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VRC Counseling Appointments

Counseling Appointments

  • Appointments are 45-minutes long
  • Counseling is available by phone or online via Zoom
  • If you have outside transcripts, please email unofficial transcripts to cbarlolong@palomar.edu with "Unofficial Transcripts " in the subject line.
  • After you schedule your appointment, you will receive an email confirmation within 24-48 hours

Online Appointment Requirements

  • Online appointment via Zoom Video Conference (You do NOT need a Zoom account)
  • Palomar Student Email Address is required to book an online appointment
  • Must have access to an electronic device, preferably a laptop or desktop, with video and microphone capability
  • Check out How to Prepare for Your Online Counseling Appointment

Education Benefits Information

  • The “Forever GI Bill” is an extension of the “Post 9/11 Educational Bill”. Veterans that served on or after January 1, 2013, are granted unlimited time limit to utilize their Post 9/11 educational benefits.
  • Students receive a monthly housing allowance, a book stipend, tuition and fees paid directly to the school, and tutoring assistance. Additionally, at Palomar, CH 33 students are given a Service Indicator which ensures they will not have to pay tuition and fees upfront. CH 33 dependents are eligible for all the same benefits.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) helps you pay for school or job training. If you’ve served on active duty after September 10, 2001, you may qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33). Find out if you can get this education benefit.

Am I eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) benefits?

You can get these education benefits if you meet at least one of the requirements listed below.

At least one of these must be true. You:

  • Served at least 90 days on active duty (either all at once or with breaks in service) on or after September 11, 2001, or
  • Received a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged after any amount of service, or
  • Served for at least 30 continuous days (all at once, without a break in service) on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged with a service-connected disability, or
  • Are a dependent child using benefits transferred by a qualifying Veteran or service member

Note: If you’re a member of the Reserves who lost education benefits when the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) ended in November 2015, you may qualify to receive restored benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

What if I qualify for other VA education benefits too?

You’ll have to pick which benefit you’d like to use. This is an irrevocable decision, meaning you can’t change your mind.

What benefits can I get through the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)?

You can receive up to 36 months of benefits, including:

  • Tuition and fees. If you qualify for the maximum benefit, we’ll cover the full cost of public, in-state tuition and fees. We cap the rates for private and foreign schools, and update those rates each year.
    View current rates
  • Money for housing (if you’re in school more than half time). We’ll base your monthly housing allowance on the cost of living where your school is located.
  • Money for books and supplies. You can receive up to $1,000 per school year.
  • Money to help you move from a rural area to go to school. You may qualify for this one-time payment of $500 if you live in a county with 6 or fewer people per square mile and you’re either moving at least 500 miles to go to school or have no other option but to fly by plane to get to your school.

Here’s how we’ll determine how much of the benefit you’ll qualify for:

The specific amount you’ll receive will depend on how much active service you’ve had since September 10, 2001. We’ll calculate this amount based on a percentage of the maximum benefit.

For example: If you had 90 days of active service since September 10, 2001, you would qualify for 40% of the maximum amount. If you served for 3 years, you would qualify for 100% of the benefit. So if your school charges $22,000 for in-state tuition and fees, you would receive $8,800 if you had 90 days of active service and the full $22,000 if you had 3 years of active service.

Note that this will change August 1, 2020. In this example, 90 days of active service would qualify you for 50% of the maximum amount as of August 1, 2020.

Do these benefits expire?

This depends on when you were discharged from active duty.

If your service ended before January 1, 2013, your Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) benefits will expire 15 years after your last separation date from active service. You must use all of your benefits by that time or you’ll lose whatever’s left.

If your service ended on or after January 1, 2013, your benefits won’t expire thanks to a new law called the Forever GI Bill - Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act. Some letters you receive from us may not yet reflect this change. Thank you for your patience as we work to update our systems.
Learn more about this new law

 

  • CH 30 students receive a monthly benefit based on a number of factors (time of service, “kickers”, and type of training a student is taking). To get a clear picture of what a student’s monthly benefit would be, they should call the VA education hotline. Note: no tuition/fees are paid directly to the school. The student is responsible for paying their tuition/fees in accordance with Palomar’s policy.
  • CH 30 students do not receive a book stipend, but they are eligible to receive tutoring assistance.
  • There are many different eligibility requirements, the two most basic are graduated from high school/have a GED, and have received an honorable discharge. To determine eligibility, the student must file a claim for benefits through the VA.
  • Montgomery GI Bill has a time limit of 10 years from the date of EAS.

What benefits can I get?

We’ll send you a monthly payment to help you cover the cost of:

  • College or graduate degree programs
  • Career-training certificate courses
  • Educational and career counseling
  • Apprenticeships
  • On-the-job training

Note: If you began using this program to pay for your school or training before August 1, 2018, you can get benefits for up to 45 months. If you began using the program on or after August 1, 2018, you can get benefits for up to 36 months.

Am I eligible for education benefits through the DEA program?

You may be able to get these benefits if both you and the Veteran or service member meet certain eligibility requirements.

One of the descriptions below must be true. The Veteran or service member:

  • Is permanently and totally disabled due to a service-connected disability, or
  • Died while on active duty or as a result of a service-connected disability, or
  • Is missing in action or was captured in the line of duty by a hostile force, or
  • Was forcibly detained (held) or interned in the line of duty by a foreign entity, or
  • Is in the hospital or getting outpatient treatment for a service-connected permanent and total disability and is likely to be discharged for that disability (effective December 23, 2006)

If you’re the child of a Veteran or service member

  • You can get benefits if you’re between the ages of 18 and 26, except in certain cases. You may be married or unmarried.
  • If you’re over 18 years old and using DEA, you can’t get Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) from us.
    Learn about DIC
  • If you join the military, you can’t use this benefit while on active duty. And if you want to use this benefit after you leave the service, you can’t have a dishonorable discharge. Military service can extend your eligibility, but this increase doesn’t usually go past your 31st birthday.

If you’re the spouse of a Veteran or service member

  • Your benefits start on the date we conclude that you qualify or on the date of the Veteran’s death and last for 10 years.
  • If we rated the Veteran as permanently and totally disabled, with an effective date that’s 3 years after discharge, you’ll qualify for benefits for 20 years from that effective date. This new policy began on October 10, 2008. We won’t pay benefits for training you started before this date.
  • If the service member died on active duty, your benefits end 20 years from the date of death.
  • You can get DIC payments from us and use DEA benefits.

    Learn about the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program. If you’re the child or spouse of a Veteran or service member who has died, is captured or missing, or has disabilities, you may be able to get help paying for school or job training through the DEA program—also called Chapter 35. Find out if you’re eligible for this benefit.

  • CH 31 eligibility is determined based on your disability rating. Students have to partner up with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) at the San Diego Regional office to determine eligibility. It’s a process to advise the student to start ASAP. Generally speaking, students need at least a 10% service-connected disability. First, the student must apply for CH 31 on the VA’s website.
  • Once you are approved for Ch. 31, your VocRehab Counselor must upload a Purchase Order (PO) onto a 3rd party website called Tungsten. This PO is required to certify classes at Palomar. Tuition, Fees, Parking and Student Activity cards are paid for using the PO. Books and supplies, purchases at Follett Bookstore, will be paid with a second PO specific to Follett. The student will be required to pay the student government representation fee unless waived. You can find this process here.
  • The Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserves (Chapter 1606) program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, the Coast Guard Reserve, as well as the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard.
  • Eligibility for this program is determined by the Selected Reserve components. VA makes the payments for this program. You may be entitled to receive up to 36 months of education benefits.

The College Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents benefit waives mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at any State of California Community College, California State University, or University of California campus. This program does not cover the expense of books, parking, or room and board. There are four plans under which dependents of veterans may be eligible. Please visit CalVet Website to review each plan.

Before Getting Started:

If you are planning on using Tuition Assistance (TA), please be sure to speak with the Base Education Center before enrolling in courses at Palomar College.  The Base Education Center will assist you in the application process and help you understand the rules and regulations pertaining to the use of TA.

The Base Education Center (BEC) website has a lot of useful information that may help as well!  Please click here to visit their website.

  1. First time using TA?  Please be aware that TA will only cover ONE class the first time you use this assistance.
  2. Cost of Tuition at Palomar College is $46.00 per unit/credit (i.e. 4 unit course will be $184.00 total).
  3. Navy- If it is your first time using TA, you may be required to submit an education plan to get your request approved.  You can get an education plan by making a Counseling Appointment with one of our Palomar College Counselors.  Please call us to schedule an appointment.
  4. Marines- For your first time using TA, you will not be required to have an education plan.  You may be required to submit one your second time utilizing TA.  If that is the case, please call us to schedule a Counseling Appointment.
  5. Keep up your grades!  A’s and B’s will allow you to take more two classes at a time, after your first time.  Please note that TA will not pay for classes that you receive an F, FW, or D grade.

Tuition Assistance with Palomar College:

Now what?  Read through the information below regarding using Tuition Assistance with Palomar College.

  1. If you are using TA, please let Palomar College know! While you are waiting for your TA to be approved, we will put a hold on your account to prevent you from getting dropped from your course due to non-payment. This saves your seat in the course without being penalized for a non-payment.
  2. Once your TA has been approved, please submit a signed copy of your TA voucher to either the Camp Pendleton Site or the Cashiers Office at the Main Campus.  You may email your signed copy to cppen@palomar.edu.
    • If you submitted a request for TA and it was not approved, you will be responsible for finding another source of payment. You are welcome to pay for the course out of pocket or apply for FAFSA to see if you qualify for State and/or Federal Aid.  To apply for FAFSA, please visit: www.fafsa.ed.gov
  3. Please note that your Student Account will reflect that you still owe money for tuition until we have processed billing and received payment from TA.  Palomar College will bill and report grades 30 days after course completion.
    • Note- TA will only cover tuition costs.  Any additional course fees associated with the course (i.e. Student Representation Fee, Health Fee, Course Fees, etc) will have to be paid out of pocket.
    • You can pay any additional course fees separately, in-person, through the Camp Pendleton Site or at the Cashiers Office at the Main Campus.
  4. As mentioned above, TA will not pay for classes that you received an F, FW, or D grade.  You will be responsible for paying for the class either to Palomar College or to TA directly.
    • If TA ends up paying Palomar College, TA may request you to pay them directly.  If you know you will receive one of the grades listed above, we recommend canceling your TA with the BEC and paying for your class directly to Palomar College.
  5. Dropping Classes-  Depending on the time of your drop, you may have to pay for your course if it is after the refund deadline at Palomar College (refund and grading timelines are located in your Student Center under your Class Schedule).  Please visit our Palomar College’s Refund Policy for more information.
  6. Military Withdraws-  If you had to withdraw from a course due to military obligations, you will need to submit Military Withdraw letters to both TA (through the BEC) and Palomar College explaining the circumstances behind your situation.  You can get a sample letter of a Military Withdraw for TA from the BEC and one from Palomar College through our office on Camp Pendleton.  These will need to be typed up, signed off by your Command, and turned in to the BEC and Palomar College Camp Pendleton with any supporting evidence. If approved, TA will be responsible for paying for your course and you will receive an MW grade with Palomar College.  Please note Military Withdraws are circumstantial and it is advised to speak with our Camp Pendleton Office if you think a Military Withdraw is necessary.