Financial Aid Eligibility
- To be considered for Federal and State Aid, students must apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The results of the FAFSA must be submitted to Rappahannock Community College (Federal School Code 009160) and must indicate that the student has a financial need. To be eligible for aid by any of Rappahannock Community College’s financial aid programs, a student must meet the following conditions of eligibility: Be accepted for admission to RCC as a regular student and complete admissions requirements.
- Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. National, U.S. permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen as determined by federal guidelines. Have a valid Social Security Number.
- Make and maintain satisfactory academic progress toward completion of the program of study as defined by the RCC Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements for Financial Aid Students (more details on academic progress are available through the Financial Aid Office).
- Cannot be in default on any federal student loan or owe a repayment on a federal grant received at any post-secondary institution. (To check your federal loan or grant history, visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website and click on Financial Aid Review (https://nsldsfap.ed.gov/nslds_FAP/ and or visit www.studentaid.gov.)
- Complete placement testing, if required by the college through the Testing Center; must submit high school and/or GED certificate to the Admissions Office.
- Possess a high school diploma, GED, or satisfy the ability to benefit alternatives/requirements prior to July 1, 2012, to establish Title IV eligibility. Check with the RCC financial aid office to find out if you meet the conditions for financial aid eligibility if you do not have a high school diploma or received a GED.
- Be enrolled in an approved associate degree or certificate program as required for financial aid eligibility. IMPORTANT NOTE: Non-curricular courses and some career studies certificates are ineligible for aid-check with the Financial Aid office first to ensure the program you plan to pursue is financial aid eligible.
- Complete the verification process, if required.
- State funds are only available for students domiciled in Virginia.
Students who have questions about eligibility decisions should contact the financial aid staff for details. Students may appeal financial aid eligibility decisions through the student grievance procedure.
How Financial Need is Determined
To qualify for financial aid, students must demonstrate financial need, which is defined as the difference between the Cost of Attendance (COA) and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is determined by information provided on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Every student budget is based on the cost of attendance for students who meet specific domicile or program criteria. The cost of attendance is determined as follows:
|Average Tuition and Fees
|Books and Supplies
|Cost of Attendance *
* This cost of attendance is based on 2020-2021 figures. The cost of attendance changes annually. The illustration above is for an in-state student. The average cost of attendance figures for each year may be obtained from the financial aid office. Individuals with questions about the cost of attendance used in the calculation of their aid award should contact the financial aid office.
The Financial Aid Office seeks to administer financial aid:
- in accordance with federal, state, and institutional regulations and policies,
- in a fair and consistent manner among students, and
- on a timely basis.
Within these parameters, the Financial Aid Office is committed to maximizing the qualifications of all financial aid applicants. A student who questions a decision that has been made or who wishes to present an extenuating circumstance is provided the opportunity to file a written appeal and have the situation further reviewed.
If you would like to file an appeal, contact the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid staff members can advise you regarding the procedures to follow.
Reasons for an appeal, though not limited to these, typically fall into one of the following categories:
- Loss of financial aid due to unsatisfactory academic progress;
- The need to apply for financial aid as a dependent student and thus to provide parental information on the application;
- A significant change in the household (e.g., marital separation of student or parents, loss or reduction of employment on the part of student or parents, loss or reduction of untaxed income such as child support or Social Security benefits, death of a parent, etc.);
- Unusually high out-of-pocket medical/dental expenses;
- Child care expenses during time spent at school;
- Financial aid information provided was inaccurate or insufficient in nature;
- Financial aid was not delivered in a timely manner.
Dropping vs. Withdrawing
During the add/drop period of the semester, you will drop a class by filling out the proper paperwork in the Admissions and Records Office or on our website using myRCC. Dropped classes never show up on your record; you do not pay for them, and we do not count them toward your enrollment status. Your aid will most likely be reduced if you drop a class. After the end of the add/drop period, it is considered a withdrawal from a class. (Refer to Registration and Tuition for more information about dropping classes and withdrawals.) Withdrawals can be executed in the Admissions and Records Office and cannot be done online through the self-service menu in myRCC. The withdrawal stays on your record; we do count it toward your enrollment status, and you may owe funds to the federal government and/or the College if you withdraw from all courses. Students who withdraw frequently run the risk of losing their eligibility in the future.
Total Withdrawal and Return of Federal Financial Aid
If you withdraw from or stop attending all classes after the end of the add/drop period but before the 60% point of the semester (last day to withdraw without academic penalty) has passed, you will have to repay a portion of your aid that was disbursed. The longer you attend, the less you might owe. Stick with it as long as possible.
Federal and state law requires us to return part of your financial aid if you withdraw from or stop attending all classes before the 60% point of the semester has passed. You will have to repay part of your financial aid that is deemed “unearned” by the U.S. Department of Education. The specified percentage of funds you are financially liable to return is based on your last date of attendance for that particular semester.
A school is required to return Title IV funds to the programs from which the student received aid during the payment period or period of enrollment as applicable, in the following order, up to the net amount disbursed from each source:
- Federal Pell Grants for which a Return is required
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) for which a return of funds is required
If you do not repay the portion of financial aid funds for which you are responsible, you may be reported to the federal government, thus becoming ineligible for future financial assistance at any college or university in the United States.
This applies to all students who receive Federal & State aid (i.e., Pell Grant, SEOG, COMA, VGAP, GearUp, and who withdraw from or stop attending all classes. Because each student’s situation is based on several factors (i.e., the type and amount of aid received, the last date of attendance, tuition, fees, and/or book charges), it is very important that you discuss your individual case with a financial aid representative. If you have questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office.
Types of Financial Aid
The college offers three primary types of financial assistance (Grants, Scholarships, and Federal Work-Study):
These are need-based awards that DO NOT require repayments, such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant, College Scholarship Assistance Program, Virginia Student Financial Assistance Program (which consists of the Commonwealth of Virginia Grant and Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program), Part-time Assistance Program and Supplemental Grant.
- Federal Pell Grant (PELL): Federally funded grants which provide financial assistance to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. A student must establish financial need, be a U.S. citizen, and be accepted into an eligible curriculum. Award is determined based on student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG): Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants are available to a limited number of undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. Students completing the FAFSA and qualifying for the Pell grant will be considered for SEOG while funds are available.
- Commonwealth of Virginia Grant (COMA): The COMA state grant is available for students who enroll at least half-time, demonstrate financial need, are domiciliary residents of Virginia, and meet all other eligibility criteria.
- Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP): The VGAP state grant is available to Virginia residents who graduated from a Virginia high school with a 2.5 (GPA) or higher. Students must be first-time freshmen enrolled at RCC full-time. Awards may be renewed for a second year for students who have maintained full-time enrollment and a minimum 2.0 GPA or higher at RCC and continue to demonstrate financial need.
- Part-Time Tuition Assistance (PTAP): PTAP grants are available for students who enroll for 1 to 8 credits only, are residents of Virginia, and demonstrate financial need. The maximum award is the cost of tuition and fees.
- Supplemental VCCS Grant (SUPP): SUPP grants are available for students from tuition set-aside funds. To be eligible, students must demonstrate financial need, have a preferred Expected Family Contribution (EFC) under 8,000, be residents of Virginia, meet the College Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, be seeking a degree or certificate, and can maintain any enrollment level.
The RCC Educational Foundation, Inc. manages 100 different scholarships that provide awards totaling approximately $450,000. The scholarships can be combined with federal and state financial aid assistance or used alone to cover RCC tuition costs. They are awarded based on academic excellence and/ or need through the generous contributions of individuals, civic organizations, and businesses who wish to recognize outstanding performance and assist students as they pursue an RCC education.
The easy, online application, as well as additional information on the scholarship program, are found at: www.rappahannock.edu/foundation/scholarships/. The scholarship application period is tentatively scheduled for October 1, 2021, to February 15, 2022, for awards starting in the fall 2022 semester.
Students should always remember that applying for Financial Aid and Scholarships is FREE.
Prospective and current students should always be aware of scams involving financial aid and never pay for any financial aid or scholarship application or service.
Federal Work-Study Program
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a program that provides part-time jobs for students who demonstrate financial need and are enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) during the fall and spring semesters at RCC. Awards, for which the student must work, are based on need.
Money is earned hourly and paid on a bi-weekly basis through the Federal Work-Study Program. Student class schedules, curriculum, and job skills are considered in assessing jobs. Most employment is on-campus; however, additional employment opportunities have been established for off-campus community service employment.
Student Loan Program Notice
RCC DOES NOT participate in Federal Family Education Loan Program or Federal Direct Loan Program due to federal regulations which were enacted in 1996-97.
The federal government will suspend institutional eligibility for PELL grants and other forms of Title IV financial aid at U.S. colleges and universities where student loan default rates are 25 percent or higher. Since the number of borrowers at RCC who had no other source of financial aid was small and the number of students defaulting on their student loans was high, the college ended participation in student loan programs in April 1996.
Other Sources of Aid
The college offers several programs for special populations:
- Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services
Certain disabled persons may qualify for services and/or financial aid from the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services. Consult the financial aid staff or a counselor for referral assistance.
- Virginia Foster Care Tuition Grant
The Tuition Grant program provides tuition and fees at any Virginia community college for high school graduates or general education development (GED) completers in foster care, in the custody of a social services agency, or considered a special needs adoption.
Awards will be provided to eligible applicants who are not already receiving sufficient grant funds to pay for their tuition and fees. The awards cannot exceed tuition and required fees. Students who are already receiving grant funds that cover tuition and fees are not eligible for these awards. Inquire with the financial aid office for further eligibility criteria.
- HOPE Scholarship Credit
The Tax Relief Act of 1997 offers tax credits for tuition and fee payments under certain conditions. Effective January 1, 1998, those paying tuition and fees may be eligible for up to $1,500 in tax credit under the HOPE Scholarship Credit. Only students who are taking at least a half-time load, who are in their first two years of postsecondary education, and who do not have their tuition paid by an employer or through grant aid are eligible.
Students should contact a tax expert to find out whether they qualify for this credit.
Important Financial Aid Deadlines
RCC’s priority deadline is April 15 for the fall semester. Applications for financial aid should be completed and submitted electronically to the office of Federal Student Financial Aid Programs four weeks prior to registration at RCC.
Students must submit a separate application for scholarships. RCC Educational Foundation Inc. Scholarship applications are available October 1st with a late February deadline.
Students who wish to be considered for the work-study program must inform RCC financial aid staff after completing the FAFSA.
RCC establishes deadlines each semester for the first day and the last day to charge against financial aid award in the bookstore and for submission of any additional documents required. These dates will be posted in the Financial Aid Office, on bulletin boards, in the Business Office, Bookstore, Student Lounge (display TV screens), via student email, and on the RCC Website (financial aid section).
Students who wish to take advantage of Veterans Administration educational benefits for which they may be entitled should plan well in advance to ensure that the necessary VA approvals can be obtained prior to registration.
How to Apply
The purpose of student financial aid at RCC is to provide financial assistance to students who would otherwise be unable to afford a college education. To support this objective, the college offers a variety of financial aid programs for students who qualify. Aid is funded through federal and state agencies, local organizations, businesses, individuals, and the college.
How to Apply for Financial Aid and When to Get Started
Staff members at both campuses are available to provide information and assistance with financial aid programs. You should apply online through www.studentaid.gov.
The Federal School Code for Rappahannock Community College is 009160. It is the same regardless of what campus you plan to attend.
The FAFSA gathers financial information about students and their family. The information is analyzed, and the student receives a Student Aid Report (SAR). The priority deadline for submitting the FAFSA at RCC is April 15, especially if the student plans to enroll for the fall semester. You apply for financial aid one time a year and should reapply each new school year.
The FAFSA becomes available online on October 1 each year. The best time to apply for financial aid is during the months of January-April preceding the anticipated fall semester entrance into the college. Additional information or forms may be requested to complete the application process.
Students who are selected for verification may be required to submit a tax transcript that can be obtained online or by calling 1-800-908-9946, verification of other forms of income, and a verification worksheet.
Applications are processed, if complete, only after all admissions requirements are met and confirmed. Applications should be received four weeks prior to registration. Applications received after this date will be processed as time permits.
Only students with complete admissions and financial aid files can be awarded financial aid. Financial Aid applicants whose application files are complete before established deadlines may charge tuition against their grants or scholarships during registration. Book charges may be made from the first day of class through the last day to add/drop each semester (specific dates are posted each semester). If students’ financial aid files are not complete at the time of registration, students should prepare to pay out of pocket for all tuition, fees, and book charges for possible reimbursement if found to be financial aid eligible.
Students who have received a financial aid award letter or view their award in the Student Services Center online may use their financial aid for payment of tuition. Tuition and fee charges not fully covered by financial aid must be paid prior to the deferred payment deadline.
Financial aid refund checks for students who have financial aid in excess of tuition, fees, and books will be available usually after the sixth week of classes. More information on the financial aid programs is available in the RCC website Financial Aid section.
Enrollment Verification and Certification for Loan Deferments
Official and final enrollment verifications, as well as loan deferment certifications, will be processed after the deadline to drop with a refund for any particular semester or session.
At the written request of the student, the Admissions and Records Office will produce official verification of enrollment. This is typically required as documentation to continue the student’s eligibility for dependent services, benefits, and insurance external to the college.
Loan Deferments are handled automatically by the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) for most student loans. Students are not required to submit a deferment form. Enrollment information is submitted to the NSC following the deadline to drop with a refund for each semester.
The NSC will submit enrollment verification to the appropriate lending agency. For questions regarding a loan deferment, contact the NSC by phone at 703-742-4200.
RCC Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy For 2021-2022
(Effective for 2021-2022: Fall 2021, Spring 2022, and Summer 2022)
A revised Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy became effective when fall grades were posted in December 2011.
All recipients of Federal and/ or State aid are required to maintain SAP in their course of study. Federal regulations require that a student receiving federal financial aid make satisfactory academic progress in accordance with the standards set by the College and the federal government. These regulations apply to all semesters in which a student has been or will be enrolled, whether or not aid was awarded or received. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards also apply to state aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured in three ways:
- by the student’s cumulative grade point average (see Qualitative Progress Standards/GPA Rule in Section II) in their academic program.
- by the percentage of course credits completed successfully, students must achieve at least a 67% rate of satisfactory completion. This is calculated by the number of credits successfully completed as a percentage of the total number of credits attempted. This is the Completion Rate (see Quantitative Progress Standards/67% Rule in Section II).
- by timeframe. Students must complete their programs of study before attempting 150% of the credits required to complete the program. This is the Maximum Time Frame. Financial aid will cover a maximum of 30 credits of developmental coursework; this is the Developmental Maximum.
Some career studies certificate programs (i.e., shorter than 16 credits in total length) are ineligible for student financial aid, but those credits will be counted toward all SAP requirements (GPA, Completion Rate, Maximum Timeframe, and Developmental Maximum) if the student later enrolls in an eligible program.
The College Financial Aid Office will evaluate satisfactory academic progress before aid is awarded and after grades are posted for every semester, starting with the first semester of enrollment.
I. Student Financial Aid Status
- Financial Aid Good Standing (GS)
Students who are meeting all aspects of the satisfactory academic progress policy or successfully following a designated academic progress plan.
- Financial Aid Warning Status (WS)
Students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress for the first time (excluding students who have already attempted 150% of the credits required for their programs of study) will be automatically placed in a Warning Status for one semester and are expected to meet SAP requirements by the end of that semester. Students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements at the end of the warning status term will be placed on financial aid suspension. However, with a successful SAP appeal, those students will be placed on financial aid probation and will retain financial aid eligibility.
- Financial Aid Probation Status (PS)
Students who have successfully appealed financial aid suspension are placed in Probation Status (PS). Students in Probation Status (PS) are eligible to receive financial aid for one semester, after which they MUST be in Good Standing (GS) or meeting the requirements of an academic progress plan that was pre-approved by the Student Affairs Committee. (See “IV. Reinstatement and Appeals” for additional information.)
- Financial Aid Suspension Status (SS)
Students who do not meet the credit progression schedule and/or cumulative GPA standard or who fail to meet the requirements of their pre-approved academic progress plan will be placed in Suspension Status (SS). Students in Suspension Status (SS) are not eligible to receive financial aid. To become eligible for future semesters, you should reach a 2.0 GPA and 67% or higher completion rate and then contact the Financial Aid office for an appeal form.
Important: Academic Status (Good standing, Academic Warning, Academic Program, Academic Suspension) differs from financial aid requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress. Academic status will be noted on the student’s academic record; financial aid status will be noted on financial aid pages in SIS. Any student suspended from the College for academic or behavioral reasons is automatically ineligible for financial aid.
II. Evaluation Academic Progress Standards
- Minimum Qualitative Progress Standards (GPA Rule)
Cumulative GPA Requirements (GPA Rule): In order to remain eligible for financial aid consideration, students must meet minimum cumulative GPA requirements based on a progressive scale. Only credit courses with grades of A, B, C, D, and F are included in this calculation. Dual enrollment grades are included in this calculation. Transfer credits are not included. In order to graduate, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required.
||1 to 15
||16 to 30
Completion Rate (67% Rule):
Students must, at a minimum, receive satisfactory grades in 67% of cumulative credits attempted. This calculation is performed by dividing the cumulative total number of successfully completed credits by the cumulative total number of credits attempted. All credits attempted at the College (except audits, which must be entered as such by the class census date) are included. All credits attempted in transfer count as both attempted and successfully completed credits. All credits accepted in transfer count as both attempted and successfully completed credits. Developmental coursework is also included in this calculation. Credits with satisfactory grades at the College are those for which a grade of A, B, C, D, S, or P is earned.
- Minimum Quantitative Progress Standards (67% Rule) or Pace of Completion-Financial aid recipients must satisfactorily complete 67 percent (%) of all coursework attempted.
This evaluation will be made prior to aid being awarded, and after grades are posted at the end of each semester, a student is enrolled at the College.
Additional Considerations for Quantitative or Pace of Completion Standards
Withdrawals (W grades) that are recorded on the student’s permanent academic transcript will be included as credits attempted and will have an adverse effect on the student’s ability to meet the requirements of the completion rate for financial aid.
- Incomplete Grades: Courses that are assigned an incomplete grade (grade of I) are included in cumulative credits attempted. These cannot be used as credits earned in the progress standard until a successful grade is assigned.
- Repeated courses enable the student to achieve a higher cumulative GPA. Students can repeat courses with financial aid until successfully completed, but repeating courses adversely affects the student’s ability to meet completion rate requirements. Financial aid can be considered for successfully completed classes that are repeated to achieve a higher grade but for only one additional attempt. Only the latest attempt will count toward the cumulative GPA.
- Maximum Timeframe (150% Rule)
In order to continue receiving financial aid, a student must complete his/her program of study before attempting 150% of the credits required for that program. Developmental and ESL coursework are excluded from this calculation. Attempted credits from all enrollment periods at the College plus all accepted transfer credits are counted; whether or not the student received financial aid for those semesters is of no consequence. All semesters of enrollment at the College are included whether or not the student received financial aid and regardless of the age of the coursework.
- Additional Standards Developmental Coursework: Students may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 semester hours of Developmental Studies courses as long as the courses are required as a result of placement testing, the student is in an eligible program of study, and SAP requirements continue to be met.
- English as a Second Language (ESL): Credits are unlimited in number as long as they are taken as part of an eligible program and SAP requirements continue to be met.
- Audit Coursework: A student cannot receive financial aid for an audited course. Changing from credit to audit will reduce financial aid eligible courses by the number of credits changed to audit.
- Repeated Coursework: Students can repeat courses with financial aid until successfully completed. There is no limit assuming all other SAP requirements are met. Repeated coursework will be included in the evaluation of the completion rate and maximum time frame. Students may only repeat a passed course once as long as it is in order to meet an academic standard (i.e., a higher grade is required for graduation or their program of study).
Transfer Students: Credits officially accepted in transfer will be counted in determining the maximum number of allowable semester credit hours for financial aid eligibility.
III. Regaining Eligibility for Financial Aid
Students who do not meet the credit progression requirements (Quantitative or Pace of Completion) and/or cumulative GPA requirements (Qualitative) will be immediately ineligible for financial aid. Removal from financial aid does not prevent students from enrolling without financial aid if they are otherwise eligible to continue their enrollment.
If extenuating circumstances exist that caused the student to be placed on Financial Aid Suspension, the student may file an appeal and document the circumstances. If an appeal is granted, a student in financial aid suspension should expect to continue classes at his or her own expense until satisfactory academic progress requirements are again met.
Students who fail to meet these Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards and who choose to enroll without benefit of student financial aid may submit an appeal requesting a review of their academic records after any term in which they are enrolled without the receipt of financial aid to determine whether they have again met satisfactory academic progress standards. If the standards are met, eligibility is regained for subsequent terms of enrollment in the academic year. Students should consult their campus financial aid advisors for assistance in appealing any element of this policy or to determine how to regain eligibility for financial aid.
IV. Reinstatement and Appeals
Under certain circumstances, students who fail to meet SAP standards and lose eligibility for financial aid can appeal the financial aid suspension. Students must clearly state what caused the suspension and must also clearly indicate what has changed that will now allow the student to succeed. Appeals are encouraged if:
Extenuating circumstances exist (i.e., student’s serious illness or accident; death, accident or serious illness in the immediate family; other mitigating circumstances), or
The student has successfully completed one degree and is attempting another.
Students appealing a suspension must:
Complete the College’s SAP Appeal Form in entirety (contact RCC Financial Aid Office for the form),
Attach documentation in support of the appeal.
Speak with your academic advisor for council and signature of coursework.
Submit all items and the appeal form to the College Financial Aid Office.
Only complete appeal submissions, with documentation, will be evaluated by the Financial Aid Officer. Students whose appeals have been denied by the financial aid office have the right to pursue a final appeal through the Dean of Student Development. The decision is final. Depending on the circumstances, the student could be required to complete additional requirements (i.e., see a career counselor or another type of counselor, meet with an advisor to develop an academic progress plan for completion, limit enrollment, etc.) before an appeal is granted. The goal is to help the student get back on track for graduation. The reasonableness of the student’s ability for improvement to again meet SAP standards and complete the student’s program of study will be carefully considered. Appeals will be approved or denied. Students who have appeals approved will be in probationary status for the coming term. During probationary status, the student must meet the conditions of the appeal as communicated to him or her in the notification letter, or the student will return to suspension. If an academic progress plan has been pre-approved by the committee, continuing to meet the requirements of that plan will put the student back into good standing.
Second Degree Students: Credits earned from a first degree or certificate must be counted if the student changes programs or attempts a second degree or certificate. Depending on the circumstances, an appeal might be warranted.
Students who drop classes or audit classes are highly advised to schedule a meeting with the financial aid office to determine the impact of the changes on their financial aid.
Students should schedule a meeting with the financial aid office prior to requesting a curriculum/program/plan change.
New financial aid recipients who have previously been enrolled at the college and returning students will be evaluated for satisfactory academic progress based on prior performance at RCC regardless if they received financial aid previously or not.
Student Responsibility for Financial Aid
Procedures involving award recoveries from financial aid recipients are based on federal and state legislation. The regulations require that in instances of overpayment of scholarship, grant, or loan assistance, students must repay the overpayment.
The College makes every effort to assist active-duty military personnel and veterans in their academic pursuits. Most of RCC’s programs of study are approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the payment of veteran’s educational benefits. This institution is approved to offer GI Bill® educational benefits by the Virginia State Approving Agency.
Assistance with benefits is available in the Financial Aid office at either RCC campus. Questions regarding eligibility for education benefits or VA policies and procedures may also be directed to:
The Department of Veterans Affairs
P.O. Box 4616
Veterans are encouraged to complete the online VA Application through VONAPP. Students using their benefits for the first time must complete the Application for Education Benefits (VA Form 22-1990) and provide an original or court-certified copy of their discharge papers (DD-214). Students who believe they are eligible for Chapter 35 dependents’ educational benefits, for spouse or child(ren), should complete an Application for Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (VA Form 22-5490).
Veterans who have used their benefits at another school must complete a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training (VA Form 22-1995) and, if a spouse or dependent, they must complete a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training (VA Form 22-5495).
Any student using Veterans Education Benefits at Rappahannock Community College should complete and submit a Certification Request for VA Education Benefits form to the Financial Aid Office at either campus.
- Montgomery G.I. Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) Benefits
A veteran may be eligible to receive MGIB benefits while on active duty or after they have separated from active duty. To find out if you are eligible for education benefits, you must apply for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). (The period of active military service must have terminated under conditions other than dishonorable.) Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following the veteran’s release from active duty. This program is commonly known as Chapter 30.
NOTE: In order for the college to certify enrollment, a veteran must be officially accepted into a curriculum/program and should provide a receipted copy of the registration form to the Coordinator of Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs each semester of enrollment. The processing of enrollment certifications usually occurs after the add/drop period each semester. The student is responsible for advising the college and Veterans Administration of any change in enrollment status or curriculum/program. This is an important responsibility and one which has a direct bearing on the level of payment.
Alert Changed Effective August 1, 2019: VA Delayed Payment Compliance Addendum: A Covered Individual is any individual who is entitled to educational assistance under chapter 31, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, or chapter 33, Post-9/11 Gl Bill benefits.
A covered individual under this new VA Addendum may attend or participate in the course of education during the period beginning on the date on which the individual provides to the educational institution a certificate of eligibility for entitlement to educational assistance under chapter 31 or 33 (a certificate of eligibility” can also include a “Statement of Benefits” obtained from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website - eBenefits, or a VAF 28-1905 form for chapter 31 authorization purposes.
- The date on which payment from VA is made to the institution.
- 90 days after the date, the institution certified tuition and fees following the receipt of the certificate of eligibility.
RCC will not impose any penalty, including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities, or the requirement that a covered individual borrows additional funds on any covered individual because of the individual’s inability to meet his or her financial obligations to the institution due to the delayed disbursement funding from VA under chapter 31 or 33.
- Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill
Go to the GI Bill website for instructions and guidance. If you are a veteran, make sure to complete the VA Form 22-1990 application online if you are applying for benefits for yourself, your spouse, and/or your child(ren). Once the VA Form 22-1990 is completed, those veterans wishing to “transfer” their “entitlement” to spouse or child will then be directed to complete the VA FORM 22-1990E (transfer of entitlement) for the spouse and/or child(ren). Once the veteran, spouse, and/or child receive a “Certificate of Eligibility” letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs Office, that letter should be submitted immediately to the RCC Veterans Affairs Office.
- Chapter 31- Vocational Rehabilitation Program
Students who participate in the Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Chapter 31) will be allowed to charge registration with a receipt of VA FORM 28-1905 submitted to the Veterans Affairs Office, Business Office, and Bookstore. Additional information may be obtained through the RCC Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs office or the student’s Vocational Rehabilitation Veterans Benefits counselor.
- Other Programs
Veterans are advised to review other veteran education benefits programs online. Other VA programs include Reserve Educational Assistance (REAP), Survivors & Dependents Assistance (DEA/Chapter 35), Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP), Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP).
- Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (formerly known as the Virginia War Orphans Education Program)
The Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP) provides education benefits to spouses and children of military service members who were killed, missing in action, or taken prisoner, or who become at least 90 percent disabled as a result of military service in an armed conflict. The purpose of this program is to provide undergraduate or other postsecondary education free of tuition and fees. Students may verify eligibility and request applications by contacting the RCC Financial Aid/Veterans Affairs Office. If possible, applications should be submitted at least four months before the expected date of admission. The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) will determine eligibility.
- Veterans Tuition Assistance Program
In addition to regular monthly benefits, the VA will also pay for tuition assistance for qualified students. Contact the RCC Cashier located in the College Business Office to inquire regarding Tuition Assistance.
NOTE: Rappahannock Community College provides for the tuition relief, refund, and reinstatement of students whose service in the uniformed services has required their sudden withdrawal or prolonged absence from their enrollment. Refer to the Refunds, Credits, and Reinstatement as a Result of Military Service section of the catalog for more information.
Veterans Standards of Progress
Students using veterans educational benefits must enroll only in Veterans Administration approved curricula and may only take required prerequisites and courses for the curriculum in which they are officially enrolled. All courses must be taken for credit. Audited courses cannot be taken using VA benefits. Remedial and deficiency/developmental courses offered as distance learning/independent study (online) cannot be approved and cannot be certified to VA. Students who take courses that are not required by the curriculum in which they are enrolled must reimburse the Veterans Administration for benefits received for those courses. Students inquiring about using Veterans Benefits should contact the Coordinator of Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs at RCC to ensure appropriate paperwork has been received.
A curriculum change can be made so long as no significant loss of credit occurs. However, the student should contact the RCC Financial Aid/Veterans Affairs Office to determine if a “change of program” VA form would have to be completed and submitted.
To remain eligible for VA educational benefits, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress. A student who is placed on academic suspension or dismissal will be reported to the VA as making unsatisfactory progress. RCC grading policies will be used to determine whether veterans are maintaining satisfactory progress. The Veterans Affairs Office will also report to the Veterans Administration as soon as possible any change in the status of veterans, whether that is a change of curriculum, reduction or increase in course load, or withdrawal.
The Virginia State Approving Agency (SAA) is the approving authority of education and training programs for Virginia. Our office investigates complaints of GI Bill beneficiaries. While most complaints should initially follow the school grievance policy, if the situation cannot be resolved at the school, the beneficiary should contact our office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When receiving veterans benefits, a student must report any enrollment changes promptly to the Veterans Affairs Office located in the Financial Aid office at RCC. Status changes include change of curriculum, reduction/increase in course load, withdrawal, suspension, dismissal, etc.
Note: Enrollment changes may adjust a student’s entitlement to benefits. Educational benefits will not be given for audited courses or courses from which the eligible student withdraws, is administratively withdrawn, or receives a final grade of “W,” unless the VA finds mitigating circumstances involved in the withdrawal. Also, educational benefits are only available for courses required in the eligible student’s curriculum or those developmental courses required in preparation for meeting curricular requirements.