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Admission for Veterans and Dependents Using Veterans Educational Benefits

Veterans services are available to assist veterans, spouses, and children of disabled or deceased veterans who may be eligible for federal and/or state educational benefits.

Veterans and their dependents should contact American River College's Veterans Resource Center each semester to initiate benefits. Veterans will need to provide a copy of their DD-214 and other supporting documentation. Eligibility may take several weeks to process. Eligibility is determined by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Eligibility for Programs Eligibility for VA educational benefits can be extended to veterans, reservists, and children of service-connected deceased or disabled veterans under the following programs:

  • Forever GI Bill® – Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act
  • The Montgomery GI Bill® (Chapter 30)
  • US Department of Veterans Affairs Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) (Chapter 31)
  • Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33)
  • Dependents’ GI Bill® (Chapter 35)
  • Reservists Montgomery GI Bill® (Chapter 1606)

For more information please visit Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits.

VA requires that all credit for previous education and training is on file at American River College. Veterans and dependents are required to submit transcripts from other institutions before they meet with their academic counselor at American River College. American River College will maintain a record of the previous education and training of veterans and eligible persons – and indicate where credit has been granted, if appropriate – and the student will be notified accordingly. An evaluation of prior credit will be recorded and granted appropriately on a VA Education Plan. All recipients of VA educational benefits are required to select a major and have a VA Educational Plan on record.

In most cases, all tuition and enrollment fees, miscellaneous fees, textbooks, and class supplies are paid for by the student and not by VA. The exception is students who are using the Post 9/11 GI Bill® or Vocational Rehabilitation benefits. Students using Post 9/11 – Chapter 33, Transfer of Entitlement, Fry Scholarship, or Vocational Rehabilitation – Chapter 31 benefits must notify the Veterans Resource Center immediately after they enroll each semester to avoid being dropped for non-payment.

Principles of Excellence

American River College is a member of the White House Executive Order 13607 Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses, and Other Family Members. The Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Education established Principles of Excellence to apply to educational institutions receiving funding from Federal military and veterans educational benefits programs, including benefits programs provided by the Post-9/11 GI Bill.  The Principles ensure that these educational institutions provide meaningful information to service members, veterans, spouses, and other family members about the financial cost and quality of educational institutions to assist those prospective students in making choices about how to use their Federal educational benefits; prevent abusive and deceptive recruiting practices that target the recipients of Federal military and veterans educational benefits; and ensure that educational institutions provide high-quality academic and student support services to active-duty service members, reservists, members of the National Guard, veterans, and military families.

Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act (VACA)

The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 was signed into law in August 2014. As a result of this Act, certain veterans and their dependents are now eligible to have their out-of-state tuition, and fees associated with that tuition, waived for terms beginning after July 1, 2015. This waiver applies to the following groups:

  1. Veterans who:
    • Were discharged within 3 years of the beginning of the term.
    • Had a length of active duty service that was 90 days or more.
    • Live in California (regardless of legal state of residence).
    • Are eligible to use benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® (CH 33) or the Montgomery GI Bill®-Active Duty (CH 30).
  2. Dependents (spouse or child of a veteran) who have had GI Bill® benefits transferred to them from the veteran and the following conditions are met:
    • The veteran who transferred the benefit was discharged within 3 years of the beginning of the term.
    • The veteran had a length of active duty service that was 90 days or more.
    • The dependent lives in California (regardless of legal state of residence).
    • The dependent is eligible to use Post 9/11 benefits through Transfer of Entitlement.
  3. Dependents (spouse or child of a veteran) eligible for the Marine Gunnery Sargent John David Fry Scholarship benefits and the following conditions are met:
    • The date of death of the service member on whom the spouse/child was dependent is within 3 years of the beginning of the term.
    • The service member served at least 90 days on active duty.
    • The dependent lives in California (regardless of legal state of residence).
    • The dependent is eligible to use the Marine Gunnery Sargent John David Fry Scholarship benefit.

American River College students who believe they are eligible for this waiver should contact the Veterans Resource Center.

Veterans must submit their Member 4 copy of their DD214 and their Certificate of Eligibility for the Post 9/11 or MGIB-AD. Dependents must submit the Member 4 copy of the DD214 of the veteran upon whom they are dependent and the dependent’s Certificate of Eligibility for the Post 9/11 GI Bill® transfer of entitlement.

Registration Priority for Veterans

All veteran student are subject to the provisions under SBI 1456.  Under the provisions of California Education Code 66025.8. American River College will grant priority registration to eligible members or former members of the Armed Forces of the United States. Proof of current military status (military ID or DD214 Member4) must be submitted to the School Certifying Official. For eligibility information, please contact the Veterans Resource Center.


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the US Department of Veterans affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official US Department of Veterans Affairs website.