Veterans Affairs - Frequently Asked Question
Welcome to Oakland Community College (OCC), listed below is the check list and tasks necessary for you to complete in order to get started.
- Apply as a student to OCC, once you receive confirmation of student status you will need to plan for a time to take the COMPASS test. Allow some time in your schedule to complete a COMPASS test which can be taken at any campus
- Set aside a copy of your DD214 (Member 4) for OCC VA office.
- Go to VA website www.gibill.va.gov to establish benefits. You will receive a Letter of Eligibility, set aside a copy for the OCC VA office.
- Supply copies of all unofficial transcripts for the OCC VA office.
- Contact Academic Counseling at any campus that is convenient for you to reach after you have taken the COMPASS test to set up an appointment to meet, make sure that you let them know you are a Veteran seeking to complete a
Veterans Plan of Study. When meeting with the Counselor you will complete a Veterans Plan of Study, you will need to provide a copy of the Veterans Plan of Study to OCC VA.
- Complete a Statement of Responsibility Form which can be found on the OCC website or a printed copy is available in front of the OCC VA office in Auburn Hills.
- Complete a Statement of Intent Form which can be found on the OCC website or a printed copy is available in front of the OCC VA office in Auburn Hills.
Return all completed information (DD214, Letter of Eligibility from VA, Unofficial Transcripts, Veterans Plan of Study, Statement of Responsibility and Statement of Intent) as one package to the OCC VA office in Auburn Hills.
Oakland Community College VA office is located at the Auburn Hills campus in Building B on the second floor, look for Financial Services sign as we reside in the same office. Ample parking is available and SMART does have a shuttle to
the campus (SMART Customer Service Connector & Fixed Route - 866-962-5515). Students may walk in any time on Tuesday without an appointment from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.
The OCC VA office requires a completed Statement of Intent each semester you intend to take a course load and use your benefits.
Go to the following website - www.gibill.va.gov
and look for the section called establishing benefits; this applies to a veteran or dependent of a veteran.
It really depends on you, if you think an email will work then email, call us and expect a call back within 48 hrs or less or just stop in during open office hours (Tuesday from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm). Most importantly ask the question!
If it has been longer than three years since you last attended OCC, you will need to complete a new application to the college as well provide the OCC VA office with the information required for your file. If it has been less than
three years since you last attended you will not need to reapply, but you will need to check with the OCC VA office to verify if your VA file is still being held or has been shredded for your protection.
To maintain student confidentiality, OCC VA will only communicate sensitive information with students using their OCC student e-mail addresses. Be sure to check this often to receive important information and notifications.
The department with in OCC that helps students is Financial Resources & Scholarships, they have office locations on every campus. In Auburn Hills the OCC VA office resides in the same location so you will be able to stop in and ask
either Financial Services or OCC VA questions if needed. Make sure you fill the FAFSA application as that government form is used to determine benefit eligibility.
In some situations you can take the same class more than once and have it certified. If you fail a course or receive a grade that is below the minimum requirement for graduation or entry into specified area of study then it could be
retaken. Send us an e-mail to seek more information on a possible retake.
A-Your Veterans Plan of Study is the guide for your class selection as VA will only pay for courses that fall under the plan. VA will not pay for suggested courses, nor will the VA pay for a course that another college or university
suggests you should take before a transfer. You will need to make the changes in order to meet VA requirements; you can always contact us for further information. If in doubt send us an email with your course selection and OCC VA will
verify if the course falls under your Veterans Plan of Study.
Contact the OCC VA office any time you have a change in schedule. Failure not to make the OCC VA office aware could result in a delay of benefits.
Yes, the Academic Counseling office has career guidance support, make an appointment with the counseling office and let them know when making the appointment your desire for career guidance.
Yes, if you’re thinking about a next step after OCC to continue your education its best to contact the counseling office to set up an appointment. A counselor will be able to discuss what another school is looking for in a transfer.
Yes, contact the Academic Counseling office at the campus nearest to you and ask for an appointment as soon as possible, please make them aware why you want the appointment.
If you have an immediate need to speak with someone call 800.273.TALK (8255) and you’ll be connected to a skilled trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.
Contact the Academic Support Center as they provide tutoring in a variety of subject areas and an ASC center is located on every campus
Whenever OCC VA goes into your account to make changes VA will send an email. The reasons for change are numerous and can include a course drop or add, withdrawal or an entry error after a periodic audit. Whatever the case an error
was discovered and updated with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs and this was done in order to keep the student as well as the college in good standing.
Any time you would like to attend another school you will have to the following:
- contact an Academic Counselor to make your course selection transfers back to OCC and falls under your Veterans Plan of Study.
- contact the OCC VA office to request a Parent School Letter be sent and provide documentation that the course is approved by counselor.
Yes, the OCC VA office reports grades and changes to your enrollment status as soon as we are made aware of the changes. Please report any changes as soon as possible as not informing the OCC VA office may adversely affect your
education benefit from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs.
Contact the OCC VA office as soon as possible, we will require a copy of your paper work for your file.
If you are called to active duty in the middle of a semester and this will prevent you from finishing your class, bring a copy of the orders and report to any campus Enrollment Services. You will complete a withdrawal form will
receive a 100% refund of tuition and course fees.
The best way to accomplish is either of the following: only attempt a course load (7-12 credit hours) for the 15 week semester or attempt 6 credit hours for each of the 8 week semesters. If you attempt 6 credit hours for each of the 8
week periods VA will recognize this as full time for the 8 weeks, you will only be paid for the dates of attendance.
Chapter 35 Dependents of Veterans
Go to the following website - www.gibill.va.gov
and look for the section called establishing benefits, you will need to have the Social Security number of the Veteran in order to
establish the benefit
Yes, every person that receives benefits from the Veterans Administration needs to complete all items required by the OCC office of Veterans Affairs. As well you will need to supply us the Social Security number of the Veteran from
whom the benefits come from and no you don’t need to supply us a copy of DD 214 as you are not a veteran.
To determine eligibility for the Children of Veterans Tuition Grant program you will need to contact the Dept. of Treasury for the State of Michigan. Once approved please bring a copy of award letter to the OCC VA office along with
the other items required for your file
CHAMPVA provides health coverage to the spouse, widow or children of veterans that qualify; you must contact the Department of Veterans Affairs directly to determine eligibility and to establish the benefit. If you are CHAMPVA
eligible make sure you provide the OCC VA office proper documentation and check off the box on the Statement of Intent form to assure OCC VA does report your status
Send over your information and we will forward to the correct department with in OCC. Also you will need to supply all the information required of any student veteran. Please be aware that your TA pays first and any other forms of
assistance will pay the remainder if any.
Chapter 33 Post 9/11
The college sends out a bill because technically you owe the college (yes even though VA is paying the bill), once payment is received by the college and applied your account status will be updated. If you receive a bill latter in the
semester, first check with Veterans Affairs to see if payment has been made to the college, if the college has been paid please contact the OCC VA office to make sure the payment has been applied to your account.
Because the Dept. of Veterans Affairs pays OCC directly, once the college receives payment you will be refunded the balance. If for some reason you don’t receive a refund please contact the OCC VA office directly.
Either we just have not processed the payment (you can monitor payment via your OCC student account) or if you are not 100% tuition eligible then you may have balance with the college in which case you will have to clear out the
balance to register for further course’s.
If you dropped a course, withdrew outside of the prescribed times of the college, or stopped attending a course for which you received a F grade OCC VA will update the Dept. of Veterans Affairs of your current enrollment status. The
surprise for you is because you didn’t inform OCC VA of your current situation and now as a result you have a bill with VA. Please contact the OCC VA office to discuss what is going on and possible outcomes.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill book stipend will be sent directly to you by the VA. You will not receive this until after the beginning of the semester so you will have to purchase your books and wait to be reimbursed.
If you are enrolled exclusively in online courses for a semester and have a rate of pursuit of greater than 50%, you will still be eligible for a MHA. However, it will be at the reduced rate of 50% of the national average of all Basic
Allowances for Housing. You must enroll in at least on-campus course to receive the BAH for the zip code of the school. You will receive the full BAH as long as your on-campus class is in session.
To receive the housing benefit you will need to attempt in the range of 7 credit hours to 12 credit hours during a 15 week semester. With 12 credit hours being the top of the range, as you attempt less credit hours the Monthly Housing
Allowance decreases. Below 7 credit hours attempted and you will not receive the Monthly Housing Allowance and just because you attempt more than 12 credit hours does not mean you will receive more MHA.
Chapter 31 Vocational Rehab
You will need to have your VA Counselor provide the OCC VA office a 1905 form. This form lets OCC know your status as to the benefit provided. Along with the form you will still need to follow the steps sighted earlier in the document
for new students.
Contact the OCC VA office and we will provide you a voucher for the semester. This can only be used for the purchase of books and a small amount of supplies such as pens, paper and folders. If you required an item for a course or to
support your academic progress that is a substantial amount of money contact your Voc Rehab Counselor to explain the need and seek authorization for the purchase.
Follow the list sighted earlier in the document. Please move fast as some items can take time and slow down the process.
Unfortunately, OCC does not participate in the advance payment part of the VRAP program. You may be eligible for Financial Assistance in which case you will need to apply, call or stop into any campus Financial Assistance office to
You must take a course load that falls under your Veterans Plan of Study, no exceptions. Your Veterans Plan of Study will match the program you submitted for under the VRAP application to VA.
W.A.V.E. - Web Automated Verification of Enrollment
Yes, if you are a current or active benefit award (active records are those with activity in the last 12 months) for the following: MGIB-Active Duty (Chapter 30), or MGIB Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606), or Reserve Educational
Assistance Program (REAP, Chapter 1607), or Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) - you must use WAVE to verify enrollment.
or call 877.823.2378.