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Providing comprehensive resources for Veterans and their families.

Providing comprehensive resources for Veterans and their families.

Local Provider @ VSO


For More Information Contact:
Santa Cruz Veterans Services Office

842 Front Street
Santa Cruz, CA

Monday-Thursday 8AM-12PM & 1PM-5PM


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Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill

Emblems of the Military Branches

The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides active duty and veteran service members with education benefits for their military service. Eligibility includes those who have served on active duty for 90 or more days since Sept. 10, 2001. The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides 36 months of educational benefits.

These benefits may cover up to 100% of tuition, fees, and book cost in addition to a housing allowance based upon the total time spent in military service (36 months of service or more for 100% eligibility). This service time can include Title 10 mobilizations and some Title 32 duty for Reservists & National Guard members.

Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill

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The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) may be available for service members who enlisted into the U.S. Armed Forces. The MGIB is comprised of two major programs.

First the Active Duty program for those service members who paid into the program upon entering military service ($100/month during the first year of service) and the Selected Reserve for National Guard and Reserve members who fulfilled six years of service and are actively continuing to drill.

Eligibility is determined based upon the date the service member enlisted and the the length of service fulfilled. These requirements are better outlined throughout the GI Bill website:

Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) commonly referred to as Voc-Rehab or Ch. 31 is a benefit available to veterans who are service connected (disabled due to time in service) and are unemployed.

Services provided under Voc-Rehab may include education and career counseling, readjustment counseling, career assessments and additional VA funding to complete a degree. Among other eligibility requirements, the service member will need to have a service-connected disability of at least 10% or more from the VA.

Yellow Ribbon

Yellow Ribbon

The Yellow Ribbon Program can provide funding, in addition to the service member's GI Bill, towards educational goals and degrees. The Yellow Ribbon program is awarded to Institutions of Higher Learning and not the service member themselves.

However, the service member will need to qualify in the 100% GI Bill benefit level to be considered eligible to receive Yellow Ribbon funds through the institution. In addition, active duty service members or their spouses are not eligible for this program.

The Yellow Ribbon Program may provide additional funding once the GI Bill annual cap (roughly $21k/year) has been reached. Please reference the link below to discover which Institutions of Higher Learning are participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Chapter 32 VEAP

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Ch. 32 Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) -is available to veterans who have made contributions from their military pay while on active duty to participate in this education benefit program. The government matches the contributions on a 2-for-1 basis.

The VEAP program can be utilized to obtain a degree, certificate, correspondence, apprenticeship, and vocational flight training programs.

Eligible veterans are those who have served between 1 to 36 months depending on the number of monthly contributions. Service members have 10 years from their release from active duty to use VEAP benefits. If the entitlement is not used after the 10-year period, the veterans’ contributions will be automatically refunded.

VA Work Study

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The VA work-study allowance is available to any person training at ¾ time (9 units) or higher and using any form of the GI Bill including:

Ch. 33 Post 9/11
Ch. 30 MGIB
Ch. 31 Voc-Rehab
Ch. 35 DEA

There are multiple work site locations throughout Santa Cruz County including the VSO Office, Vet Center, VIC at Cabrillo, UCSC, and others. Check with the VSO for more info.

VA Logo with White Text is a transformative online resource tool designed to increase access to VA information, benefits, and information services. This website is designed to be used by Veterans, Wounded Warriors, Active Duty Service-members, their families, and those who care for them.

You can apply for GI Bill Benefits, Healthcare, Order prescriptions, and much more.

Troops to College

Troops to College was created to help veterans, especially combat veterans, transition to civilian life and the college environment.

Veterans and their families may enroll in a course about combat stress, post-traumatic stress disorders, and other issues affecting veterans returning to civilian life. Courses are taught by a VA counselor who are also combat veterans.

The curriculum is specifically designed to increase the student veteran's academic, work, and social success. The class provides participants instruction in interpersonal skills, methods of adapting to civilian life and work careers, and techniques for managing military operational stress.

*Troops to College


For direct assistance with this benefit, contact the VSO

Veterans Services Office
842 Front Street.
Santa Cruz, CA  95060

(831) 454-7276

Understanding Your Benefits

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Santa Cruz VSO:
842 Front Street,
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone: 831-454-7276

Mon-Thurs 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (Appointments Only)
Wed 8:00 am – 12:00 pm (Walks-Ins Only)

Watsonville VSO:
18 W. Beach Street,
Watsonville, CA 95076
Phone: 831-454-7276
Mon and Thurs Only (Appointment Only)

More information pertaining to your educational benefits are available by contacting the Veterans Service Office (VSO) and speaking to a benefits representative

Special Education BENEFITS

Education benefits are available for Selected Reserve and National Guard members to help with education and training costs.

Guard and Reserve members are eligible for several education benefits including the GI Bill, tuition assistance, state benefits and other programs.

Troops to Teachers Program

**As part of the Defense Wide Review, the Department of Defense (DoD) has realigned the Troops to Teachers resources and cancelled the program effective October 1, 2020 with an expected sunset by the end of the Fiscal Year 2021**

Troops to Teachers is a U.S. Department of Defense program that helps eligible military personnel and Veterans begin a new career as teachers in public schools where their skills, knowledge and experience are most needed.

Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606)

The Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) program offers up to 36 months of education and training benefits.
If you’re a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard, or Air National Guard, you may be eligible for this benefit.

For Dependents Only

CalVet Tuition Fee Waiver

The College Tuition Fee Waiver for Dependents of Service Connected Veterans waives mandatory systemwide tuition and fees at any State of California Community College, California State University, or University of California campus.

This program does not cover the expense of books, parking or room and board. There are four plans under which dependents of veterans may be eligible. Veteran must be service connected (0-100%) for their dependents to be eligible.

Chapter 35 DEA

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The Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) program offers education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of Veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition or of Veterans who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition.

John Fry Scholarship

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The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship) provides Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to the children and surviving spouses of Service-members who died in the line of duty while on active duty after September 10, 2001.

Eligible beneficiaries attending school may receive up to 36 months of benefits at the 100% level. For more info see the links below.


Cabrillo College

Patricia Reyes, Certifying Official
Phone: (831) 477-5697
Hours: M-Th 0800-1700 | Fr 0900-1200

As the Veterans Certifying Official, Patricia Reyes administers the GI Benefits and a veteran’s access to priority registration at Cabrillo College.


Gloria Lozano, Certifying Official
Phone: (831) 459-2709

As the Coordinator for Registration, Residency, and Veterans, Gloria Lozano administers the GI Benefits and a veteran’s access to priority registration at UCSC.

UCSC Stars Veteran Resource Center

1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Vets Center at the Kresge College Administrative Building
Phone: (831) 459-1520

The UCSC STARS Veteran Resource Center provides veterans on campus with academic and personal support services including, veteran peer mentors who are available on a drop-in or by-appointment basis to assist student veterans.

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