Veterans Program Information
The Veterans Program was established to assist eligible veterans, dependents and reservists in obtaining their VA educational benefits and achieving their educational goals. The Veterans Office provides information on veterans benefits and services; assists with completing applications and forms necessary to receive VA educational benefits; and assists with referrals to other agencies and resources.
College of the Desert is approved for the training of veterans, dependents and reservists leading to a certificate, associate degree or transfer to a four-year institution.
Important Things to Know
- It takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks for the VA to process your application and to receive your benefits if eligible.
- Students are required by the Department of Veterans Affairs to maintain regular class attendance and satisfactory progress.
- Students receiving education benefits from the VA must stop by the Veterans Services Office each semester to inform the office of their enrollment, verify that their classes meet requirements and complete the required forms.
- Official Transcripts from ALL other schools, colleges and technical schools are required by Federal Law to be submitted to College of the Desert. This includes all training and education received before entering the service as well any training received during service and after discharge, even if VA benefits were not paid for attending the course or program. This also includes test scores from CLEP, DANTES, AP (Advance Placement Scores from high school), DLPT (Defense Language Proficiency Test), etc.
- Must declare a major and are responsible for enrolling in classes required for their major. Failure to take proper courses can lead to a reduction or termination of benefits for that semester. Remember to always check with our office about the courses you are planning to enroll in.
- Students may receive benefits when repeating a course in which a grade of "F" or "NC" was received if that course is required or a prerequisite to a required course. In some cases, a grade of "D" may be repeated and receive benefits if a "C" or better is required. Be sure to check with our office on any courses you are planning to repeat!
- Less than semester length courses are certified by the Veterans Office for the exact dates of the course only and not for the entire semester - this can affect your payments. Check with our office before enrolling for short-term courses!
- Our office must report status changes as well as withdrawals immediately to the Department of Veterans Affairs. In order to avoid possible overpayments of benefits and subsequent billing from the VA, it is imperative that students collecting benefits report all changes, withdrawals, etc. immediately to our office so that we can notify the VA.
Veterans Priority Registration
- Veterans and current members of the US Armed Forces may qualify for Priority Registration. If a new student to COD, the requirements for the Matriculation Process must be met or waived.
- Orientation Exemption Information:
New COD students who have completed orientation at another college, or who have already attained an AA degree or higher may be exempt from attending orientation. If you feel you qualify for an exemption, please visit the meet with the COD Veterans Counselor or the COD Counseling Center to complete a Matriculation Waiver Form.
Important Information regarding your Chapter 30, 1606 or 1607 VA benefits and payments!!!
- All students who are receiving either the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty or Selected Reserve benefits MUST verify their enrollment at the end of every month to receive their payments. This needs to be done no earlier than the last day of the month. For example, the month of September, you can verify on Sept. 30th or the beginning of October, but no earlier than the 30th!
- You must do this by either calling 1-877-823-2378 or by using the VA’s “WAVE” system (Web Automated Verification of Enrollment) at www.gibill.va.gov Click on "Information for Benefit Recipients" then "Certify your Attendance (WAVE)"