C9: Military and Veterans' Services

Responsibility for Maintenance: Military and Veterans' Services

Date of most recent changes: June 27, 2023

I. Policy Statement 

Many Onondaga Community College students are veterans or current members of the armed forces. This policy sets forth procedures that are designed to minimize the hardships that veterans and service members may face in completing both their military obligations and academic goals.

II. Reason for Policy 

This policy is intended to create a military service veteran benefits policy that complies with federal and New York State law.

III. Applicability of the Policy 

All members of the College community should be familiar with this policy.

IV. Related Documents 

  • 10 U.S.C. Section 101 (General Military Law)
  • New York State Education Law Article 8
  • New York State Education Law Section 6304(1)(a)(i) (Financing of Community Colleges)
  • New York Education Department Regulations, 8 NYCRR Part 602 (College Finance and Business Operations)
  • New York State Military Law Article I
  • State University of New York Community College Admissions Guidelines
  • New York State Community College Regulations Section 602.11 
  • Onondaga Community College Course Catalog  

V. Contacts 

 Subject Office Name  Title or Position  Telephone Number  Email/URL 
General questions Office of Veterans and Military Services Assistant Director (315) 498-2293 s.p.white21481@sunyocc.edu

VI. Definitions 

Military Service  Full-time duty in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, or a state militia
Part-Time Military Service  Duty in the National Guard or in an Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Air Force Reserve unit.
Active Duty  Full-time duty in the active military service of the United States. Includes full-time training duty, annual training duty, and attendance, while in the active military service, at a school designated as a service school by law or by the Secretary of the military department concerned.

VII. Procedures 

Full Opportunity Acceptance Program 

The College will offer acceptance in its programs to all applicants who are high school graduates and who were released from Active Duty with the armed forces of the United States within the year prior to application.

Student veterans may receive college credit for service schools attended, military experience, College Level Examination Program (CLEP), or College Proficiency Exams, according to the recommendation of the American Council on Education and subject to departmental approval.    

Tuition Benefits 

Current service members and veterans may apply for Veterans’ Benefits, including Vocational Rehabilitation funds, and G.I. Bill funds, at the Office of Military and Veterans' Services. Children, spouses and survivors of veterans may also be entitled to benefits under certain conditions and may seek further information at the Office of Military and Veterans' Services. The award of the aforementioned benefits shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable program.

The College also offers a Veterans’ Tuition Deferral Plan to assist the enrolled veteran who has submitted proof of eligibility. The Veterans’ Tuition Deferral Plan provides the veteran with a deferral of payments until he or she receives veterans’ benefits.

Educational Access Pending Receipt of VA Benefits

In accordance with Title 38 US Code 3679 subsection (e), Onondaga Community College (OCC) adopts the following additional provisions for any students using US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Post 9/11 GI Bill (Ch. 33) or Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Ch. 31) benefits, while payment to the College is pending from the VA. OCC will not:

  • Prevent nor delay the student’s enrollment;
  • Assess a late penalty fee to the student;
  • Require the student to secure alternative or additional funding;
  • Deny the student access to any resources available to other students who have satisfied their tuition and fee bills to the institution, including but not limited to access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities.

Disclosure of the Cohort Default Rate

A cohort default rate is the percentage of a school's borrowers who enter repayment on certain Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program or William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans during a particular federal fiscal year (FY), October 1 to September 30, and default or meet other specified conditions prior to the end of the second following fiscal year.

Should the cohort default rate rise above the national average, that rate will be disclosed on the College’s Consumer Information webpage, https://www.sunyocc.edu/consumer-information

For more information, please visit https://www2.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/defaultmanagement/cdr.html.

Pre-Enrollment Counseling

Every service member and dependent must contact their Educational Service Officer (ESO) or counselor before beginning any educational opportunity.

Leaves of Absence 

The College will grant students who are members of the National Guard or other reserve component of the armed forces of the United States or of a state who are called to Active Duty a military leave of absence from the College while they are serving on Active Duty and for one year after the conclusion of their service. Upon conclusion of a military leave of absence, a student will be entitled to return to the educational status that they held prior to being ordered to duty. The student will be entitled to credit for all academic credit earned, scholarships or other grants awarded, and tuition and other fees paid prior to the commencement of Active Duty.


Onondaga Community College is required to adhere to New York State Community College Regulations Section 602.11 as it relates to tuition and fee appeals and refunds. The regulations are very specific and only apply to the following situations: 

  • Death of the student or immediate legal family member (parent, sibling, offspring, spouse);
  • Verifiable life-changing situations, e.g. house burning down;
  • Called to active military duty;
  • Medical Incapacitation.

Students who are called to active military duty or who have a change in duty assignment that prevents them from being able to complete their course requirements must officially withdraw from their registered courses to be considered for a waiver of tuition and fee charges for the semester.  Once courses have been withdrawn the student must complete the “Tuition and Fee Appeal Form” and submit documentation and/or copies of their military orders to be approved for a waiver of tuition and fee charges. 

Any credit balance that results from a waiver of tuition and fee charges will be returned to the Department of Defense up to the amount approved and paid for the student’s tuition and fees for that semester.

Changes of Assignment 

Military personnel who must withdraw from any program or term because of a change of assignment beyond their control will incur no liability for related tuition and fees.

Delayed Enlistment 

Enlistment under a plan permitting enlistment at a designated later date does not entitle a student to the benefits of this policy until the student is required to leave school because of an order to Active Duty.


The College may require written documentation of a student’s status as a member of the armed forces and his/her status as Active Duty, as well as proof of a change of assignment if applicable. Students who are eligible for Veterans’ Benefits must meet Veterans’ Administration Standards of Progress.

GI Bill is a registered trademark of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by the VA is available at the official US Government website at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill

Approved by the OCC Board of Trustees April 3, 2010

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 1, 2010

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 19, 2018

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 22, 2021

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 27, 2023