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Welcome veterans, service members, and eligible dependents

We welcome you to Whatcom Community College where your service is recognized and appreciated. Most importantly, we want to thank you for your service to our country and the sacrifices you have made, and continue to make, to ensure our freedom and way of life.

Getting started at Whatcom with your VA benefits

Step 1: Apply for GI Bill® benefits.

  • For more information about VA benefits visit the GI Bill® website.
  • Contact VA Education 888.442.4551
  • For assistance with completing the application contact the WCC Veteran Services Office at 360.383.3015.
  • After applying for benefits VA will send you a certificate of eligibility (COE), required by the College.   
  • If you have used VA benefits at a prior college, VA will require you submit a Change of Program or Place of Training to transfer your benefits to Whatcom.

Step 2: Apply for admissions to Whatcom

  • After applying you will receive a student ID number (SID)
  • Setup your MYWCC account.
  • Your student email is located in your MYWCC.

Step 3: Initial math and English course

  • If you have completed college level math (Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Statistics, etc…) and/or English (English 101, Composition I or II, etc…) please acquire a copy of all prior college transcripts. A WCC Veteran Advisor will review your unofficial transcripts from prior colleges and help determine your initial math and English class, if needed. 
  • English Informed Self-Placement
  • If you have not completed college level math at a prior institution and require math to complete your degree, please contact a WCC Veteran Advisor to discuss your options. You may be required to provide high school transcripts, especially if you completed Algebra II or higher. These documents may be influential in helping us decide the best starting math class for you.

Step 4: Required documents for

  • Please provide the following documents to a Veteran Service Advisor
    • VA Education benefit Certificate of Eligibility
    • DD-214 (active duty veterans)
    • DD-256 (Reserve and National Guard veterans)
    • DD-2384-1 Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE)
      • Reserve & National Guard members using VA benefits under Ch. 1606
    • Unofficial transcripts from all prior colleges

Step 5: VA approved degree plan - Meet with a Veteran Services Academic Advisor

  • All VA students must have a VA approved degree plan prior to using VA benefits.
  • Schedule an appointment with a Veteran Services Academic Advisor to get answers to your college and benefit questions, setup your VA education file, select your VA approved degree plan, and register for classes.
  • You can schedule an appointment with a WCC Veteran Services Academic Advisor online using Starfish! To log in, simply use your MYWCC username and password.
  • You can also call 360.383.3015 or 360.383.3080 to schedule an appointment with a WCC Veteran Advisor.

Step 6: Apply for Pell and State Need Grants through FAFSA and scholarships. Student using VA benefits are currently authorized to receive Financial Aid and scholarships while using VA education benefits.

Step 7: Learning starts day one. Students who do not show up for the first week of class may be dropped from classes unless prior arrangements with the instructor are made

Veteran, military, and eligible dependent residency

  • WA State law, in certain situations, allows veterans, active/reserve/WA National Guard, and eligible family members to access in-state residency with approved documentation. The following form will help students determine if they meet the requirements necessary to gain in-state residency for the purpose of tuition and fees. The following form, along with required documentation, must be completed and submitted to the Registration Office in Laidlaw Center, room 102.  Military and Veterans Residency

Required transcript evaluation

Any student using VA education benefits must have all prior civilian and military credits evaluated for transfer. This is best done before your second quarter of benefits has ended at Whatcom. This takes time, often up to 10 weeks once your credits arrive at Whatcom, so do not delay in starting this process. To have your prior credits evaluated, follow these steps:

  • Request official transcripts from all prior academic institutions be sent to:

Admission and Registration
Whatcom Community College
237 West Kellogg Road
Bellingham, WA 98226

  • Request official transcripts sent to Whatcom from military through the JST.
  • Submit the Military Credits Evaluation (MCE) Form to Registration in LDC 102.
  • Air Force Veterans can access their transcript from the CCAF.

National Guard and reserve students

A member of the Washington National Guard or any other military reserve component who is a student at an institution of higher education and who is ordered for a period of 30 days or less to either active or inactive state or federal service and as a result of that service or a follow-up medical treatment for injury incurred during that service misses any of the following: class, test, examination, laboratory, class day on which a written or oral assignment is due, or other event upon which a course grade or evaluation is based, is entitled to make up these events without prejudice to the final course grade or evaluation. The makeup must be scheduled after the member's return from service and after a reasonable time for the student to prepare for the event.

Military Tuition Assistance (TA) funds

When looking to take advantage of military tuition assistance (TA) the first step is always to connect with your education service office (ESO) from your branch of service, and get approval from you command to use TA. Military TA is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Each service has its own criteria for eligibility, obligated service, application processes, and restrictions. The TA program will fund up to 100 percent of your college tuition and certain fees with the following limits:

  • Not to exceed $250 per semester credit hour or $166 per quarter credit hour
  • Not to exceed $4500 per fiscal year (Oct 01-Sep 30)

Each military branch has its own TA application form and procedures. To find out how to get started, visit your local installation education center, visit your online virtual education center, or select a link below for your service branch TA portal:

Armyhttps://www.goarmyed.com/

Marine Corpshttps://sas.ncdc.navy.mil/login/sasdeersvalidation.aspx?RedirectUrl=https://myeducation.netc.navy.mil/webta/

Navyhttps://www.navycollege.navy.mil/

Air Forcehttps://www.my.af.mil/

Coast Guardhttps://www.uscg.mil/forcecom/Our-Organization/FORCECOM-UNITS/ETQC/Voluntary-Education/

Prior to your course enrollment, you may be required to develop an education plan or complete a TA orientation with your branch. You may also be required to submit a degree plan based off the degree you plan to pursue at Whatcom. To setup a TA approved degree plan, please schedule an appointment with Whatcom's Veteran Advisor by calling 360.383.3015 or visiting Cascade Hall, room 127. Please bring any unofficial transcripts from all prior colleges and have your official transcripts sent to Whatcom Community College. 

Getting started at Whatcom with Tuition Assistance (TA)

Step 1:  Start the Military Tuition Assistance application with your education service office (ESO) from your branch of service, and get approval from your command.

Step 2Apply for admissions to Whatcom

  • After applying you will receive a student ID number (SID)
  • Setup your MYWCC account.
  • Your student email is located in your MYWCC.

Step 3: Initial Math and English Course

  • If you have completed college level math (Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Statistics, etc…) and/or English (English 101, Composition I or II, etc…) please acquire a copy of all prior college transcripts. A WCC Veteran Advisor will review your unofficial transcripts from prior colleges and help determine your initial math and English class, if needed.
  • English Informed Self-Placement
  • If you have not completed college level math at a prior institution and require math to complete your degree, please contact a WCC Veteran Advisor to discuss your options. You may be required to provide high school transcripts, especially if you completed Algebra II or higher. These documents may be influential in helping us select the best starting math class for you.

Step 4: Request official military and academic transcripts from all prior institutions

  • Request official transcripts from all prior academic institutions be sent to:

    Admission and Registration
    Whatcom Community College
    237 West Kellogg Road
    Bellingham, WA 98226


  • Request official transcripts sent to Whatcom from military through the JST.
  • Submit the Military Credits Evaluation (MCE) Form to Registration in LDC 102.
  • Air Force members can access their transcript from the CCAF.

Step 5: Meet with a WCC Veteran Advisor to develop TA Approved degree plan

  • Schedule an appointment with a WCC Veteran Services Academic Advisor to get answers to your college and benefit questions, setup your education benefit file, select your benefit approved degree plan, and register for classes.
  • You can schedule an appointment with a WCC Veteran Services Academic Advisor online using Starfish! To log in, simply use your MYWCC username and password.
  • You can also call 360.383.3015 or 360.383.3080 to schedule an appointment with a WCC Veteran Advisor.

Step 6: Submit degree plan and class information using your specific TA branch portal. 

Step 7: Print off TA authorization, or approval, and submit to Whatcom's Cashier Window in Laidlaw Center, room 141. 

Step 8: Learning starts day one. Students who do not show up for the first week of class may be dropped unless prior arrangements with the instructor are made. 

MyCAA Program

Spouses of service members on active duty, under Title 10 orders, with pay grades of E1 through E5, W1 through W2, and O1 through O2 are eligible to participate in the MyCAA Scholarship program.Get more information and sign up for the scholarship on the MyCAA website. Students using MyCAA will require a specialized MyCAA approved degree plan. MyCAA students should follow the steps listed at the top of this website to obtain their MyCAA approved degree plan.  

Shopping Sheet and college comparison tools

We recommend you visit the following websites before deciding to attend Whatcom Community College. 

  • Tuition Assistance (TA) Decide: This dynamic information and comparison tool is designed specifically to aid participants of DoD's Tuition Assistance (TA) program in making informed choices on schools and education programs. 
  • Financial Aid Shopping Sheet: The Financial Aid Shopping Sheet is a tool used to notify students about their financial aid package. It is designed to simplify information about school costs and financial aid.
  • College Scorecard: College Scorecard makes it easier for you to search for a college that is a good fit for you. Use the College Scorecard to find out more about affordability and value of colleges you are interested in attending.
  • College Navigator: This college search engine produces information relevant to admissions statistics, retention, financial aid, and academics. It also gives you another way to compare schools, find schools in your area, and determine costs associated with attending those schools.
  • Paying for College: Use this website to get help in making informed financial decisions about how to pay for college, understand financial aid offers, and student loan repayment.

Active duty, reserve, and National Guard students who receive military Tuition Assistance (TA) are refunded proportionally through at least 60% of the quarter for which the funds were earned. TA funds are earned proportionally during the quarter, with unearned funds returned based on when a student stops attending due to officially withdrawing from a course. If the student does not officially withdraw and stops attending the last date of attendance will be determined by the instructor.

Helpful contacts

  • VA Education Call Center - 888.442.4551
  • VA general benefit information – 800.827.1000
  • Bellingham Vet Center: "Help without Hassel" 360.733.9226
  • VA Community Based Outreach Clinic (CBOC): 360.848.8500
  • VA Debt Management: 1.800.827.0648
  • VA Puget Sound health care: 206.762.1010
  • VA Puget Sound health care enrollment: 1.800.326.8387
  • Whatcom County disabled American veterans: 360.715.7453
  • Whatcom County veterans assistance program: 360.715.7453
  • FAFSA (Federal Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • Post-9/11 GI Bill® Housing Allowance calculator

Graduation honor cords

Whatcom Community College honors veterans with red, white, and blue honor cords at commencement. Graduating veterans, active military, reservists, and National Guard students are eligible to receive the honor cord. Graduates should check with the Veteran Services office in CAS 127 to obtain a cord. Proof of service, such as DD214 or military ID card is required at the time of receipt of the cord. Cords can also be picked up during check-in at the commencement ceremony.

Whatcom recognizes all who have served

We look forward to seeing and serving you on our campus and in our community. The Veteran Services Office and Whatcom Community College thank you for your service and dedication. It is our honor to be involved in this partnership to help you accomplish your educational goals.

‘‘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 Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill".