California Community Colleges:
The smart choice for veterans.

If you are a veteran returning from active duty, the California Community Colleges can give you an education that enhances your existing skills, provides you with new skills, and puts you on the fast track to a rewarding job. That’s why California’s community colleges are the state’s largest provider of affordable career training. They also offer associate degrees and prepare students for transfer to four-year universities.

Community colleges offer hundreds of opportunities in advanced manufacturing, health care, information technology, renewable energy, biotechnology, manufacturing, advanced transportation, police and fire science, and many other fields. They also offer associate degrees and prepare students for transfer to four-year universities.


Before registering for classes, you are encouraged (or you may be required) to complete pre-enrollment activities that include orientation, assessment and meeting with an academic counselor to develop an education plan. A counselor can help you determine which educational or career path is right for you, and can tell you about any veterans support programs offered by their college.

How do I Pay for College

In addition to financial aid, you can also apply for veterans benefits.* To confirm your eligibility status and apply for veterans benefits, visit You should apply to a community college that offers your program of interest before applying for benefits. Veterans receive priority registration at any California community college that administers a priority enrollment system.

Many California community colleges have Veterans Resource Centers where peer mentors are available to assist new student veterans. There are other services available as well, such as student veteran organizations and Boots to Books transition courses. To find a Veterans Resource Center on a community college campus near you, visit and use the “Find a Community College” feature.

If you are a recently discharged veteran who is currently unemployed or experienced a decrease in income, be sure to check with your college financial aid office about a change of income status when applying for financial aid.

* See chart.

Common Types of Veterans Benefits

Who May be Eligible

Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty)

Members who first entered active duty on or after 7/1/85 with at least a two-year enlistment.

Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment VetSuccess Program)

Veterans with service-connected disabilities.

Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill)

Members who served on active duty for at least 90 aggregate days after 9/10/01.

Chapter 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill – Reserves)

Reserve members who have a six-year obligation signed after 6/30/85.

Chapter 1607 (REAP)

Reserve members who served on active duty for at least 90 consecutive days starting on or after 9/11/01.

College Fee Waiver for Veterans’ Dependents Program

Dependent children, spouses or unmarried surviving spouses of a service connected disabled or deceased veteran.


Click here to view our informational brochure for Veterans.


Financial Aid Office Locator

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