Office of Veteran Services
Welcome Veterans to Southeast Arkansas College in Pine Bluff. We are here to assist veterans and eligible dependents with the filing of required documents for educational benefits with the Veterans Administration.
Chapters 1606, 1607 and 30 must verify their enrollment at the end of each month by calling 1-877-823-2378 or online through WAVES at https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/index.do
Sherri Roberts, SCO
Retention & Advisement Office,
Southeast Arkansas College
Veterans Affairs Office
M-F 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
1900 Hazel St.
Pine Bluff, AR. 71603
What We Do:
SEARK is accredited by the Veterans Administration to certify students for educational benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)., Title 38 & Title 10 of the U.S. Code.
The SEARK VA Certifying Official issues enrollment certification documents to the appropriate VA regional office and monitors students’ satisfactory progress for the VA administrator.
The toll-free number for the Education Call Center is 1-888-442-4551. The Call Center is in Muskogee, OK, and Education Case Managers are available 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday. The system’s automated functions can provide information about benefits, applications, etc., and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Individual Veterans can access their own record to obtain date of last benefit payment, check amounts, etc. VA asks that you utilize the automated system as much as possible.
Important Phone Numbers
Other VA Benefits (Local Regional Office)
Monthly Verification of Enrollment & IVR
Direct Deposit Enrollment (students)
VA Debt Management Center
How to Apply for Veteran Benefits
To apply for your veteran’s benefits you can go online to https://www.vets.gov/education/apply-for-education-benefits/. You may also click on the link below, according to your chapter, for further instructions and eligibility requirements.
Which Benefit Chapter Are You Using?
- Post 9/11 GI Bill®
- Transferring Post 9/11 GI Bill®
- Montgomery GI Bill® - Active Duty
- Montgomery GI Bill® - Selected Reserves including Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard, and Air National Guard
- Dependent's Educational Assistance/Survivor's Benefits
- Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31)
To initiate your VA Education Benefits, you must submit an application online at the Veterans On-Line Application website VONAPP.
Once your application has been submitted, write down your confirmation number or print a copy of the application for your records. You will then need to make an appointment with your VA representative to complete the certification process.
GI Bill® Comparison Tool
Learn about education programs and compare estimated benefits by school at GI Bill® Comparison Tool
Chapter 30/Chapter 1606/ Chapter 1607
If this is your first time to receive your VA benefits, select form 22-1990 and submit your application online by selecting the VONAPP link and following the instructions or print the application out in Adobe format and mail your application to the address listed on the last page of the application. If you are approved for benefits, you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility by mail from VA. Bring your Certificate of Eligibility to Retention & Advisement Office and complete the Request to Be Certified form for VA Educational Benefits (provided by your certifying official) and submit to your SEARK VA Certifying Official. You will not be certified until both forms have been received.
If you have received benefits at another university, complete a Change of Program / Place of Training form 22-1995. You may print a copy online at www.gibill.va.gov under education forms or come to the Retention & Advisement Office and get one from the VA Certifying Official. Submit the completed form to your SEARK VA Certifying Official. Next, complete the Request to Be Certified form for VA Educational Benefits and return to VA Certifying Official. You will not be certified until these forms have been received.
If this is the first time for you to receive VA benefits, select form 22-5490 and submit your application online by selecting the VONAPP link and following the instructions or print the application out in Adobe format and mail your application to the address listed on the last page of your application. If you are approved for benefits, you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility by mail from VA. Bring your Certificate of Eligibility to the Retention & Advisement Office and complete the Request to Be Certified for VA Educational Benefits (provided by your certifying official) and submit both forms to your SEARK VA Certifying Official. You will not be certified unless both forms have been received.
If you have received benefits at another university, complete a Change of Program / Place of Training form 22-5495. You may print a copy online at www.gibill.va.gov under education forms or come to the Retention & Advisement Office and get one from the VA Certifying Official. Submit the completed form to your SEARK VA Certifying Official. Next, complete the Request to Be Certified for VA Educational Benefits (provided by your certifying official).
Your Voc. Rehab counselor will send the SCO VA Certifying Official form 28-1905, to be completed each semester that you enroll in classes.
Monthly Verification of Attendance
(For Chapters 30, 1606 & 1607 Only)
If you are receiving benefits under Chapter 30, 1606, or 1607, you will not receive your monthly payment until you have verified your attendance for the month. Your enrollment can be verified starting on the last calendar day of the month by using the Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) or by calling the toll free Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone line at 1-877-823-2378. If this is your first time using your VA benefits, you will need to call the education line to activate your benefits. Call toll-free 1-888-442-4551 and let the phone operator know that you need to verify your attendance for the first time. This is required for the first time only. The next month, you can call 877-823-2378 or go to the VA WAVE website. (*Works best with Internet Explorer)
Credit for Military Experience
In order to receive college credit for your military experience, you may submit a Member 4 copy of DD-214.
The JST will produce a uniform transcript of all military training and experiences to Service members of all branches. This new electronic transcript service will include Army Officer and Warrant Officer training, joint military training conducted by other services, and DANTES funded Test Scores. Personnel data should be reviewed for accuracy and ensure that completed training is documented in the Army Training Requirements and Resources System (ATRRS).
Joint Services Transcript (* Best used with Internet Explorer)
Military Withdrawals for Active Duty/Deployment
There are options available to you in the event you are called to active duty/deployment once the term begins. Please contact the Veteran’s Office at (870) 850-3120 for more information about the documentation you will need to provide.
A copy of your orders will be needed.
Things You Need to Know
- The VA Certifying Official at SEARK provides enrollment certification information and help with veteran application forms.
- VA students must be working toward a degree and following the curriculum as outlined in their degree plan in the catalog, since only specific courses may be applied toward VA certification.
- If a student needs to take a class not part of their degree plan it first has to be approved by the VA Certifying Official.
- VA will not pay for a non-required repeat of classes; if SEARK College requires you to repeat the course to receive credit towards your degree, then VA will consider that a required repeat and the course will be applied towards the hours required for you to receive benefits.
- VA students are responsible for notifying the VA Certifying Official of any changes in their status. (add/drop classes, withdraw from school, change major)
- Students that receive VA Educational Benefits that decide to change their degree plan or change schools are required to fill out a Change of Program / Place of Training before they can be certified for the following semester.
- Regular attendance of all classes is a requirement for VA payments. If you stop attending a class, VA will be notified, and you will be required to pay back benefits.
- VA students must maintain a 2.0 or higher GPA to be certified for Educational Benefits.
- Twelve undergraduate hours for a fall/spring term is considered full-time and six hours is considered full-time for summer term for VA educational benefits.
- Each semester students are required to fill out a “Request to be Certified” form for VA Educational Benefits to be certified.
- Chapters 1606, 1607 and 30 must verify their enrollment at the end of each month by calling 1-877-823-2378 or online through WAVES
- Chapters 30, 1606 and 1607 may view their monthly benefit amount and see their remaining entitlement online through WAVES at https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/index.do
How to Set up Direct Deposit
Direct Deposit is the safest, fastest and most cost-efficient method to receive your payment. In addition, you no longer have to worry about your check being late, lost, or stolen. NOTE: The “Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996” which was signed into law on April 26, 1996, required all Federal payments to be made by Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT or Direct Deposit) beginning January 1, 1999. Click on the link to enroll in Direct Deposit or to make a change to an existing direct deposit account.
To have your VA Education payment deposited into your account right away with Direct Deposit just call VA’s toll-free number 1-800-829-4833 or complete the form and mail to:
Department of Veteran Affairs
125 S. Main Street Suite B
Muskogee, OK. 74401-7004
VETERANS CRISIS LINE
Confidential Crisis Chat at VeteransCrisisLine.net or text to 838255
1-800-273-8255 PRESS 1
RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS OF SUICIDE RISK
- Think about hurting or killing yourself
- Looking for ways to kill yourself
- Talking about death, dying or suicide
- Self-destructive behavior such as drug abuse, weapons, etc.
The presence of the above signs requires immediate attention.
- Hopelessness, feeling like there’s no way out
- Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, mood swings
- Feeling like there is no reason to live
- Rage or anger
- Engaging in Risky activities without thinking
- Increasing alcohol or drug abuse
- Withdrawing from family and friends
Call us if you experience any of these warning signs.
Confidential Crisis Chat at VeteransCrisisLine.net or text to 838255
1-800-273-8255 PRESS 1
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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