Veterans Educational Assistance

Welcome to the Cleveland State Community College Office of Veterans Affairs! We appreciate your military service and look forward to assisting you as you join us here at Cleveland State. We are a certified Veterans Education Transition Support (VETS) campus; we prioritize outreach to veterans while successfully delivering the services necessary to create a supportive environment where student veterans can prosper while pursuing their education.

The Cleveland State Veterans Affairs Office assists prospective and enrolled service members, veterans, their dependents/survivors, and other persons eligible to receive education benefits under various Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs. This office is a resource center that provides individualized assistance in accessing benefits, advising, registering for classes, and answering any questions you may have about college.

All degree and certificate programs at Cleveland State are approved for the enrollment of veterans and other persons eligible to receive VA education benefits.

 1. Apply to attend Cleveland State.   All new and returning students will need to complete this step.

2. Complete the Veteran Student Intake Form.   All veterans, current military, and dependents/survivors utilizing VA education benefits should fill out this form.

3. Determine which VA education benefit you will use, if any, and apply on the VA website. If you have already used G.I. Bill™ benefits at another institution, you will need to complete a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training form.

VA Education Benefit Comparison Tool

Apply for VA Education Benefits

VA Form 22-1995: Request for Change of Program or Place of Training

VA Form 22-5495: Dependents' Request for Change of Program or Place of Training

4. Members of the Tennessee Army and Air National Guard may be eligible to receive tuition reimbursement through the STRONG Act. More information and an application can be found here:  Tennessee STRONG Act

Reservists and active duty members should contact their unit for information about utilizing tuition assistance, if available. The Army maintains a website that may be helpful to soldiers in learning more: GoArmyEd

5. Request a copy of your Joint Service Transcript (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard) or Community College of the Air Force transcript to be sent to Cleveland State for evaluation of prior credit.

Joint Service Transcripts

Community College of the Air Force Transcript Requests

6. Our Financial Aid office can help you complete a Free Application for Student Aid to see if you are eligible for additional aid, such as Pell Grants. Tennessee also offers additional grant money to state resident veterans who meet certain criteria and served overseas tours in the Middle East. Visit the Helping Heroes grant page here: Tennessee Helping Heroes Grant

7. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is the evaluation of college-level knowledge and skills that an individual has gained outside of the classroom for college credit. Cleveland State evaluates all military transcripts to ensure the highest amount of possible transfer credit is awarded. CSCC offers additional opportunities to earn PLA, such as external testing (CLEP) and portfolio assessment. For more information about PLA related to military service, contact Tishauna Hoffman at

8. Service members, veterans, and dependents/survivors of veterans who are eligible recipients of Veterans Affairs educational benefits, tuition assistance, or state educational benefits may defer the cost of tuition and fees until the last day of classes by completing a deferment form. The form must be submitted each semester.  The deferment is not a payment but an extension that allows the student additional time to receive funds from the governing agency. Instructions to complete this online form will be given when you meet with the School Certifying Official.

If you have any questions about the process of attending Cleveland State we would be happy to assist you! We can be reached at or by phone at (423) 473-2265.

Any covered individual will be able to attend or participate in the course of education during the
period beginning on the date on which the individual provides to the educational institution a
certificate of eligibility for entitlement to educational assistance under chapter 31 or 33 (a
“certificate of eligibility” can also include a “Statement of Benefits” obtained from the Department
of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) website – eBenefits, or a VAF 28-1905 form for chapter 31
authorization purposes) and ending on the earlier of the following dates:
1. The date on which payment from VA is made to the institution.
2. 90 days after the date the institution certified tuition and fees following the receipt of
the certificate of eligibility.

Cleveland State Community College will not impose any penalty, including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities, or the requirement that a covered individual borrow additional funds, on any covered individual because of the individual’s inability to meet his or her financial obligations to the institution due to the delayed disbursement funding from VA under chapter 31 or 33.

A veteran or other individual eligible to receive educational benefits administered by the United States department of veterans affairs, through any provision of the United States Code, shall not be required to pay out-of-state tuition or any out-of-state fee when the veteran or other individual is:


(1) Enrolled in any public institution of higher education in this state;

(2) Utilizing such benefits at the enrolling institution; and

(3) Living in the state of Tennessee, regardless of the individual's formal state of residency.

T.C.A. § 49-7-1304


Partners & Initiatives

  • Cleveland Bradley Business Incubator
  • America's SBDC Tennesseey
  • Your Skills. Your Future.
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  • Cleveland State Sustainability Initiative
  • TBR The College System of Tennessee
  • TN eCampus
  • Tennessee Transfer Pathway