Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Choosing the right classes

When I started school, I got used to choosing classes just because they interested me. I didn’t realize that eventually I would run out of room to take elective classes until I got an email from the PCC Veterans Education Benefits Office. Now I see how important it is to plan your classes so you don’t use up your electives too quickly. student veteran

To get the most out of your VA education benefits, you have to choose classes wisely.

The VA will pay for:

  • Classes that count toward your degree or certificate.
  • Remedial classes taken on campus. A remedial class is anything below what is needed for your degree in English, Math, or Reading. You might hear these classes called developmental education or pre-college classes.
  • Re-taking a class that you need, even when you previously earned an “F”.

The VA won’t pay for:

  • Additional electives once elective requirements for your degree are satisfied.
  • Remedial classes taken online – see above for more info.
  • Repeats of successfully completed classes.
  • “NP” (no-pass) grading option or self-paced classes, audit grades.

Pay attention to the length of your classes

The VA only pays while classes are in session. PCC offers classes with varying lengths – some classes may be 12 weeks, other classes 7 weeks, etc. VA benefit chapters are paid based on the length of the class and the number of credits. It is important to check with the Veterans Education Benefits Office if you have questions about the length of classes and how it affects your housing allowance.

Submit transcripts from other colleges

Why is it important to submit transcripts? You won’t know which classes the VA will pay for, or how many electives you will be allowed, until your transcripts have been evaluated. Remember, the VA will not pay for you to repeat classes. PCC must have your transcripts even if VA benefits were not used at a prior college. The PCC Veterans Education Benefits Office will not certify your classes after your first term if any official transcripts have not been evaluated.

  • How to submit transcripts: Complete the Transfer Credits Evaluation process. After submitting your transcripts, watch for an email from Student Records with instructions. This process takes time – submit your transcripts as early as possible.

Choose classes from your academic plan

The best way to choose classes so that you keep getting paid is to plan ahead, then follow that plan. Meet with an academic advisor and plan your classes out for the next 3 terms, then use this academic plan as you register for classes.

Any time you need to see which classes count toward your degree, you can: