Veteran Benefits

At Iowa Lakes Community College, we are committed to showing our appreciation for your service to our country.

We are dedicated to offering personalized assistance and providing you with the key information needed to take advantage of your veteran's educational benefits.

Additionally, we have formed a Veterans' Committee to ensure that we are responsive to our veteran and military students' needs.

Eligibiity for Educational Benefits

Eligibility for Veteran's Educational Benefits can be extended to veterans, members of the Selected Reserves or National Guard, and children or spouses of service-connected deceased, or totally and permanently disabled veterans under one of the following programs:

  • Montgomery G.I. Bill®
  • Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation Program
  • Veterans Educational Assistance Program
  • G.I. Bill® for Dependent
  • Montgomery G.I. Bill® for Reservists
  • Post-9/11G.I. Bill®

The Iowa lakes Community College Veterans Affairs Office cannot determine your eligibility for VA education benefits. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can only determine your eligibility.

You may receive benefits under only one VA education chapter at a time - even though you may have eligibility under more than one chapter.

Forever GI Bill Information

The Harry W. Colmery Educational Assistance Act of 2017, also known as the "Forever GI Bill," enacts several GI Bill changes that positively impact Veterans and their families. 

The 15-year time limitation for using Post-9/11 GI Bill 

The 15-year limitation to use these benefits was removed for Veterans who left active duty on or after January 1, 2013, children who became eligible for the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship) on or after January 1, 2013 and all Fry Scholarship eligible spouses.

You need to take no action; if eligible, the limitation was removed for you.

Restoration of Benefits due to School Closure 

We are now authorized to restore benefits and provide relief to Veterans affected by school closures or disapprovals.

Suppose you attended courses or programs discontinued from January 1, 2015, to August 16, 2017, and attended an accredited higher learning institution and did not transfer any credits to a comparable program. In that case, entitlement will not be charged for the entire period of your enrollment. The law also provides separate criteria for partial benefit restoration for school closures after January 1, 2015.

Independent study programs at career and technical education schools covered by GI Bill 

This allows anyone eligible for the GI Bill to benefit from an accredited independent study program at career and technical schools or postsecondary vocational schools providing postsecondary level education.

Before the passage of this law, most non-college degree programs weren't approvable if any portion was online. This change in the law allowed non-college degree programs to be considered for approval (even if some or all of the instruction is online). These programs will go through the ordinary course of approval by the appropriate State Approving Agency. Any new programs are added to the  opens in a new windowGI Bill Comparison Tool.

Reservists who had eligibility under the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) and lost it due to the program's sunset will have that service credited toward the Post-9/11 GI Bill program.

Post 9/11 GI Bill Implementation

What You Should Know About the Post-9/11 GI Bill Implementation

When will VA begin accepting applications?

VA is now accepting applications for the Post-9/11 Bill. opens in a new windowA revised application is available at Applications can be submitted electronically on the website at Veterans On-Line Application (VONAPP). The new application includes a Post-9/11 GI Bill option. NOTE: VA is currently accepting applications for Transfer of Entitlement (TOE). opens in a new windowMore information about TOE can be found at

What should you consider before electing the Post-9/11 GI Bill?

There are several things you should consider before electing benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. These include:

How do you apply for the Post-9/11 GI Bill?

If you have never applied for VA education benefits, you must submit a VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits.

All applicants are encouraged to submit an application on the revised form. If you are also eligible for another benefit or benefits, you must indicate that you are electing to receive the Post-9/11 GI Bill, specify the benefit you wish to relinquish to receive the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and the effective date of your election under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. You should also submit any available supporting documentation including copies of DD-214(s), activation orders and enlistment contracts.

What should you expect when you submit an application?

VA will be reviewing applications under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and issuing Certificates of Eligibility (COEs) to qualified individuals. The COE will contact basic eligibility information including months of entitlement, period of eligibility and benefit level. If you have chosen a specific school and program, the COE will also indicate if Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits are payable for that school and program. Upon receipt of your COE, you should retain a copy for your records and submit a copy to the VA Certifying Official at the school you plan to attend.

Veteran Residency Requirements

A veteran of military service or National Guard, or his/her spouse or dependent child shall be classified as a resident if the veteran is domiciled in Iowa and one of the following conditions is met:  

  1. The veteran has separated from a U.S. military force with an honorable discharge or a general discharge, is eligible for benefits, or has exhausted benefits, under the federal Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 or any other federal authorizing veteran educational benefits program. 
  2. The individual is an active duty military person or activated or temporarily mobilized National Guard member. 

 A dependent child must be claimed as a dependent on an eligible veteran’s internal revenue service tax filing for the previous year to qualify for the exemption.

Spouse Mentor Program

I understand the sacrifices you make as a military and veteran’s spouse and that life can be stressful. Please stop by and let me know how I can support you and your family. You can find me in the Success Center in Room 220 at the Emmetsburg campus, or feel free to call or email. Let me share with you how to access the right resources and find opportunities to network with other spouses who share similar backgrounds and challenges.

Dr. Laurie Schmidt
Professor, Advising & Success Center
lschmidt@iowalakes.educreate new email 

Staff & Faculty Veteran Mentors
Roger Ingledue
Roger Ingledue
Success/Advising Center Instructional Assistant
712-580-8622 Ext: 8622 | ringledue@iowalakes.educreate new email
Spencer Campus
Doug Zemler
Doug Zemler
Assistant Professor, Electrical Technology Instructor / Coordinator
712-362-8376 Ext: 8376 | dzemler@iowalakes.educreate new email
Estherville Campus


Tim Ireland
Veteran Liaison
tireland@iowalakes.educreate new email