VA Regulations & College Policies
Students must notify the MCC Registrar’s Office and the Veteran’s Coordinator if they alter their registration in any way. This includes adding and/or dropping a class, terminating enrollment, changing program/major, registering for the next semester, or any other changes that would affect VA payment status. Students may NOT repeat courses that have been previously completed with a passing grade at this college or at any previously attended school/college/university. Students will be certified for only those courses that apply to their degree. Students will be certified based on their dates of enrollment and credit hours given semester (i.e., half semester classes). The VA will pay according to this certification.
Students must attend all of the classes they have registered for. Students who intentionally stop attending a course for 10 consecutive days without notifying the Veterans Coordinator or officially withdrawing will be subject to termination of veterans benefits for that course(s) effective the last day of attendance. A payment that was made to a student may be required to be returned to the Veteran’s Administration if he/she stops attending classes prior to the end of the enrollment period.
Faculty members submit student attendance information on a weekly basis. This information is monitored by the college’s Veteran Coordinator to ensure that funds are not being released to ineligible students. If students find that unforeseen circumstances are preventing them from attending classes, they should confer with their instructors, advisor, or a counselor immediately.
Satisfactory Progress Statement
VA regulations require that students maintain satisfactory academic progress while pursuing their course of study in order to receive Veteran’s Educational Benefits. Students will have their academic records reviewed each semester to determine if satisfactory academic progress is being made toward the completion of a degree, certificate or diploma. Transfer credits will not apply toward these guidelines. Students will be held responsible for only academic progress made at MCC. This includes terms that the student may not have been receiving VA benefits. Classes that a student chooses to audit will not count toward the hourly requirements.
To maintain eligibility for Veterans Educational Benefits, a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average for ALL coursework at Marshalltown Community College is required. In addition, a student must complete 67% of ALL credits ever attempted at MCC. “Complete” means earning a letter grade higher than an F. In addition to the cumulative standards addressed (grade point average and % of credits completed), a student will be placed on immediate financial aid suspension if he/she earns a semester grade point average of .50 or below.
A student is placed on probation when he/she fails to maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average or fails to complete 67% of all hours attempted. A student on probation continues to receive veterans’ educational benefits.
If a student does not meet the minimum levels by the end of the probationary semester, the student is considered to be making unsatisfactory progress and is placed on suspension. Suspension means the termination of veterans’ educational benefits.
A student may regain eligibility after he/she has brought their coursework up to minimum standards (2.0 cumulative GPA and a completion rate of at least 67% of all hours attempted) at his/her own expense.
A student may appeal the termination to the college’s Veteran Coordinator Office if he/she feels that there are extenuating circumstances (serious illness, injury, death of a relative, etc.). Appeal forms are available from the college’s Veteran Coordinator’s office. Forms will be accepted no later than the Friday before the first day of classes of the semester that the student wishes to be considered for. The Appeals Committee will review all appeals and respond in writing as soon as a decision is made.
It is the responsibility of each student to track his/her own progress and academic standing. However, the college’s Veteran Coordinator will make every effort to notify students of probationary/suspension standing in a timely manner at the end of each term.
The VA Coordinator at the college will notify the Veterans Administration of unsatisfactory progress if any of these requirements are not met.
Length of Program
Veterans must graduate within the approved length of the program in which they are enrolled. It is a student’s responsibility to arrange class schedules based on the training time paid by the Veterans Administration. For example, a veteran pursuing a 64-credit AA degree enrolled for 13 credit hours per semester is expected to complete the program within five semesters or 2.5 years.
Withdrawal from a Course
If students withdraw from a course during the semester, reduction of VA benefits will be determined by 1) the grade assigned, 2) the date of withdrawal, and 3) mitigating circumstances – defined as “circumstances which directly hinder an eligible veteran’s pursuit of a course and which are judged to be out of the student’s control.” According to VA regulations, withdrawal due to unsatisfactory work may be considered “mitigating circumstances” if the student “can demonstrate good faith evidence that he/she applied for tutorial aid, consulted a VA counselor, or consulted a college advisor or counselor to remedy the unsatisfactory work before withdrawal.”
If students withdraw from a course after the first week of class, receive a non-punitive grade for the course, and mitigating circumstances were not found, benefits for that course will be terminated, effective the first date of enrollment.
If benefits are terminated for any of these reasons, VA counseling is required before benefits may be reinstated.