Welcome, Veterans!

We are honored to serve you at Columbia College. This institution is approved to offer GI Bill®* educational benefits by the Virginia State Approving Agency.

There are multiple GI Bill® benefits available depending on the dates of your service, your veteran status and other factors. For a summary of the application process, see below the steps to help guide you through the process.

Steps for your Education

Applications for Benefits

VA students can submit applications online here. If students don’t have access to apply online, they can call 1-888-442-4551, and ask that an application be mailed to them. All VA students must file an application when they first start school. Students who haven’t received VA benefits before must file an original application (Veterans VA Form 22-1990; dependents VA Form 22-5490; ToE students VA-Form 22-1990e). Students who have received VA benefits before must file a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training (Veterans and ToE students VA Form 22-1995; dependents VA Form 22-5495). Students applying for CH 33 in lieu of (or relinquishing) another benefit should complete VA Form 22-1990.

Change of Address and Direct Deposit

Address and direct deposit information must be kept current. Chapter 30, 1606 & 1607 students can use the WAVE system to update address and financial institution information. Links to do so are on the “Main Menu” available after you log onto WAVE. If a student wants to start (Chapter 30, 33, 35, 1606, and 1607) or change a direct deposit, the student should have his or her account information handy. The following information is needed to set up direct deposit and can be found on checks and bank statements: • Account number • 9 digit bank routing number • Type of account (checking or savings) If a student has direct deposit, the student still needs to keep his or her address current, because all correspondence, including award letters, are mailed to the student’s address. All other students can call 1-877-838-2778 to begin and change direct deposit.


Students are strongly encouraged to register and utilize eBenefits to assist them in the following:

  • Obtaining up to date information on their educational entitlement
  • Updating their Direct Deposit and personal contact information
  • Downloading VA letters and personal documents
  • Viewing the current status of their payments (both education and disability)

Students can register for either a Basic or Premium account, but must be enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to obtain either account type. 22Students receiving Chapter 30, 1606, and 1607 must verify their enrollment monthly by Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) or by Interactive Voice Response (IVR). The monthly verification of enrollment has not been added for Chapter 33 and Chapter 35, with one exception. Chapter 35 NCD students are mailed a monthly verification form (VA Form 22- 8979).

The preferred verification method is WAVE, which includes features not in IVR. When students are awarded benefits, the award letter they receive describes WAVE and IVR. The earliest students can verify their enrollment is the last calendar day of each month.

WAVE allows students to verify their enrollment on the Internet. WAVE is on the Education Service website at https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/index.do. Students must be currently enrolled in an approved educational program and must have a current benefit award to use WAVE. The WAVE system permits students to perform a multitude of functions. For instance, students may:

  • Verify that enrollment has not changed
  • Report a change in enrollment
  • Change mailing address
  • Initiate or change direct deposit information
  • View the enrollment period and monthly benefit amount
  • View the remaining entitlement
  • Sign up for a monthly e-mail reminder

IVR allows students to “phone in” (1-877-823-2378) their monthly verification if there are no changes to the enrollment during the previous month. If there were changes in the enrollment, the student must contact the VA Certifying Official to submit a change in status and the payment may be delayed until the reduction is processed.

A comprehensive comparison can be found on the GI Bill® website here.

CH 33 CH 30 CH 35 CH 1606 CH 1607
ELIGIBILITY Eligibility criteria are complex. The following statements are general snippets about eligibility criteria. Students should file an application so the Regional Processing Office can determine if they are eligible and the conditions of their eligibility.
Servicepersons who served on active duty for at least 90 aggregate days after 9/10/01. 2 years active duty, 3 years active duty, or 2 years active duty plus 4 years reserves. Veteran’s death or permanent and total disability result of service. Completion of initial active duty for training. Must be active reservist with 6-year obligation. 90 days or more active duty support of contingency operation or fulltime National Guard duty responding to national emergency
BENEFITS FOR INSERVICE STUDENT Refer to the specific benefit for detailed information
Eligible after completing 90 days of aggregate service. Payable after 2 years continuous active duty. No Yes Yes
ENTITLEMENT 48 months maximum under two or more programs
36 months. May extend to end of term if expires during term. Note: If there’s a kicker, the kicker doesn’t extend. 36 months. May extend to end of term if expires during term. Note: If there’s a kicker, the kicker doesn’t extend. 45 months. No extensions except for child in special restorative training. 36 months. No extensions. 36 months. No extensions.

*GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill

If you need any assistance, please contact

Sung Kim
School Certifying Official (SCO)
8620 Westwood Center Drive,
Vienna, VA 22182
T 703-206-0508