years of the date of discharge or the date of eligibility. Generally, veterans with dishonorable discharge are not eligible. Programs and guidelines for eligibility may be changed without notice based on federal or state legislation affecting benefit programs.
Educational Programs for Veterans/Dependents, Active Duty & Reserve Personnel:
Montgomery Gl Bill® - Active Duty (MGIB-AD) (Chapter 30)
This program provides 36 months of full-time education benefits to a veteran or service person in return for $100 per month contribution for 12 months; the military provides matching funds based on length of enlistment.
Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) (Chapter 31)
This program pays tuition, fees, textbooks, supplies and equipment plus a monthly subsistence allowance to veterans with a compensable service-connected disability resulting in employment disability as determined by the VA. You must apply within 12 years of VA notification of disability compensation. Generally, benefits are payable up to 48 months for undergraduate training. Application should be made through the VA Regional Office, Vocational Rehabilitation Department.
Post 9/11 (Chapter 33)
The Post-9/11 Gl Bill® provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 Gl Bill®.
Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (Chapter 35)
This program provides educational benefits to spouses who have not remarried and children of a veteran with a permanent and total service-connected disability; a veteran who died while permanently and totally service-connected disabled; or a veteran who died during military service or as a result of a service-connected disability. A child must use the benefit between the ages of 18 to 26.
Montgomery Gl Bill® Selected Reserve (MGIB) (Chapter 1606)
This program provides up to 36 months of educational benefits to members of the Selected Reserve, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp and Coast Guard Reserves, the Army National Guard, and the Air Guard. The Reserve components decide who are eligible for the program and provide documentation of eligibility. The VA makes the payments for training to the student.
- Reservists called to active duty on or after 9/11/01 under Title 10 for contingency operations for at least 90 consecutive days or more. National Guard members are eligible if called under Section 502 (f), title 32 USC and serve same period.
- Entitlement is 36 months of full-time benefits.
- Pays percentage of MGIB based on length of active duty service. Same programs as MGIB.
- No delimiting if member continues to participate in reserves.
Restored Entitlement Program for Survivors
Under the provisions of Section 156, Public Law 97-377, benefits are payable to certain survivors of members or former members of the armed forces who died while on active duty prior to August 13, 1981, or died from a disability incurred or aggravated by active duty prior to August 13, 1981. Benefits also may be payable to eligible parents who have in their care a child who has reached age 16, but not 18. Benefits also may be payable to unmarried children who have reached 18, but not 22, and are full-time students.
S.C. Free Tuition for Certain Veterans' Children
Children of veterans who were either residents of South Carolina at the time of entry into service or have resided in South Carolina for at least one year may be eligible for this free tuition program. The program requires that the veteran served honorably in the armed forces of the United States during a period of war and either died while in service or as a direct result of service, or is a POW or MIA, or is totally or permanently disabled as determined by the Veterans Administration, or has been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The veteran, if disabled, must still reside in South Carolina.
Section 702 In-state Tuition and Fee Rates
Section 702 of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (“Choice Act”), allows covered individuals under the Post-9/11 Gl Bill®, Montgomery Gl Bill® and the Fry Scholarship who live in the state to be charged in-state tuition and fees if the following criteria are met beginning after July 1, 2015.
- A Veteran who lives in South Carolina (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
- An individual using transferred benefits who lives in South Carolina (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the transferor’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
- An individual using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship who lives in South Carolina (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the Servicemember’s death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
A person described above will retain covered individual status as long as he/she remains continuously enrolled (other than during regularly scheduled breaks between terms) at OCtech. The in-state tuition provisions in Section 702 do not apply to those on active duty or to students using transferred Post-9/11 Gl Bill® benefits from a Servicemember still on active duty.
Tutorial Assistance for VA
Tutorial assistance is available to a student who is enrolled half-time or greater and has a deficiency in a subject or subjects required in the student's approved program of education. VA will help defray the cost of individual tutoring with acceptable evidence of the need for tutorial assistance as determined by the school. For more information, contact the Veterans’ Affairs Office located in Student Services.
How to Apply for Veterans’ Benefits
To apply for benefits, the veteran or eligible person must first be accepted into a program of study by the Admissions Office and then report to the Veterans’ Affairs office in the Patrick Student Services building, with a certified copy of the DD214 or DD2384 NOBE (Notice of Basic Eligibility) form, if an active reservist. The Veterans’ Affairs office coordinates services for veterans and eligible persons and maintains all applications, required forms, and specific details for applying for benefits. The process of applying for benefits approval and receipt of funds may take as long as three months.
The veteran or eligible person must furnish an official transcript from the high school of graduation and official transcripts from all colleges attended. These should be forwarded to the Admissions Office. An evaluation of all college transcripts must be completed by the Registrar. Benefits cannot be extended beyond the second semester until this is accomplished. It is the responsibility of the veteran to make sure the evaluation has been completed.
To change programs, the same admissions and evaluation process must be followed and Change of Program form filled out in the Veterans’ Affairs Office.
Payment of Benefits
Veterans and eligible persons cannot be paid for any course not listed in their curricula. If there are any electives listed as part of the curriculum, veterans must not exceed the total number of elective hours designated by the program. Only electives that are listed as approved electives or electives that have been approved in writing by the Program Coordinator may be taken to receive payment of benefits.
Eligible students receive benefits based on their particular VA benefit program and training time while at OCtech. The Veterans’ Administration makes payments monthly to the student.
Grading Procedure for Veterans’ and Eligible Persons
The law prohibits payment of VA benefits for a course from which the student withdraws, or for a course that the student completes, but receives a grade for the course which will not be used in computing requirements for graduation "AU", "NC" or "CF". In all cases, an "F" grade is defined as a punitive grade for purposes of computing eligibility for and receipt of veterans' benefits.
Interruption of Benefits due to Unsatisfactory Grades or Progress
Once a veteran or eligible person begins receiving benefits, he/she must maintain satisfactory attendance, conduct, and progress. If the school's standards are not met, the Veterans’ Affairs Office will notify the Veterans’ Administration and benefits will stop. If the school approves reentry in the same program, the Veterans’ Affairs office will certify enrollment to VA. If the student does not reenter the same program, benefits may resume if the cause of the unsatisfactory attendance, conduct, or progress has been removed and the VA must find that the program the student intends to take is suitable to his/her abilities, aptitudes and interests.
To earn VA benefits, students are required to attend class. Students who attend classes after the published add/drop period and later decide to discontinue enrollment in any or all classes are required to complete and submit the necessary paperwork to withdraw from courses. It is the student’s responsibility to complete all requirements for official withdrawal from the College or the course. Failure to complete and submit required documentation to the Student Records Office and the College Veterans’ Affairs Office will result in a failing grade of “F” in any or all courses. The termination date assigned by the school will be the last day of the term or the last day of attendance. The actual termination date may result in an overpayment of benefits, resulting in a debt that the student will owe to the Veterans’ Administration.
Refund for Veterans and Eligible Persons
The College refund policy also applies to students receiving veterans' benefits.