Student Veterans and Dependents Club

Local Area Events & Resources

New to Cal Poly?

    Welcome to Cal Poly! As you embark on this exciting journey towards higher education, we are here to support you every step of the way. The Center for Military-Connected Students (CMCS) has developed a comprehensive process to ensure a smooth transition into college life. First and foremost, we want to emphasize the importance of attending one of our specialized New Military Mustang virtual sessions. This is mandatory for all newly admitted military-connected students utilizing military education benefits. At this workshop we will cover the basics of benefits and resources at Cal Poly but will also be able to answer individualized questions. You can conveniently schedule this 1-hour session on our website at militaryconnected.calpoly.edu. While parents are encouraged to attend and ask questions during this process, it is essential for the student to actively participate in this process to gain a thorough understanding of their benefits.

    We understand that navigating military benefits can be complex, and misconceptions may lead to confusion and frustration. Therefore, we urge you to utilize the resources available on our website, which is regularly updated with crucial information. Additionally, follow-up appointments are available to address any questions or concerns you may have as you prepare for your transition to Cal Poly. As you prepare for your journey at Cal Poly, here are some essential steps to take:

    • Accept your offer of admission
    • Visit our website at militaryconnected.calpoly.edu to fill out our Incoming Student form, sign up for our newsletter and our New Military Mustang Google Classroom.
    • Connect with us on social media @calpolyveterans to stay updated on important announcements and events.
    • Join us for the Open House in April, where you can learn more about the resources available to military-connected students. We will be available on Friday morning at the Resource Fair and on Saturday at Campus Showcase. Additionally, we will be hosting events in the afternoon in our space on campus. You can find us in the Campus Market neighborhood, Bldg 58, Room 109A.
    • Watch the videos on our website to learn about utilizing your specific benefits at Cal Poly.
    • RSVP and attend a New Military Mustang Workshop.
    • Apply for any VA military education benefits from the VA by requesting a Certificate of Eligibility immediately after accepting your offer of admission. You will upload it to the Veterans Benefit Module in the Cal Poly Student Portal between July 1st and August 15th (directions, applications and helpful links are available on our website).
    • Apply for the Cal Vet College Fee Waiver for eligible dependents of disabled veterans through either your local county veterans service office or the SLO County VSO.
    • If you are eligible for military tuition assistance or scholarships, we can assist you with the necessary paperwork.
    • If you are a veteran, reservist, or active-duty member, take advantage of priority registration and ensure your DD214 or current CAC is uploaded through our website.
    • Provide Joint Service Transcripts or equivalent military transcripts to Cal Poly for review of credit.
    • If you are an out-of-state student eligible for a VACAAA Waiver, make your request as soon as possible after establishing your California address.

    Should you have any questions or need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. The CMCS is here to support you in your academic journey. Our new location in Building 58, adjacent to the University Police Department, offers various amenities, including student workspaces, a free food pantry, and virtual hours for your convenience. In addition to these services, we host many resource and career workshops as well as community building events. Check out the leadership opportunities available by becoming a member of our leadership Advisory Board or become a member of our Student Veterans & Dependents Club!

    Note: During student breaks, our team works remotely. For assistance, please use email, schedule a virtual appointment or log into our Virtual Center via Zoom during our open office hours.

    We look forward to welcoming you to Cal Poly and assisting you in achieving your academic and personal goals. Congratulations once again on your admission.

     

    Warm regards,

     

    Kari Leslie

    Program Lead, Center for Military-Connected Students

     

     

     

     

    ALL NEW MILITARY-CONNECTED STUDENTS

    (A student who has served in the US Military or the child/spouse of someone who has served in the US Military)

    1. Accept your offer of admission
    2. Visit our website: militaryconnected.calpoly.edu
    3. RSVP and attend a New Military Mustang Workshop
    4. Sign up for our newsletter
    5. Follow us on social media - @calpolyveterans
    6. Join our New Military Mustang Google Classroom
    7. Watch the videos about using your particular benefits at Cal Poly, on our website
    8. Join us for Open House in April
      1. Friday - Resource Fair Booth
      2. Friday & Saturday afternoon - Meet and Greet Social in the CMCS
      3. Saturday – Campus Showcase Booth
    9. Apply for your military education benefits from the VA or from the State of California (see below)

     

    STUDENTS ELIGIBLE FOR STATE OF CALIFORNIA’S CAL VET COLLEGE FEE WAIVER

    (Child/spouse of a service-connected disabled veteran)

    Cal Poly CMCS is not the approving agency for this benefit. Apply through your local county Veterans Service Office (VSO) or the San Luis Obispo County VSO. This is NOT a VA benefit, financial aid, grant, or scholarship. It is a waiver in which your state tuition costs each quarter are written off by the university. In most cases, the (students’ taxable earnings) + (parental contribution to the student’s annual support) for the calendar year will be used to qualify. This total amount must be under the state poverty level ($21,561) to qualify. To substantiate the student’s income, they will need to turn in their 2023 filed taxes or a statement from the California Franchise Tax Board stating that they did not file taxes. This is available in June each year. Turn in these documents to the VSO for approval (helpful links provided on our website):

    1. Application
    2. Birth/Adoption paperwork and parents’ marriage certificate if veteran is a step-parent
    3. Veterans DD214
    4. Current VA Disability Rating paperwork
    5. Taxes or statement of non-filing

    The VSO will issue an approval code. Return to our website with the information below to have the waiver applied to the student's account. This must be uploaded by 8/15/2024 to have the waiver applied before Fall tuition is due. The waiver is for the value of state tuition each quarter ($2028 - full-time undergraduate) and does not cover the full academic cost of classes at Cal Poly. Students will still be responsible for campus-based fees, housing, dining, and supplies. Visit the Cost of Attending page for actual costs.

    1. Approval Code
    2. Students Social Security Number
    3. Student ID Number - at Cal Poly we call that their EMPLID

     

     

    STUDENTS ELIGIBLE FOR VETERANS AFFAIRS (VA) BENEFITS

    (As determined by the VA)

     

    Post 9/11 GI Bill  

    VR&E

    Fry Scholarship

    Ch 35 Dependents Educational Assistance

    1606 – Select Reserve GI Bill           

    Montgomery GI Bill

     

    Our website has full details about each VA program and it’s benefits. Also visit the Cost of Attending page for actual costs.  

    1. Apply for a Certificate of Eligibility from VA.gov after the student has accepted their offer of admission.
    2. Between 7/1 - 8/15, upload your COE to the Veterans Benefit Module in the Cal Poly Student Portal
    3. Immediately after registering for classes, request certification of classes each quarter in the Veterans Benefit Module
    4. Update the certification request within 7 days of making any changes to the student’s class schedule

    The Veterans Benefit Module becomes available to incoming students after conditional status is dropped on or about 7/1. It is only used for VA benefits. Do not enter any Cal Vet College Fee Waiver or Tuition Assistance information in the module.

    To access the Veterans Benefit Module through the Cal Poly student portal:

    1. Log into the Cal Poly portal and navigate to Student Center
    2. Select "Veterans Benefit" from the drop-down menu on the left, under Student Records
    3. Select "Certification Request"
    4. Complete the form, choosing to "Initiate Request"
    5. Attach the student's (this will have the students name, not the sponsors/veterans name) Certificate of Eligibility or NOBE for their benefit. Do not attach any other paperwork to the module.
    6. Choose the "Select Classes to Certify" button at the bottom of the page
    7. Click the check boxes next to the enrolled, degree-applicable classes
    8. Submit request, select "Ok" and "Return"
    9. Adjust for any classes that are added, dropped or withdrawn within 7 days of making the change

     

     

    MILITARY TUITION ASSISTANCE

    (Active Duty and Reserve members)

    Military tuition assistance is initially approved through the military members service branch.

    1. Get permission from your unit
    2. Make an account in your service education portal
    3. Notify the CMCS that you will be using your TA for the upcoming quarter at militaryconnected.calpoly.edu

     

     

    PRIORITY REGISTRATION

    (Veterans, Active Duty, and Reserve members)

    Priority registration is available to all students who have been honorably discharged from the US Military or are currently serving. Submit your DD214 or Common Access Card through our website to be placed on the list for upcoming terms.

     

     

    CREDIT FOR PRIOR LEARNING

    (Veterans, Active Duty, and Reserve members)

    Cal Poly strives to ensure that veterans and military members receive credit for service and prior learning accomplished through their service. Upon acceptance of your offer of admission to Cal Poly, you will be directed to submit official transcripts for all colleges you have attended. Your Joint Service Transcript is considered a college transcript and must be included. JST’s can be requested from the National Archives. Send official military education transcripts to: Registrar - Cal Poly, 1 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

     

     

    OUT-OF-STATE STUDENTS

    A waiver of out-of-state fees is available to eligible military-connected students. Students who are eligible for federal VA benefits and students who meet military service requirements can apply for a VACAA Waiver with the assistance of the CMCS team.

    Students who are eligible for a VACAA Waiver will make this request as soon as they have their dorm address or have moved to California.

    1. Change one address in the students Cal Poly portal to reflect their new California address
    2. Send a copy of their VA COE or military orders to the CMCS Lead Coordinator at military@calpoly.edu

     

    NOTE TO PARENTS of NEW MILITARY-CONNECTED MUSTANGS:

     

    We have a process set up to guide you through the process of getting your student to Cal Poly, utilizing their benefits while here, and accessing all of the resources that are available to them while at the university. The process starts with a virtual NEW MILITARY MUSTANG WORKSHOP. In this session, you and your student can ask any benefits-related questions you have, plus we'll go over any questions you might have about Cal Poly in general.  It is important that your student is an active participant in the benefits process while we are putting all of this together. They will be here at school on their own and we've found that it is necessary for them to have a good understanding of the benefit that they are using, the rules that apply to it, and how to use it yearly or quarterly.  After you and your student attend a workshop, you  can schedule a New Student appointments via Zoom or get your questions answered via email

     

    The window to turn in proof of benefits is between July 1 and August 15. Once a student has committed to Cal Poly, they can follow the instructions in our helpful "How to use" videos below to apply for their benefits. If you need assistance, let us know. We are happy to guide you through any of those processes. Once you have a Certificate of Eligibility for VA benefits or an approval code for California State benefits, you'll hold on to those until after July 1st. Then, your student will follow the instructions to turn in their proof of benefits dependent on which benefit they are using. *While you are on our web page make sure to have your student sign up for our newsletter and follow @calpolyveterans on Instagram. This New Student page will be updated regularly throughout the next few months. Check back often. We look forward to working with you and your student!

     - Kari Leslie, Program Lead

    We are committed to providing a supportive and welcoming environment for all military-connected students. We understand the unique needs and challenges that you may face, and we are here to assist you every step of the way.

    Upon accepting an offer of admission, all prospective military-connected students must:  

     


    **Connect with the staff of the CMCS. This connection is crucial to ensure that you receive the guidance and support you need throughout your academic journey.

     


     

    **In addition to connecting with the Center for Military-Connected Students, service members are required to obtain approval from their respective Education Services Officer (ESO), military counselor, or Service before enrollment. This step is vital to ensure that your educational pursuits align with your military service commitments and responsibilities. Your ESO or military counselor will provide valuable insights and guidance to help you make informed decisions about your education and will provide you with the necessary documentation required to use any military education benefits that are available to you. 


    Every student who is newly activating any type of military educational benefit at Cal Poly must schedule a date to join us for our New Military Mustang Workshops held virtually. RSVP required. If the student is a dependent, parents are invited to join in the Zoom conference with their student. The student must be in attendance. 

    Upcoming Workshop Dates:

    Monday 4/8/2024 6-7pm
    Thursday 4/18/2024 6-7pm
    Friday 4/26/2024 12-1pm
    Monday 4/29/2024 6-7pm
    Thursday 5/9/2024 6-7pm
    Friday 5/17/2024 12-1pm
    Monday 5/20/2024 6-7pm
    Thursday 5/30/2024 6-7pm
    Friday 6/7/2024 12-1pm
    Monday 6/10/2024 6-7pm
    Thursday 6/13/2024 6-7pm
    Friday 6/14/2024 6-7pm
    Monday 6/17/2024 12-1pm

          

    We are deeply committed to supporting the academic and personal success of our military-connected students, and these measures are in place to guarantee that you have a smooth transition into our university. If you have any questions or require assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.


    NOTE: Cal Poly email accounts and the Veterans Benefit Module are not accessible to new students until July. 

    Looking to Apply to Cal Poly?

    Find information on applying to Cal Poly as a military-affiliated student here!

     

    Click this link to join our VIRTUAL CENTER  - Open 8 am to 5 pm Monday-Friday for walk-in questions and appointments.

    The CMCS is located in Bldg 58, Room 109A (the Welding Building, in front of the Police Department, open 8 am to 7pm Monday -Friday. 

    Submit after hours questions here

     

     

    Cal Poly's Center for Military-Connected Students supports all student veterans and the children of those who have served. Our center is a welcoming space where they can grab a snack, study, and make those social connections that support a healthy student. Our free food pantry strives to ensure that students can focus on their studies. Please help by donating via our Amazon wish list or through Cal Poly Gives. Your gifts help us to maintain our pantry and help our students to bridge the gap caused by the high cost of living in San Luis Obispo.

     

    Amazon Wish List 

    Other ways to give 

     


    Proof of eligibility for benefits that pay for state tuition or campus-based fee costs should be submitted to Cal Poly in the correct venue between July 1 and August 15. Submissions after that date could require students to pay their balance and request a refund after the benefit is applied. 

     

     

     

     

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