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VA Education Benefits

I'm a Veteran. What do I do first?

First, you need to apply to KC.  The admission process is the first and most important step for all students. Continuing Education students, which includes students that are applying to the Fire Academy or Police Academy, must apply with those departments. All other students must apply through the regular admissions process.

Once you have completed the admissions and testing requirements

It is imperative that you schedule an appointment with the Advisor for your program or the Kilgore College Counseling Center at (903) 983-8206. Veterans CAN NOT be certified for VA benefits until there is a schedule in the system for you.

Fill out your FAFSA

All students applying to a regular degree program are encouraged to complete a FAFSA to determine financial aid eligibility, which includes the Pell Grant, other State & Local Grants, Federal Student Loans, and Scholarships. FAFSA’s must be submitted prior to July 1st for enrollment in the Fall semester and November 1st for the Spring semester. The last day a FAFSA can be filed with the Department of Education, for any academic year, is June 30th. Please Note: Financial Aid cannot be used for any type of Continuing Education Courses and all enrollment must be within your degree plan for eligibility. Please speak with the Veteran Certifying Official if you have any questions regarding this process.

Continuing Education: Students interested in Continuing Education courses or programs must complete paperwork per that program’s guidelines and are not required to complete Orientation or Testing. 

Fire Academy: Fire Academy applicants should inform the Academy that they are using Veterans benefits when submitting paperwork. Veteran students are responsible for contacting the VA Rep prior to beginning classes and submitting all required documentation and applications. The Fire Academy will contact the Certifying Official regarding class enrollment and schedules.  

  • Please be aware: According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Basic Onset and Online Fire Academy (this includes the Basic Online Fire Academy Hybrid), Firefighter EMT and Online Firefighter EMT will be approved for military benefits, however the Arson Investigator, Fire Inspector, and State Fireman’s & Fire Marshall’s Volunteer Fire Fighter Training will no longer be approved for military benefits. This does not include Hazelwood or Hazelwood Legacy exemptions.

Police Academy: Police Academy applicants must inform their instructors when classes begin that they are using Veterans benefits and which benefits: GI Bill, Post 9/11, Hazlewood or a combination. Veteran students are   responsible for contacting the VA Rep prior to beginning classes and submitting all required documentation and applications. The Police Academy will contact the Certifying Official regarding class enrollment and schedules.

Important links

  1. Apply for Admission online through Apply Texas.
  2. Bacterial meningitis vaccination is required for students under 22. Click here for further information about the vaccination and submitting records.
  3. If you are attending college for the first time, you need to complete orientation.
    • Orientation fee may be waived for veterans who present their DD-214 to Student Success Staff.
  4. Check with the Registrar regarding whether you need or are exempt from placement testing by calling 903-983-8606.
    • Military personnel discharged after 1990 with an honorable discharge may be TSI Exempt. You must present a DD-214 to the Registrar’s Office with this information to be exempted.
    • If not TSI exempt, schedule a test with the Testing Center.
  5. Submit official high school/GED, college and military transcripts to the Registrar.
    • Official Transcripts from all colleges attended previously, whether you received veterans benefits or not.
    • Military Transcripts (you may receive college credit for military training)
      • Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy: Active Duty, Reserve, and Veterans can obtain these transcripts here.
      • Air Force: request transcripts online or mail a request to CCAF/DFRS, 130 West Maxwell BLVD, Maxwell AFB, Alabama  36112-6613.
  6. REQUIRED: Fill out the Veteran Education Benefits online checklist form.

Tuition Assistance is for active military service members and includes, Army Tuition Assistance, Navy Tuition Assistance, and Air Force Tuition Assistance. These programs are administered through an Educational Services Officer within your branch of service. You must complete the counseling process with your ESO. Once your program has been approved you will need to notify the college of your choice and speak with the Veteran Certifying Official on that campus. Please note: We cannot assist you with this phase of your educational goals, however we can assist you with any information or paperwork you may need to gain approval.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill®* is for individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after Sept. 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The Post-9/11 GI Bill become effective for training on or after Aug. 1, 2009.

Chapter 30 – Montgomery GI Bill®The MGIB program provides up to 36 months of education benefits. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following your release from active duty. This program is also commonly known as Chapter 30.

Chapter 35 – DEA: Dependents’ Educational Assistance provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course. Remedial, deficiency and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.

Chapter 1606: The MGIB-SR program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.

Chapter 1607: REAP was established as a part of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005. It is a new Department of Defense education benefit program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operation) as declared by the President or Congress.  This new program makes certain reservists who were activated for at least 90 days after September 11, 2001 either eligible for education benefits or eligible for increased benefits.

Chapter 31 – Veteran Readiness and Employment: The Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Program is authorized by Congress under Title 38, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 31. It is sometimes referred to as the Chapter 31 program. The mission of VR&E is to help veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs. For veterans with service-connected disabilities so severe that they cannot immediately consider work, VR&E offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible.

Hazlewood Exemption: Fill out a Hazlewood application and you could qualify for a scholarship to pay for tuition and fees for up to 150 college credits.

My CAA: The Department of Defense (DoD) Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program provides a lifetime benefit of up to $6,000 of Financial Assistance (FA) for military spouses who are pursuing licenses, certificates, credentials or degree programs leading to employment in Portable Career Fields. Application and information are available at the website.

Purple Heart Foundation Scholarship Program: The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) Scholarship Program is designed to provide financial support to Purple Heart recipients and their families for the direct costs of higher education. It covers things like tuition, books, incidental fees and room and board.

* GI Bill® 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

  1. Hazlewood Application:
  2. Submit DD-214 of qualifying veteran: All Hazlewood Applications require a copy of the veteran’s DD-214; applications submitted without the DD-214 are incomplete and those students will not be exempted from tuition and fees.
  3. Submit Certificate of Eligibility for Federal Veterans’ Education Benefits: To verify eligibility for the veteran’s, or dependent’s federal education benefits. Certificates of eligibility may be obtained by completing an application on the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP) website.
  4. If you are not the veteran, Relationship Documentation: Submit one or more of the following documents to verify your relationship to the eligible veteran: Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Adoption Papers, or Recent Income Tax Return.
  5. If the veteran died while in service: Report of Casualty, Form DD Form 1300 – To verify the veteran’s place of entry, and that his/her death was service related.
  6. If the veteran is deceased (not service-connected): Death Certificate for deceased veteran for use in a Legacy transfer.
  7. If the veteran is totally disabled or individually unemployable due to military service-related illness or injury: You must have a current disability ratings decision letter from the VA indicating that rating.
  8. If you and/or the veteran have used Hazlewood previously at another institution, you must register for the Hazlewood Hours used database and include a printout of proof of hours used.

The Texas Veterans Commission released the following statements:

  • On January 26, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled that the requirement that Veterans must have entered service in Texas in order to be eligible to receive the Texas Hazlewood exemption of tuition and fees at public schools (the fixed point residency requirement) was unconstitutional.
  • On May 12, 2015, the office of the Texas State Attorney General filed an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Note: The Texas Veterans Commission is not a party to appeal.
  • Current Hazlewood eligibility requirements remain unchanged, except for the individual specifically named in the lawsuit.

Important documents

For more information please contact