Portland Community College Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Step 1: Apply for benefits with the VA

The first step to receiving your Veterans Educational Benefits to is to visit the VA website and fill out the online application.

  1. Apply online with the VA

    You will need to visit the Veterans Affairs website and complete the online application for veteran benefits.

  2. Choose your benefit

    In the application, you will learn which benefit you are eligible to receive. If you don't know which benefit to apply for, contact us and we can help answer questions about the different types of benefits.

    If you are active in the National Guard or a Reserve unit and are planning to use Tuition Assistance, contact the Education Service Officer or counselor within your unit for assistance.

When should I complete the application?

You'll need to complete the application at least 6 weeks before you plan on attending classes. You'll only need to complete the application once, unless you decide to switch which benefit you are using.

When will I receive my first payment?

Housing allowance is not paid until after you start school. Payments are sent on the first of the month. Payment amounts are calculated based on enrollment during the prior month. To see how much your housing allowance will be, see benefit payment rates, or for Chapter 31, see subsistence allowance rates.

Chapter 30, 1606, and 1607

To release payment, you must verify enrollment on the last day of each month.

GI Bill® comparison tool

Need help choosing a school or starting to use your benefits? Check out the GI Bill Comparison Tool. GI BillĀ® 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 benefits.va.gov/gibill.

After the application

After you complete the online application, you'll will receive a certificate of eligibility in the mail within 4 to 6 weeks. Keep a copy of this certificate handy - you'll need to provide a copy to the Veterans Education Benefits Office when you start your benefits.

Next, you should complete Step 2: Get admitted to PCC.