Current Article

​Contact: Ann Hatch
214-378-1819; ahatch@dcccd.edu

For immediate release — May 15, 2018

(DALLAS) — According to a 2016 needs assessment done by the Center for New American Security, 29 percent of veterans in the Dallas-Fort Worth area who responded to the survey have never accessed their GI Bill benefits. Veterans outreach personnel for the Dallas County Community College District are working over the next several months to change that statistic.

“We want to visit several sites across the area to talk to veterans about those benefits and how they can go to college,” said Phillip Hoy, senior manager of grant projects, College Credit for Heroes, in DCCCD’s office of workforce and community initiatives. “We currently are partnering with the VA Medical Center in Dallas and several community organizations to provide on-site assistance.”

He added, “Our mission is to help members of our DFW military-connected community determine their eligibility and apply for federal and state education benefits — the GI Bill and Hazlewood Act, respectively. We also are assisting with the college application process, encouraging them to enroll at a DCCCD college and addressing any issues or concerns that they may have.”

DCCCD’s College Credit for Heroes outreach project started on-site visits in April at the Cohen Military Family Clinic and will have a special event/visit at Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas on May 22.

On-site visits include:

  • VA Medical Center Dallas — Tuesdays, April 24-June 26, 2018; currently restricted to VA clients only as part of the employment of housing program;
  • Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas — one-day veterans education benefits review workshop on Tuesday, May 22, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; free and open to all active-duty military personnel, veterans, reservists, and all spouses and children;
  • Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Metrocare — on-site assistance already offered April 26 to May 10; one-day workshop on Thursday, May 17, from noon to 8 p.m.; 16160 Midway Road, Suite 218, in Addison.
  • Veterans Resource Center — on-site assistance offered every Thursday, May 24-July 26; 4900 S. Lancaster Road, in Dallas.

Among the 29 percent of veterans who responded to the survey and said they had not accessed their GI Bill benefits, 17 percent indicated they were unsure about their eligibility or their actual eligibility had expired (23 percent); some were unaware about eligibility through the Hazlewood Act; and 17 percent indicated that red tape prevented them from accessing their GI Bill benefits.

“We know that approximately 64 percent of our veterans are first-time-in-college students, and some may be intimidated by the application process,” said Hoy. “They don’t always know the questions they should ask. Dependents may not be aware of survivors’ benefits, too.”

He added, “Through these on-site visits, we can walk clients through processes involved in determining their eligibility for educational benefits. Our community partners are helping with these efforts. All of these efforts help with education and employment for veterans and with workforce and economic development.”

The May 22 event at Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 5402 Arapaho Road in Dallas. Interested veterans, active-duty personnel, reservists, and all spouses and children will need to bring photo IDs and copies of their DD214. DCCCD staff members will help them process applications for college admissions, GI Bill and Hazlewood benefits, and financial aid (the FASFA form).

Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas also offers a career and financial success program that provides career and financial coaching services for anyone — especially for veterans, wounded warriors and their spouses and family members. More than 150 veterans and their families have achieved their career and family goals with assistance from JFS.

Most on-site workshops scheduled throughout the summer will be offered over a two-week period; those sessions usually are one to two hours in length, followed by a one-day registration/enrollment workshop. Photo IDs and copies of form DD214 are required.

For more information or for on-site visit updates, contact Hoy at 214-378-1723 or phoy@dcccd.edu.

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