Applying for Benefits
APPLY for your G.I. bill benefits online at: www.gibill.va.gov
- Chapter 30 Montgomery G.I. Bill
- Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation
- Chapter 33 Post 9/11 G.I. Bill
- Chapter 33 Transfer of Eligibility
- Chapter 35 Dependents/Survivors
- Chapter 1606 Guard/Reserves
- Chapter 1607 REAP
- Yellow Ribbon
- VRAP Veterans Retraining Assistance Program
If you are unsure under which Chapter you are eligible to receive benefits, see the Veterans Eligibility page.
If you are Chapter 30, 1606, 1607, or VRAP, you MUST certify your enrollment at the end of every month. Call 1-877-823-2378 or go online to www.gibill.va.gov
If you at some time qualified for benefits but are no longer eligible, you may qualify for exemption from the registration fee and tuition charges. Please see the Financial Aid office for a Montana University System Honorably Discharged Veteran Fee Waiver application. Download here
Purple Heart Scholarship
The 2013 legislative session established a Purple Heart Scholarship, see House Bill 447, sponsored by Rae Peppers. Please note the key points below and download an eligibility form here Purple Heart Scholarship form or contact Veteran Resources in Room 119 or the Financial Aid Office.
- Student must be a Montana resident
- Student must be a documented Purple Heart recipient (evidenced by DD214)
- $1,000 award per year
- Student has been enrolled for a full academic year as a full time or part time student at an accredited state school and has maintained a grade point of 2.0
- Student must be in attendance at a state educational institution
- The total appropriation is $50,000, i.e. 50 - $1000 scholarships over the 2015 biennium – funded on a first-come, first-serve basis until funds are exhausted
- Funds may be applied toward the cost of tuition, books, transportation or housing.
Yellow Ribbon Program
The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, which allows institutions of higher learning to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the Veterans Administration to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate.
Application and Certification Information
- Apply to the college. You must be degree seeking, not non-degree status, unless you are enrolled at another college that will accept the classes you take at Helena College toward their degree program.
- Take the Compass test for math and English placement if you do not have transfer credits or sufficient ACT or SAT scores.
AFTER your college Admissions enrollment file is complete:
- Meet with an advisor to register for classes.
- Complete a Certifying Information form and Requirement/Guideline form and meet with the Veteran Services Program Coordinator (Donaldson Campus, Room 119) every semester you want to be certified for benefits. Bring a copy of your letter of eligibility from the Veteran’s Administration.
- Benefit recipients are required to report promptly when they drop/add courses or withdraw completely.
- You must sign and return your bill to the Cashier even if you receive G.I. bill benefits. You may sign online only if you pay in full or full financial aid is processed. Failure to sign will result in course cancellation.
- Chapters 30, 35, 1606, 1607, and VRAP are paid directly to the student; payments begin approximately one month after the semester starts.
- ALL CHAPTERS: You must sign a “Benefits & Recipient Reporting Responsibilities” form. Pick up a form in the Veteran Services Office (VSO), Room 119, or download here: Chapter 33 form or Chapter 1606, 1607, 30, 35, VRAP form.
- NOTE: Challenged and online course numbers below 100 are not certifiable.
You are ultimately responsible for tuition/fee payment to the college and for understanding your benefits.
The college’s Veteran Services Office’s responsibility is to complete an accurate term certification enrollment that identifies the start/end date, credit hours, tuition/fees, and to report grades and dates of attendance. The VSO does not determine VA education eligibility or beneficiary payments. The Veterans Affairs education processing office is the only facility that will determine the amount of payment that will be issued.
The amount of credits you take will reflect the benefits you will receive: (Summer credit loads differ.)
12 credits= Full benefits
9-11 credits=3/4 benefits
6-8 credits=1/2 benefits
Less than 6 credits = Tuition & fees
The Veterans Administration expects veterans to make satisfactory academic progress: Academic Progress
If you have issues related to PTSD or other concerns, we have a licensed counselor on campus you can meet with at no charge to serve you. Contact your VA Coordinator to make an appointment.
Montana University System Veterans Assistance Webpage
On Campus Free Mental Health Counseling: Call 447-6956 or 447-6953 to schedule.
G.I. Bill Eligibility, Education & Training Programs, Licenses/Certifications: Jack Bailey, MT Office of Public Instruction, 406-444-4122
Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31): Dave Wirtz, 406-495-2013
Navigating the VA and Unresolved Problems: Bruce Knutson, Senator Jon Tester’s office, 406-449-5401
MT National Guard Transition Assistance Advisor: Pete Gardzina, 406-324-3257
Veterans Administration Regional Muskogee, OK, Office: 1-888-442-4551
Monthly Enrollment Certification: 1-877-823-2378
Tammy Steckler, Room 119
1115 N. Roberts Street, Helena, MT 59601