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Veterans Policies

Student veterans have unique rules and regulations, many of which are set by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It is your responsibility to be aware of all of these rules.


Attendance

To receive veterans’ benefit pay, you must attend class regularly. Your instructor is required to report your non-attendance to Veterans Services, which is required to report non-attendance to the VA. Your benefit payments may be adjusted or canceled based upon your attendance record. (38 U.S.C.3034, 3474).

 

Drop & Add Courses

Changes to a student veteran’s course schedule after certification for the semester will result in an overpayment with the VA if they are not approved by the school’s VA Certifying Official in accordance with VA policy.

 

Withdrawals

VA will not pay education benefits to an individual for a course from which the individual withdraws or receives a non-punitive grade (W) which is not used in computing the requirements for graduation (38 U.S.C. 3680 and §21.4136).

 

Course Approval

A course of education, including the class schedules of a resident course not leading to a standard college degree, offered by a school must be approved by the State Approving Agency for the state in which the school is located, or by the State Approving Agency which has appropriate approval authority, or where appropriate, by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (38 U.S.C. 3672).

The State Approving Agency, upon determining that a school has complied with all the requirements for approval will notify the school by letter setting for the courses which has been approved, and will furnish to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs an official copy of the letter and attachments and any subsequent amendments.  The letter of approval for each school will be accompanied by a copy of the catalog or bulletin of the school, as approved by the State Approving Agency (§21.4258).

The State Approving Agency for Tennessee is the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Veterans Education. For each academic year, Veterans Services must complete Institution of Higher Learning approval packets to obtain approval of veterans' training.

Developmental/remedial courses: Per the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the State Approving Agency regulations, remedial and developmental courses must be taught as conventional resident courses (in the classroom) for payment of educational assistance (§21.4265, 4267, and THEC/State Approving Agency).

Audit courses: VA shall not pay educational assistance for an enrollment in an audited course (§21.4252).  The school's certification shall exclude courses which are being audited by the veteran or eligible persons since no educational assistance allowances shall be paid for such courses (38 U.S.C. 3680(a)).

Electives: VA will not pay educational assistance for enrollment in any course which is not part of the program of education except for required refresher courses, deficiency courses, or other preparatory courses necessary to pursue an approved program of education (38 U.S.C. 3002(3), 3034, and 3452(b); Public Law 98-525)

 

Repeat Course Policy

As a student veteran, remember that you have unique regulations regarding repeating courses — regulations which are set by the VA. Pellissippi State’s general policy for repeating courses is available in the College Catalog.

Student veterans cannot repeat any course that has been transferred from another school. Veterans may take any course they choose, but can only be certified for classes that are listed as program requirements, prerequisites or requirements, or for development courses needed to bring the student up to college level.

Veterans may not be certified for a course for which they have received an “I” grade unless the “I” converts to a quality letter grade. Veterans may repeat courses with pay only if the previous grade is an F. We encourage veterans not to claim for pay any repeated courses in which the student already has a passing grade (a D or higher). Previously passed courses, including those dropped under the Fresh Start policy programs do not qualify for VA education benefits.

Veterans should consult with Veterans Services prior to changing course load or majors and then verify the actual change.

The VA has made retroactive changes to repeating failed or unacceptable graded courses. A forgiveness policy allows students to repeat a failed or unacceptable grade for a course. If the student receives a passing grade, the original grade is forgiven and becomes a non-punitive grade (which means it is no longer counted in your GPA). If your first attempt was a failed or unacceptable grade but your second attempt was a pass, this is considered a free pass and is not reported to the VA.

The College is required to report the new, non-punitive grade to the VA when:

  • The first and second attempts were failed/unacceptable grades. The third attempt was passed. The second attempt has to be reported to VA as a non-punitive grade and may result in an overpayment.
  • The first, second and third attempts were failed/unacceptable grades. The fourth attempt was passed. The second attempt has to be reported to VA as a non-punitive grade and may result in an overpayment.

Contact Us

veterans@pstcc.edu
Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center
Educational Resources Center, Room 123
Hardin Valley Campus

Eric Bollmann
Veterans Services Director
865.539.7368

Sharon Shastid
VA School Certifying Official
865.694.6472