Services & Resources > Veterans Services > Get Started in College

Get Started in College

If you want to use your military educational benefits, follow the steps below to begin your journey. 

The order of steps may be slightly different at El Centro College. Check with the Veterans Services Office for specific directions. 

  1. Apply for admission
  2. Request official academic transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended and ask that they be sent to the Admissions⁄Registrar's Office. Official military transcripts and DD214s are required for all military students (active duty and veterans). Find out where you can request your military records and learn what transcripts you’ll need to submit. 
  3. Complete orientation (if required)
  4. Take an assessment test
  5. See your academic advisor. Discuss which degree plan would best fit your educational goals. To receive military educational benefits, you must follow your official degree plan that is on file with us. 
  6. Register for classes
  7. Bring a copy of your tuition account summary (eConnect - login required) to the Veterans Services Office. Please be aware that as a veteran or dependent, you must pay tuition in full or set up a payment plan before your VA benefits can be processed.  
  8. Apply for your military educational benefits if you haven't done so already.
The process for requesting certification from a college of DCCCD depends on your individual situation. Once you have been certified to receive benefits, you will need to verify your enrollment in school each month at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' W.A.V.E. (Web Automated Verification of Enrollment) website. Download the application that applies to your circumstances. 

More Resources

Other Important Information

Making Course Changes: Before making any changes, such as adding classes, dropping classes, changing your academic major or making a course substitution, visit the Veterans Affairs Office to find out how these changes could affect your VA education benefits. Also, be sure to let the Veterans Affairs Office know if your contact information changes.

Developmental Classes: Developmental classes are designed to help you gain the skills you need to succeed in college-level classes. If you enroll in a developmental reading, writing, and/or math course, you will only receive GI benefits for these courses if you did not pass the college assessment test (e.g., TASP, ACCUPLCACER, MAPS, Compass, ASSET). If you have passed it and you are still required to take a developmental course, we need a signed letter from the dean of that department in order for you to receive benefits for the developmental class(es).

Flex Entry and Fast Track Classes: Flex entry classes have schedules that are different from regular
semester-length classes, while Fast Track classes let you complete the requirements for some degrees in a one-year time frame. You can receive payments for enrolling in flex entry and fast track classes. However, you are only paid for the period of time you are attending these classes. Your benefits could be altered when you start or stop attending a flex entry or fast track class.

Repeating Courses: If you have received a grade of F, N, I, W or WX and repeat the course, you may or may not receive benefits for that course. At El Centro College, a grade of D counts as passing
unless otherwise indicated on your official degree plan.

Continuing Benefits: It is your responsibility to request that the Veterans Affairs Office certify your enrollment to the Department of Veterans Affairs each semester that you are enrolled. The Department of Veterans Affairs must receive a certification of your enrollment from the Veterans Affairs Office before any benefits will be paid. In most cases, a copy of your tuition account summary (eConnect - login required) and Certification Request Form (PDF - 184KB) will provide the VA Office with the information necessary to prepare an enrollment certification.

Work-Study: Are you interested in working part time in the Veterans Affairs Office on campus? Please fill out the VA Work-Study application (PDF - 928KB) and contact the VA Office for more information.