Veterans should register early

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Student veterans can get registration assistance in Veterans Affairs.

By Christian Erevia

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

With the spring 2017 semester quickly approaching, many students are trying to navigate their way through course registration. Student veterans and military dependents endure this process with the added stress of filling out military financial forms. The process can be overwhelming and confusing but students can find assistance in the Veterans Affairs office on the first floor of Moody Learning Center.

“Initially, they (veterans) don’t know what to bring, and that’s why we’re here,” certified adviser Kirkland Brown said. “We want to submit the paperwork correctly and in a timely manner so that benefits can be paid and money can be allotted to students so they can get their classes paid for.”

Without assistance, submitting all the paperwork would be an incredibly difficult process, Brown said.

“We have checklists and we outline that stuff (required paperwork) all out for the individual and whatever benefit they are using,” Brown said.

For students to be ahead of the game, it helps if they bring a completed certificate of eligibility, a DD form 214 and their military transcripts.

Students can come in empty-handed, though, Brown said.

“We don’t want to say ‘bring it’ and then they don’t come in because they don’t have it because we can assist them in getting it,” Brown said.

The VA office can help students register from the ground up, but it’s up to students to take initiative and start the process early.

“Students guide their own education achievements,” said Dr. DeWanna Greer, TRiO project director. “Staff, professors, instructors and leadership are here to help guide them along that path, but really and truly, they know where they’re trying to go.”

Before registering, students should reflect on what they want to major in, what their post-graduation plans are and what their schedules outside of classes look like.

Students should also practice self-awareness and be aware of when they are most open to learning, Greer said.

“You gotta know yourself as a student and how you function best and then move forward from that,” Greer said. “Sometimes the word ‘adviser’ is misleading because students want to come in, sit down and say, ‘Tell me what to do’ when really it’s your academic career.”

Students need to plan ahead when it comes to registration and see what classes fit into their schedule and fulfill their degree requirements.

When students procrastinate, they lose the opportunity of having their pick of classes, setting a schedule that best suits them and setting themselves up for success, Greer said.

“Plan ahead, know what’s coming up and think about what’s happening in your life,” Greer said. “To get the best schedule means you need to get the best pick so start early.”

For more information, call 210-486-0111.

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