Make the Most of Your Military Aid

Published 07.15.2022

Chet Beaver, MSG USA (Retired)

by Chet Beaver, MSG USA (Retired)

Assistant Director of Student Advocacy for Veteran/Military


Respect and gratitude for the sacrifice and service of its military family runs deep at Pennsylvania College of Technology, which, from its very beginnings in 1914, helped World War I veterans attain gainful and meaningful job skills.


Since Fall 2017, the Major General Fred F. Marty Veterans & Military Resource Center provides an exclusive location in which veteran and active-duty students can gather, collaborate, study and discuss their military benefits.

With those benefits in mind, Chet Beaver – the college’s coordinator of veteran and military services – prepared this detailed list to help new students and current students navigate all of the steps involved in maximizing their educational aid.

New Students

  1. Contact our office as soon as you apply to Penn College.
    • Veterans and military services can give you all the details about your particular type of VA or military education benefit and explain the process for applying your benefits at Penn College.
  2. Apply for your benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs or other issuing agency as early as possible.
    • The Department of Veterans Affairs’ best practices state that you should apply for your benefits one year before you plan on utilizing them.
  3. Visit our office to easily process all of your benefits.
  4. Monitor your student email for updates and notices from the Veteran Services office.
    • Once your benefits are approved, our office will send you periodic emails so that you do not miss important requirements and deadlines.
  5. Attend the “New Veteran” orientation the day before the start of the semester.
    • Penn College’s “Veteran Success Program” will make sure you have everything in place to start your first semester of school.

Current Students

  1. Request your benefits early
    • Each semester, all students receiving Veterans Affairs/military benefits must request that our office process those benefits. This is an online form that is sent to scheduled students in June for the fall semester. Make sure you complete the request as soon as you receive the email.
    • All students using VA/military benefits must request that the Veteran & Military Services office process those benefits for each semester. An online request form can be accessed via a link that is emailed in June for the fall semester. It’s always best practice to complete the form as soon as you receive it, and it only takes a minute or two.
  2. Review your eBill as soon as it’s published
    • You can expect your fall eBill to be available in early July on the Student Information System. Log in to review your eBill as soon as possible and review the following:
      • In-state tuition rate
        • Students receiving military benefits are charged in-state tuition. If you’re an out-of-state student, make sure you are being charged the correct rate.
      • Traditional Financial Aid
        • Complete your financial aid steps as soon as possible each year. The priority deadline is March 1, but if you missed this date, it’s still possible to receive aid. Here are some traditional types of aid you may see on your eBill:
          • Federal Pell Grant
          • PA State Grant
            • Complete this application after you complete FAFSA and use the same login information. Not from Pennsylvania? Your state may provide a grant for you to study in the commonwealth. Find out here.
          • Loans
            • Now is the time to apply for private alternative loans if you need them to help cover your eBill. You may also be eligible for Direct Student Loans or a Direct Parent PLUS Loan. Check out the Penn College loan page to see what loan may best fit your needs and call the college’s Financial Aid Office if you have any questions.
          • Scholarships
  3. Monitor school email for award notification
    • When all VA/military aid is posted to your account, you will receive an email notification.
    • Check your student email periodically over the summer, but especially when eBills are available. You’ll receive important emails and reminders from Penn College, plus you’ll be notified by the VA once your benefits have been processed.
  4. Keep schedule changes minimal
    • The more changes you make to your schedule, the harder it is for the VA to process your benefits. If you must make a change, contact our office immediately so we can adjust your claim.
    • Once your benefits are processed, adjusting for any schedule changes is difficult and may result in an overpayment or a delay in applying your benefits. If you need to make a change, it’s best to consult Veteran & Military Services to see how your benefits may be impacted.
  5. Review your eBill often and contact our office if you see a problem
    • Veteran & Military Services will start processing benefits in mid-July, so you can expect to see changes from that point onward. Check your eBill and your schedule leading up to and after the semester starts to catch any discrepancies. Always reach out if you spot an issue or have any questions.