Welcome veterans, current military, and dependents
We welcome you to Whatcom Community College where your service is recognized and appreciated. Most importantly, we want to thank you for your service to our country and the sacrifices you have made, and continue to make, to ensure our freedom and way of life.
Getting started at Whatcom with your VA benefits
Step 1: Apply for GI Bill® benefits. For more information about VA benefits visit the GI Bill® website. After applying for benefits the VA will send you a certificate of eligibility that is required by the College. If you are a reservist or National Guard member, contact your unit obtain a Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE) – this is in addition to the application located on the GI Bill® website. Reservists and National Guard should also check with their command for information about Tuition Assistance.
Step 2: Apply for admissions to Whatcom.
- If you have used benefits at a prior college, the VA will require you submit a Change of Program or Place of Training through Ebenefits to activate your benefits at Whatcom.
Step 3: Complete math and English placement.
- 360.383.3080 to schedule your math and/or English placement.
- Veterans are not required to take the English placement. Speak with the Veteran Advisor about English Self-Placement.
- Dependents of Veterans are required to take math and English placement before registering for classes.
- If you have already completed college level math and/or English, please bring an unofficial copy of all prior college transcripts to your meeting with the Veteran Advisor and setup your placement testing based on your needs.
Step 4: Bring the following documents to your meeting with the Veteran Advisor.
- VA Certificate of Eligibility
- NOBE (Reservist & Guard members using chapter 1606 benefits)
- Personal Responsibility Plan
Step 5: Meet with the Veteran Advisor
- 360.383.3080 or 360.383.3015 to schedule a time to meet with Veteran Advising to setup your VA file, select your VA approved degree plan, and register for classes.
Step 6: Apply for Pell Grants through FAFSA.
Shopping Sheet and college comparison tools
- Financial Aid Shopping Sheet: The Financial Aid Shopping Sheet is a tool used to notify students about their financial aid package. It is designed to simplify information about school costs and financial aid.
- College Scorecard: College Scorecard makes it easier for you to search for a college that is a good fit for you. Use the College Scorecard to find out more about affordability and value of colleges you are interested in attending.
- College Navigator: This college search engine produces information relevant to admissions statistics, retention, financial aid, and academics. It also gives you another way to compare schools, find schools in your area, and determine costs associated with attending those schools.
- Paying for College: Use this website to get help in making informed financial decisions about how to pay for college, understand financial aid offers, and student loan repayment.
Required transcript evaluation
You must have all prior civilian and military credits evaluated for transfer. This must be done before your first quarter of benefits has ended at Whatcom. This takes time, often up to 10 weeks once your credits arrive at Whatcom, so do not delay in starting this process. To have your credits evaluated, follow these steps:
- Request official transcripts sent to Whatcom from all prior academic institutions for classes that will apply to the degree you plan to pursue at Whatcom.
- Request official transcripts sent to Whatcom from military through the JST.
- Please submit the Military Credits Evaluation (MCE) Form to the office of Admissions & Registration in LDC 102.
- Air Force Veterans can access their transcript from the CCAF.
Whatcom's veterans safe zone programWe are pleased to inform you about our Veteran Safe Zone program here at Whatcom. This program was developed at WCC and initiated on campus in 2008 by veterans, dependents of veterans and veteran supporters as a visible showing of our support from our faculty and staff. Any staff member that displays one of these logos on their office door or wall has made a conscious decision to provide an area and a set of ears to a veteran. These faculty and staff members are not counselors, but they are people that care about your needs. Many of these staff members are veterans themselves, some are just people who want to help and lend support in this way.
If you are having a rough day and need to vent, ask for advice, talk about school, work or prior experiences, or just need a quiet place to sit and gather your thoughts, these people have made their office a welcome place for you.
Graduation honor cords
Whatcom Community College honors veterans with red, white, and blue honor cords at commencement. Graduating veterans, active military, reservists, and National Guard students are eligible to receive the honor cord. Graduates should check with the Veteran Services office in CAS 127 to obtain a cord. Proof of service, such as DD214 or military ID card is required at the time of receipt of the cord. Cords can also be picked up during check-in at the commencement ceremony.
National Guard and reserve students
A member of the Washington National Guard or any other military reserve component who is a student at an institution of higher education and who is ordered for a period of 30 days or less to either active or inactive state or federal service and as a result of that service or a follow-up medical treatment for injury incurred during that service misses any of the following: class, test, examination, laboratory, class day on which a written or oral assignment is due, or other event upon which a course grade or evaluation is based, is entitled to make up these events without prejudice to the final course grade or evaluation. The makeup must be scheduled after the member's return from service and after a reasonable time for the student to prepare for the event.
Refunding Tuition Assistance (TA) funds
Active duty, reserve, and National Guard students who receive military Tuition Assistance (TA) are refunded proportionally through at least 60% of the quarter for which the funds were earned. TA funds are earned proportionally during the quarter, with unearned funds returned based on when a student stops attending due to officially withdrawing from a course. If the student does not officially withdraw and stops attending the last date of attendance will be determined by the instructor.
- VA Education Call Center - 888.442.4551
- VA general benefit information – 800.827.1000
- Bellingham Vet Center: "Help without Hassel" 360.733.9226
- VA Community Based Outreach Clinic (CBOC): 360.848.8500
- VA debt management: 1.800.827.0648
- VA Puget Sound health care: 206.762.1010
- VA Puget Sound health care enrollment: 1.800.326.8387
- VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, Mt. Vernon: 360.424.5470
- Whatcom County disabled American veterans: 360.715.7453
- Whatcom County veterans assistance program: 360.715.7453
- FAFSA (Federal Application for Federal Student Aid)
- Post-9/11 GI Bill® Housing Allowance calculator
Whatcom recognizes all who have served
We look forward to seeing you on our campus soon. The Veterans Office and Whatcom Community College thank you for your service and dedication. We look forward to helping you succeed and accomplish all your educational goals.