Starting Your Benefits at the College of Charleston

To access your VA Educational Benefit funds, you must complete three steps:
1. You must apply to the VA for approval of your eligibility
2. You must be admitted to the College of Charleston
3. You must follow procedures for maintaining your benefits once enrolled

Applying for VA Eligibility Approval:

The OFAVA at CofC does not determine initial eligibility for any VA Educational Benefit program. The educational arm of the US Department of Veterans Affairs solely determines benefit eligibility.

To apply for your VA benefit, complete the application at the website.

The VA requests 30-45 business days (5-9 calendar weeks) to process an application. In some cases processing may take longer, so be sure to apply as early as possible. Applications can be submitted to the VA before a student is officially admitted to the College of Charleston.

All VA Educational Benefits are part of what’s commonly called the GI BILL. The VA classifies all recipients of benefits by the different chapters of the bill. In order to send the correct application to the VA you must know what chapter you qualify for. To find your chapter and application requirements click here. If you are currently on active duty, it is strongly recommended that you discuss your benefit options with your Education Services Officer (ESO).

If you have specific questions about a program that aren’t answered on these pages, please contact the USDVA Regional Processing Office toll-free at 1-888-442-4551 or go to their website,  

Applying for Admission to the College:  You must be admitted as a degree or certification seeking student to qualify for VA Educational Benefits.

  • Complete admission requirements
  • Select a program of study, a requirement for VA Educational Benefits. First time students will be allowed up to two (2) semesters of undecided work, all other students must declare a major.


CROSS-REGISTERED STUDENTS: If you are only visiting the College for one semester, or the summer, you must provide the VA Certifying Official with a copy of an approved cross registration form. This form must show that the courses taken at the College will be received by your home school and applied to your program of study. You must also complete the College of Charleston Request for Enrollment Certification.  

Procedure to maintain benefit eligibility:


The VA only pays benefits if the student is enrolled. Students must notify the Certifying Official in the OFAVA of their registered enrollment for each semester they wish to receive payments by completing the College of Charleston Request for Enrollment Certification. Students must not change their enrollment without notifying the Certifying Official in the OFAVA as this may result in overpayments and collection activities.

Financial Aid

Students who receive VA Educational benefits may also qualify for Title IV Federal financial aid, which may include grants, Federal work study and loans. Veteran students’ eligibility for these funds is not affected by their GI Bill eligibility, nor will their Federal financial aid be negatively impacted by their receipt of VA funds.  To apply for Federal financial aid, follow the directions listed on the Office of Financial Aid website.   

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) or Standards of Progress (SOP):

In addition to College of Charleston’s SAP policy, and the OFAVA´s SAP policy, students receiving VA Educational Benefits must also meet the SAP or SOP requirements of the VA. Failure to meet these requirements may result in the student losing benefit eligibility until the deficiencies are corrected.