Veteran Benefits

Veterans Benefits
Trinidad State (TSC) works with the Veterans Administration to assist in administering the provision of the various programs of educational benefits to veterans or eligible relatives of veterans. TSC is approved by the Colorado State Approving Agency for veteran’s education, and all of our degree and certificate programs are approved for payment of educational benefits to eligible veterans and dependents. Veteran education benefits are administered through the financial aid office by the School Certifying Official (SCO). The primary function of the SCO is to certify and report enrollment information to the VA to facilitate the students' benefit payments.

The Veteran's School Certifying Officials (SCO's) are located in the financial aid office Berg Building, Room 209. The SCO's can assist students in utilizing their VA Educational Benefits and/or Military Tuition Assistance. All SCO's complete yearly online training through the Veteran's Administration, as well as attend yearly training conferences from the Colorado Approving Agency for Veterans Education and the regional VA Education Liaison Representatives. Our SCO's also serve as financial aid representatives, and are qualified to assist students in obtaining Federal Title IV funding, state funding, scholarships, and other grant or payment options.

Other support services:
  • Academic counseling, job search support, Student Services, Student Success Center: 719-846-5665.
    Valley Campus: Learning Center, 719-589-7063
  • Records & transcripts, are located in the Berg Building, Room 108 719-846-5550 on the Trinidad Campus,
    Student Services, Valley Campus 719-589-7026
  • The on-campus Housing Office is located in O’Connor Hall. 719-846-5497
  • The Bookstore is located in the Sullivan Center. 719-846-5610.
    Valley Campus Virtual bookstore: https://tsjcbookstore.com/

Our dedicated SCO will guide students through the process and will assist in connecting them to appropriate services. Or, please go to our home page to locate a specific department on campus.

Contact the VA Certifying Official:
Wilma Atencio
Director of Financial Aid and VA Certifying Official
(719) 846-5555
email: wilma.atencio@trinidadstate.edu


Military Tuition Assistance
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) administers the Military Tuition Assistance Program (TA). The TA program is available to members of all service branches (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force) and the U.S. Coast Guard. Members of the National Guard and Reserve Components may be eligible based on their service eligibility. The TA program will fund up to 100% of the service member's college tuition and certain fees, subject to defined limits. The TA program is separate than the VA education benefit programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, some of the VA education programs, such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill, can work in conjunction with the TA program and supplement the fees and other school related expenses not covered by TA. To learn more about the VA Educational Program, please visit the GI Bill website. https://www.va.gov/. To speak to a military/veteran representative on campus, please contact the VA Certifying Official listed above.

It is the service member's responsibility to apply for Tuition Assistance and provide the TA Authorization documents to the Cashier's Office (located in Berg Building, room 209, prior to the start of each semester. The service member must receive approval from a Military Educational Service Officer (ESO) prior to enrolling in courses; if no approval is received, the service member may be solely responsible for all tuition costs. Each branch of service has its own eligibility criteria, procedures, and application forms. To find out how to get started, visit with your branch ESO or military counselor, or click on the link below that pertains to your branch:
| ARMY | MARINE CORPS | NAVY | AIR FORCE |

Military TA recipients are also eligible to be considered for all other forms of financial aid that is available to all students. Service members are encouraged to apply for Title IV federal student aid, state aid, and scholarships. Go to our Financial Aid page to learn how to apply for other aid. TA students who are also eligible for the federal Pell grant will have their TA benefits applied towards their account prior to the application of Pell grant funds. TA benefits will be applied to tuition and course-specific fees only, while Pell grant funds can be applied to other allowable educational expenses. If the service members drops his/her courses before the census date (last date to drop a class), TSJC is required to return all TA funds to the military branch. The TA return policy aligns with the federal student aid return policy, in which any unearned TA funds will be returned on a proportional basis through at least 60% of the period for which the funds were provided. Should the service member stop attending school due to a military service obligation, TSJC will work with the student to help prevent any student debt resulting from the returned TA portion. For all unofficial withdrawals/drops, we will attempt to determine the student's last date of class attendance or participation and will use that date for calculating the return of funds.

% Of Course Completed % Of TA Unearned Funds Returned
16-30% 50%
31-40% 40%
41-50% 30%
51-60% 10%
61-100% 0%

Other Resources:
https://www.benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/factsheets/education/TU.pdf

Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits:
There may be funding available to assist students in need of vocational/occupational rehabilitation because of physical or emotional handicaps. These funds help to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, supplies, maintenance, medical services and transportation. You may call your local Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Office.



Trinidad State College is approved by the Colorado State Approving Agency for Veterans Education. Our degree and certificate programs are approved for payment of educational benefits to those veterans and dependents that are determined eligible by the Veterans Administration.

Veteran education benefits are administered through the Trinidad State  Financial Aid Office.  While this office cannot determine eligibility, the primary function of the School Certifying Official (SCO) is to certify and report enrollment information to the Veterans Administration to facilitate the receipt of benefits by eligible students.

To apply for Veteran Education Benefits with Trinidad State the first time you must:

  • First apply for VA benefits through the VA website: http://benefits.va.gov/gibill
  • Submit official transcripts from any previous institution(s) attended and your military joint transcript(s) for transfer evaluation. Transcripts should be sent to the Admissions Office at Trinidad State, 600 Prospect St., Trinidad, CO 81082.
    • Joint Service Military Transcripts, can be ordered online at: https://jst.doded.mil/official.html
    • If transferring to Trinidad State and education benefits were used elsewhere, VA Form 22-1995 Request for Change of Program or Place of Training must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office
  • Be seeking a degree or certificate program approved for education benefits
  • Submit a copy of the Veteran’s DD214 showing the discharge status to the Financial Aid Office
  • Submit a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility Letter to the Financial Aid Office
  • Complete the Intent to Register Application
  • Submit a copy of your Degree Plan signed by your Academic Advisor for each degree/certificate you are seeking.

Every subsequent semester at Trinidad State you must:

  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Complete the Intent to Register Application
  • Submit a new copy of your Degree Plan signed by your Academic Advisor only if you are changing or adding a new degree/certificate.

It is imperative that you submit The Intent to Register Application and any new Degree Plans you may need for every semester you wish to use your benefits at Trinidad State.  If we do not receive your submitted forms, you will not be certified in the VA system. This will cause a delay in your tuition and fee payments, as well as, any applicable housing and book stipends.

To assist the VA in making the correct payment, students should immediately notify the School Certifying Official (SCO) of any enrollment changes, course drops, withdrawals, or any dates you stop attending classes.  Enrollment will be checked after census date of each semester of attendance and any adjustments will be made at that time. Census date is generally two weeks after classes begin. Please allow the VA 30 days after enrollment certification to pay any benefits to you or the school.

* You are responsible for ALL debts resulting from reductions or termination of your enrollment even if the payment was submitted directly to the school on your behalf.


Return of Tuition Assistance:
Military Tuition Assistance (TA) is awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of TA funds originally awarded.

To comply with the new Department of Defense policy, Trinidad State College will return any unearned TA funds on a prorate basis through at least the 60% portion of the period for which the funds were provided. TA funds are earned proportionally during an enrollment period, with unearned funds returned based upon when a student stops attending. These funds are returned to the military Service branch.

Instances when a Service member stops attending due to a military service obligation, the educational institution will work with the affected Service member to identify solutions that will not result in student debt for the returned portion.


Written Records
The school maintains a written record of the previous education and training of the veteran or eligible person and clearly indicates that appropriate credit has been given for previous education and training, with the training period shortened proportionately, and the veteran or eligible person and the Department of Veterans Affairs so notified.
  • Trinidad State College keeps all VA records for three years
  • Records are maintained and housed on the Trinidad main campus


For questions or to set up an appointment, please contact:

  • Wilma Atencio
    Director of Financial Aid and VA Certifying Official

    at (719) 846-5017 or 1-800-621-8752 ext. 5017
    email: wilma.atencio@trinidadstate.edu

  • For in-person appointments at the Valley Campus, a SCO is generally available every Thursday in the Financial Aid Office.