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2013-2014 General Catalog
South Plains College
   
 
    
 
  Dec 15, 2017
 
2013-2014 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Veterans Affairs


South Plains College is approved by the Veterans Administration to offer a wide variety of college-level courses for the veteran student. Certificate programs as well as associate degree courses that can be transferred to four-year universities have been certified by the VA and meet all requirements for the veteran to be able to use his or her educational benefits. Benefits are specific to each student and the various types of benefits available can be researched online at www.gibill.va.gov. Veteran educational benefits are administered through the Financial Aid Office at South Plains College. For additional information and assistance, contact the Veteran Benefits Coordinator on the Levelland Campus, the Financial Aid/Veteran Benefits Advisor at the SPC Reese Center, or the Department of Veteran Affairs at 1-888-442-4551.

Eligible persons, who are listed below, are encouraged to apply for benefits six to eight weeks prior to beginning their first semester. Benefits can be applied for through an online website: www.ebenefits.va.gov.

Veteran

All veterans must apply for and receive certification of their benefits from the Veterans Administration in Muskogee, Okla. Only the Veterans Administration can determine the exact benefits each veteran is eligible for and any specific questions regarding eligibility and benefits should be addressed to the VA at 1-888-442-4551. Benefits can include direct payment of tuition and fees to SPC from the VA, book stipends, and housing allowances depending on the benefit selected. Benefits associated with specific chapters of the GI Bill can be compared online at www.gibill.va.gov.

Child of Veteran

If a member of the armed forces was killed in action, died as a result of a service-related injury, or has a permanent or total disability as the result of a service-connected incident, educational benefits are extended to his or her children under certain conditions.

Spouse of Veteran

Under certain conditions, the widow or widower of a veteran or the spouse of a veteran with a permanent or total disability, as the result of a service-connected incident, is eligible to receive educational benefits.

Application Process

All veteran students must first be accepted for admission to South Plains College in order to utilize their veteran benefits. Application can be made online at www.southplainscollege.edu or by submitting a paper application to the Admissions Office.

Eligible students must submit Member Copy 4 of their DD-214 to the Admissions Office. Copies of a DD-214 may be requested online at http://vetrecs.archives.gov/.

Certified copies of transcripts from each college the veteran has attended must be forwarded to the SPC Admissions and Records Office. If the veteran has not attended college prior to registering at SPC, he or she must request a certified copy of his or her high school transcript or GED. The student must also request and submit all military transcripts. Transcript requests can be made at the following web addresses:

Air Force: http://www.au.af.mil/au/ccaf/

Marines and Navy: https://smart.navy.mil

Army, Marines, and Navy:  http://www.jst.dod.ed.mil

The military transcripts will be evaluated for transfer of any possible college credits applicable to the veteran’s chosen degree plan. A copy of the student’s Certificate of Eligibility issued by the Veterans Administration must also be submitted to the Veteran Benefits Coordinator.

After the veteran student has been accepted to South Plains College, they will be required to select their degree plan with the aid of one of the veteran counselors who will also assist the student with enrolling in the appropriate classes. Veterans are exempt from taking the TSI Assessment. However, if remedial classes are required and the TSI Assessment were not taken, the Veterans Administration will not include these classes in computing monthly benefits.

Combat Exemption Program

The purpose of this program is to provide an education benefit to a child or stepchild of a parent who is deployed to active duty in a combat zone outside the United States. An eligible student must meet the following criteria:

  • Is a Texas resident or is entitled to pay resident tuition;
  • Has a parent who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces;
  • Is enrolled for any semester or other academic term during which the service member of the armed forces is deployed on active duty for the engaging in a combative military operation outside the US.

The awards are available only for use at a Texas public college or university.  The exemption covers the student’s tuition only.  Contact the Financial Aid Office for information on claiming this exemption.  Students must be able to provide proof of meeting the program’s eligibility.

Hazlewood Act

The Hazlewood Act was created to provide tuition and fee exemptions to qualifying veterans and their eligible dependents attending institutions of higher learning within the State of Texas. The exemption is intended to be used as payment for tuition and fees, with the exception of student service fees which are not covered by the Hazlewood exemption. Awards may not be used to pay tuition and relevant fees for continuing education classes.

Qualifications for Using Hazlewood Benefits

A veteran must meet the following requirements in order to use benefits available from the Hazlewood Act:

  • Entered the service in Texas, declared Texas as home of record, OR was a Texas resident as determined by completion of the Hazlewood Residency Questionnaire;
  • Served at least 181 days of active military duty, indicated as net active service on the DD-214;
  • Has attempted fewer than 150 credit hours of college courses at all institutions since the fall of 1995 using the Hazlewood exemption;
  • Not in default on a loan made or guaranteed by the state of Texas;
  • Has received an honorable discharge, a general discharge under honorable conditions or an honorable release from active duty;
  • Has not been approved at 100% under Chapter 33 (Post 9/11) or Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation) of the GI Bill;
  • Enroll in courses for which the college receives state support;
  • Completed the HE-V application for the exemption.

New Veteran Students Using the Hazlewood Exemption for the First Time

In order to determine eligibility of Veterans who are new students to SPC, the following documents must be submitted to and approved by the Veteran Benefits Coordinator (Levelland Campus) or Veterans Advisor (SPC Reese Center):

  • Member 4 copy of the veterans DD-214;
  • Completed application HE-V for the appropriate semester;
  • Proof of current Texas residency;
  • Copy of course schedule for the appropriate semester.

No exemption of tuition and allowable fees is possible unless proper documentation of eligibility has been provided to and approved by the Veteran Benefits Coordinator (Levelland Campus) or Veterans Advisor (SPC Reese Center).

Continuing Veteran Students Using Hazlewood

Students MUST complete an application (HE-V or HE-D) at the beginning of each academic year that they wish to use the Hazlewood Exemption.   Students will be required to sign a “Continuing Use Statement” for subsequent semesters of the academic year.  All other documentation will carry over to all future semesters with the exception of veteran students that have elected to use their Ch. 33 (Post 9/11) benefits. The amount awarded under the Hazlewood exemption combined with the benefits from Ch. 33 cannot exceed 100% of the total tuition and fees. For example, if a student has been awarded 60% eligibility under Ch. 33, he/she may only receive 40% of the total tuition and fees under the Hazlewood exemption. The veteran is required to provide an updated award letter every semester for continued eligibility.

Qualifications for Veterans’ Dependents Using Hazlewood Benefits

Children and/or spouses of a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, Texas National Guard, or Texas Air National Guard who died as a result of service-related injuries or illness, is missing in action, or became totally disabled (100%) as a result of a service-related injury or illness or is entitled to compensation at the 100% rate due to individual unemployability due to a service-connected injury or illness are eligible to apply for their own Hazlewood account. The veteran must meet the following qualifications:

  • Was a resident of Texas at time of entry into the service, entered the service in the state of Texas or Texas was their home of record.
  • Provide proof that veteran’s death was a result of illness or injury related to military service or became 100% disabled for purposes of employability due to a service-connected injury or illness.

Eligible children and spouses must meet the following requirements in order to use the Hazlewood Exemption:

  • Must be a Texas resident for the term they plan to use the exemption.
  • Were a dependent when the parent was deceased.
  • Provide proof of eligibility or ineligibility for Post 9/11 (Chapter 31) benefits by requesting an education benefits letter from the VA at (888)442-4551 or by applying online at www.ebenefits.va.gov.
  • Children must be 25 years or age or younger on the first day of the semester for which the exemption is claimed;
  • Must not have a default status on any student loans made or guaranteed by the State of Texas.
  • Have attempted fewer than 150 credit hours of college courses using the Hazlewood Exemption.
  • Submit a completed HE-D application.

Qualifications for Legacy Program (Transferability of Benefits)

Eligible veterans may assign unused hours of exemption eligibility to a child under certain conditions. To be eligible, the child must:

  • Be a Texas Resident;
  • Be the biological child, stepchild, adopted child, or claimed as a dependent in the current or previous tax year;
  • Be 25 years or younger on the first day of the semester for which the exemption is claimed;
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress in a degree or certificate program in which the student is enrolled;
  • Submit a completed HE-D application.

If the child in the Legacy Program fails to use all assigned hours, the veteran may re-assign the hours to another qualifying child. The veteran may also withdraw the assigned hours at any time. Spouses are not eligible to receive the transfer of hours.

Application Process

All students must first be accepted for admission to South Plains College in order to utilize Hazlewood benefits. Required documents must be submitted to the Veteran Benefits Coordinator (Levelland campus) or Veteran Advisor (SPC Reese Campus) for the semester which the student wishes to use the exemption. Applications (both HE-V and HE-D) can be found at www.collegeforalltexans.com by clicking the “Military and Their Families” link and selecting Hazlewood Exemption. Students may also pick up the application in the Financial Aid Office at either campus.

Veterans must provide the following documents:

  • Copy of DD-214 (Member 4);
  • Provide proof of eligibility or ineligibility for Post 9/11 benefits;
  • Student loan report (see instructions for HE-V application);
  • Verification page as proof of online database registration (see instructions for HE-V application);
  • HE-V application form;
  • Proof of Texas residency.

Dependent children and spouses must provide the following documents:

  • Proof of eligibility or ineligibility for Post-9/11 benefits;
  • Proof from the VA or Department of Defense that the veteran parent/spouse’s death or disability was service-related;
  • HE-V application form;
  • HE-D application form;
  • Student loan report (see instruction for HE-V application);
  • Verification page as proof of online database registration (see instructions for HE-V application);
  • Proof of Texas residency.

Children using transferability of benefits (Legacy Program) must provide the following documents:

  • Copy of parent’s DD-214 (Member 4);
  • Proof of eligibility or ineligibility for Post 9/11 benefits;
  • Proof of Texas residency for the veteran;
  • Birth certificate or parents’ tax return verifying relationship to veteran parent;
  • Student loan report (see instruction for HE-D application);
  • Verification page as proof of online database registration (see instructions for HE-D application);
  • HE-V application form;
  • HE-D application form;

The above requirements are required for determination of initial eligibility. Students will be required to submit either the HE-V application or HE-D application as appropriate for each subsequent academic year they plan to use the Hazlewood exemption. No exemption of tuition and fees is possible unless proper documentation of eligibility has been filed with and approved by the Veteran Benefits Coordinator (Levelland Campus) or Veterans Advisor (SPC Reese Center).

Award Amounts

Eligible veterans, their children and spouses may receive an exemption from the payment of all tuition, fees, and other required charges, including fees for distance education courses, but excluding deposit fees, student service fees, and any fees or charges for books, lodging, board, or clothing for up to 150 semester credit hours.  Awards may not be used to pay tuition and relevant fees for continuing education classes unless one of the following applies: (1. the college received state tax support for the classes, or (2. the governing board has specifically approved this benefit.

Standards of Progress for Veterans

The official student transcript maintained in the Admissions and Records Office provides a record of completed credits taken by all students each semester, as well as courses from which they have withdrawn. This office also maintains official drop dates and attendance records.

South Plains College requires students to maintain a minimum 2.00 grade point average in order to remain in good academic standing. Students who fail to meet this requirement will be placed on academic probation for the following long semester. The student will remain on probation in subsequent semesters until he or she acquires a 2.00 or higher grade point average. A student will be placed on academic suspension if he or she fails to make a 2.00 or higher grade point average while on academic probation.

Veterans who are placed on academic probation or academic suspension will be reported to the Veterans Administration for “unsatisfactory progress.”