skip to main content
Search Button

Veteran & Military Resource Center (V.M.R.C.)

The transition from military to civilian life can be one of the most exciting challenges Veterans face. OCC is committed to helping you succeed with our Veteran and Military Resource Center (V.M.R.C.).  The V.M.R.C. provides social, educational, recreational, mentoring, advocacy, leadership, and academic support services designed to ensure your well-being, success, retention, and graduation.

You’ll find a dedicated office and staff that works exclusively with military and veteran-affiliated students to achieve their goals at the V.M.R.C. Additionally, many of our faculty and staff members are veterans, so you can be confident that we know what it takes to help you succeed.

For information concerning OCC’s tuition and fees for Veteran and Military Affiliated Students, please review updated policy #5335.

Questions? Please contact the V.M.R.C..

  • Advocacy for veteran and military resources on and off campus
  • Mentoring
  • Referral to on and off campus resources
  • Peer-to-peer coaching and socializing
  • Veteran Affairs Transition Care Management availability
  • Distinct educational, recreational, and social events and opportunities catered for the Veteran and Military Services community
  • Every Monday, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., a Veteran Service Officer (VSO) will be on campus in the Veteran and Military Resource Center to assist veteran and military students and alumni in starting, completing, and adjusting their claims with the VA. The VSO will answer your questions and help you receive full benefits, including disability, education, and medical.

Students can utilize our Academic Advising & Transfer Services office for assistance with class schedules, registration, graduation, and transfer.

Veteran Services

Stop by the VMRC during our regular business hours, we are available to assist with the following:

  • Laptops
  • Fully functional ‘go-snack’ pantry for all students including water, Powerade, Coffee & Tea
  • Off-campus resource pamphlets for rehabilitation centers
  • Coaching/Mentoring
  • Clubs and organizational partners such as American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)

Tutoring is available to all students in the Tutoring Center, on the 2nd Floor of the Instructional Building. Students can stop by or make an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome at the VMRC – Check the tutoring tab for scheduled days and times.

Information regarding disability services is available through the Office of Disability Services.

Students are also encouraged to visit our Career Services office for further assistance with resumes, cover letters, interview preparations, and internship/employment opportunities!

If you are in need of emergency services, please contact one of the following:

Veterans Crisis Line – 1-800-273-8255 (24/7, 365 days a year) **Press [1] when prompted!**

Confidential Crisis Chat at: or text 838255

Available now at the VMRC: Walk-in tutoring hours

Monday: 11:00am-1:00pm

  • Christian – CSIT Courses

Tuesday: 2:00pm-4:00pm

  • Jared: All math courses, including stats

Wednesday: 2:00pm-4:00pm

  • Mariana – math support (no stats)

Thursday: 1:00pm-3:00pm

  • Mary-Beth – writing support

Additionally, tutoring is available to all students in the Tutoring Center, on the 2nd Floor of the Instructional Building. Students can stop by or make an appointment.

Welcome to OCC’s Helping Hands page! At Helping Hands we provide a multitude of non-academic support services to Ocean County College and Kean Ocean students to help them succeed. These support services are snacks, drinks, meals, resources for financial assistance, referrals for housing support and so much more. Here we hope to showcase special events, Helping Hands information and other news addressing students’ basic needs. If you, or a student you know, needs assistance with basic needs, please come see us, we are here to help!

Contact us at: or 732-255-0348. You can also visit us on Facebook.


Refund Guidelines – Drop/Withdraw:

If a Military Affiliated student drops or withdraws from a class, he/she may not be eligible to receive full funding from tuition assistance. Military Affiliated students will follow the refund schedule outlined in Policy# 5144.

Drop/Withdrawal Date Refund Amount
Prior to first day of class 100%
Up to and including Census Date 50%
After Census Date 0%
60% completion 0%

NJ Deployment and Mobilization Policy Information – Ocean County College is committed to supporting our students who are called to active duty service. If you are activated, please e-mail your orders to the School Certifying Official, Veteran Coordinator, and Veteran Advisor to assist in your transition from OCC to active duty.

If you require additional assistance, the Veteran and Military Resource Center is available and can be reached via email at

  1. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:62-4.2, a student at OCC who is unable to complete a course because the student is called to partial or full mobilization for State or federal active duty as a member of the National Guard or a Reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States shall be entitled to the options set forth in this policy with respect to the student’s grade for the course and the availability of refunds.
  2. A student who has completed at least eight weeks of attendance in a course may choose to:
    1. Receive a letter grade; or
    2. Receive a grade of pass or fail; or
    3. Receive a grade of incomplete; or
    4. Withdraw from the course.
  3. A student who has completed less than eight weeks of attendance in a course may choose to:
    1. Receive a grade of incomplete; or
    2. Withdraw from the course.
  4. A letter grade or a grade of pass shall only be awarded if, in the opinion of the faculty member teaching the course, the student has
    completed sufficient work, and there is sufficient evidence of progress toward meeting the requirements of the course, to justify the grade.
  5. A grade of incomplete shall remain valid for a period of one year after the student returns to OCC.
  6. A student who chooses to accept a grade of pass or fail may, within one year after returning to OCC, receive a letter grade for the course by
    completing the work required for the course, in which case the letter grade shall replace the pass or fail grade as the student’s grade for the
  7. A student who chooses to withdraw from a course shall receive a full refund of tuition and fees attributable to that course.
  8. Any refund payable to a student who is a financial aid recipient shall be subject to the applicable State and federal regulations regarding

Isakson and Roe Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 – Signed into law on January 5, 2021, the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 (P.L.116-315) provides for the improvement and/or expansion of various GI Bill programs. This includes Provision 1005, Requirements for In-State Tuition:

  • Effective August 1, 2021, provision 1005 removes the requirement for covered individuals to enroll in a course at a public institution of higher learning within three years of being discharged to receive in-state tuition. VA will also make publicly available on the VA website a database explaining any public institution’s requirements for beneficiaries to be charged in-state tuition.

Veteran College Financing Plan

The Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 requires educational institutions to make certain disclosures to students using federal military and/or VA educational benefits. You can access a personalized data sheet using the Net Price Calculator and additional financial information can be found at the NCES College Navigator site.

The Veteran College Financing Plan is a tool that students and parents can use to make comparisons of costs and aid offers from different institutions. Using a basic format, the plan presents information about your available financial aid, net costs, and how much you should expect to pay out-of-pocket. This information should be used to help you compare financial aid packages offered by different institutions. The financing plan generates figures that are estimates only and all tuition rates and fees are subject to change. It is intended to help you compare aid offers from different schools based on your “Estimated Net Cost” after grants/scholarships per academic year. Please understand that the College Financing Plan is not a bill.

All Military affiliated and Veteran students are encouraged to view their individual College Financing Plans with the understanding that the costs are being estimated and they may access this information located in their Self-Service account. Please be mindful that if you are viewing your individual financing plan the VA educational benefits will only appear if you have turned in all required documents.

The Ocean County College Office of Financial Aid will make information that is reported on the College Financing Plan available to all Military affiliated and Veteran students as direct costs a student will incur. A student’s Cost of Attendance (COA) total will always be much higher than a student’s direct cost to the institution because the COA consists of indirect cost items such as personal allowance, travel expenses, books and supplies. Therefore, when a student is making cost comparisons they only will need to compare the direct costs. After you are accepted, have identified yourself as Military affiliated or a Veteran, and Ocean County College has received the results of your FAFSA and certified your tuition and fees with the VA, you will have access to a personalized College Financing Plan.

For further assistance please contact the School Certifying Official in the Office of Financial Aid at 732-255-0310 or email

Additional Information regarding OCC’s Veteran and Military Affiliated Students Tuition and Fees can be reviewed under Policy #5335.

[AT1] Requirements per NJ State Law

Tuition Payment Plans – Ocean County College offers a payment plan that divides the tuition and fee payments into equal installments, after pending aid and scholarships are considered and the initial deposit. View more information regarding an affordable Payment Plan today!

Get Started Now

Visit our Express Enrollment Services PageThe HUB!

The HUB is available via phone and email during regular business hours to help you with financial aid, registration, academic advising appointments and much more! Email or call 732-255-0482.

New Veteran Students – Checklist for Starting College Contact Information / Forms
Visit the V.M.R.C. team to begin the enrollment process. Receive your welcome packet and learn about all OCC has to offer including scholarships and more! We look forward to working with you throughout your educational journey! Kencis Kleinschmidt, Veteran Program Coordinator/Student Advisor
BLDG #8 – 2nd Floor – Room 221
732.255.0400 ext. 2080
Complete the OCC application for Admission

  • For Academic Advising Inquiries, including JST Transcript review, Transfer-in or out discussions, and general class registration, reach out to Ocean County College Military Liaison to Academic Advising, Deeanne Gatta-Salter.

Contact the HUB:
BLDG #9732.255.0482

Apply for Financial Aid (FAFSA)⇒

Apply for Veterans benefits through the V.A. (if utilizing benefits); Complete the Military and Veteran Required Forms ⇒⇒

  • For Veteran Administration (VA) education benefit and compensation certification, inquire further to Ocean County College Certifying Official, Karen Wilson-Wylie

*(I.e., DD214, Disability Award Letter, NGB-Form 22, etc)

For assistance or questions concerning these forms, please contact the V.M.R.C.  at: or call, 732-255-0400 ext. 2080 Receive assistance from the following departments: Academic Advising, Student Enrollment Services, Registration and Financial Aid

Any enrollment changes must be approved by the Veterans Certifying Official or the student risks losing their benefits.

G.I. Bill Comparison Tool — This tool lets you learn about education benefits and compare schools. Search “Ocean County College” to discover benefits available to you.

Educational Benefits

Benefits & Eligibility Criteria:

The Montgomery GI Bill ® Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) (Chapter 1606), is available to members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserves, as well as the National Guard.

To be eligible for the MGIB-SR you must meet the following criteria:

Have a six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve or Guard signed after June 30, 1985. If you are an officer, you must have agreed to serve six years in addition to your original obligation
Complete your initial active duty for training (IADT)
Meet the requirement to receive a high school diploma or equivalency certificate before completing IADT
Remain in good standing while serving in an active Selected Reserve or Guard

Step 1: Complete the Application for Education Benefits on the VA’s GOV website.
Step 2: Within four to eight weeks you should receive a declaration of eligibility (COE) and a letter explaining your VA GI Bill benefits. Send a copy of the COE to the Office of Financial Aid via fax at: 732.864.3865 or through your Ocean Connect Account.
**Remember that the funds are paid directly to the student, not the school.

Additional Information:

For more information, visit GI Bill ® benefits.

Benefits & Eligibility Criteria:

The Post-9/11 GI Bill ® (Chapter 33) is for individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001 or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days.

Veterans may also transfer their benefits under Post-9/11 (Chapter 33 Transfer of Benefits (TOB)) to their spouse or dependent.

This program will pay eligible individuals:

Tuition & fees directly to the school
A monthly housing allowance based on the Basic Allowance for Housing for an E-5 with dependents at the location of the school, and annual books & supplies stipend of $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment
A one-time rural benefit payment for eligible individuals payable only for training at an Institution of Higher Learning (IHL). If you are in the military, you will not receive the housing allowance or books & supplies stipend
This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits
If your last discharge or release from active duty is on or after January 1, 2013, there is no time limitation to use your benefits. If your last discharge or release from active duty is before January 1, 2013, you have 15 years to use your benefits


Step 1: Complete VONAPP application (print out a copy for yourself) through E-Benefits
Step 2: Send a copy of the COE (Certificate of Eligibility) to the Office of Financial Aid via fax at: 732.864.3865 or through your Ocean Connect Account.

Additional Information:

Determine your Post 9/11-GI Bill ® entitlement percentage – This is based on the number of months you have served on active duty since Sept. 11, 2001.
Determine the maximum amount the VA will pay based on the in-state tuition rate for your school’s state.
Ask your school about their per credit hour tuition and per term fees:
Multiply the maximum in-state tuition & fees by your Post-9/11 entitlement percentage and compare this to your school’s tuition and fees. If your entitlement is equal to or more than the schools tuition and fees then you are covered. There is no refund of the difference.

Scholarship Information:

Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship

Benefits & Eligibility Criteria:

Survivors & Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA) (Chapter 35) is available to the child or spouse of a veteran:

Who died or is permanently disabled as the result of a service-connected disability
Who is missing in action or captured by hostile forces
Who is forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power


Step 1: Complete VONAPP application (print out a copy for yourself) through E-Benefits
Step 2: Send a copy of the COE (Certificate of Eligibility) to the Office of Financial Aid via fax at: 732.864.3865 or through your Ocean Connect Account.
The COE must include the service member’s file number (this means providing the SSN of the service member from whom you derived the right to this benefit).

**Remember that the funds are paid directly to the student, not the school. Therefore, you will be responsible for your bill by the due date established by the Bursar’s office.

Typically, you would not receive your benefits until after classes have begun, which is after the bill is due. We encourage you to file a FAFSA to help meet the financial obligation until you receive and apply your benefits.

Benefits & Eligibility Criteria:

You’re eligible to apply for VR&E benefits and services if you meet both of these requirements:

All of these must be true:

  • You didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge, and
  • You have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10% from VA

When we receive your VR&E application, we’ll schedule your initial evaluation with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC). The VRC will determine if you’re entitled to receive VR&E benefits and services.

If you were discharged from active duty before January 1, 2013, your basic period of eligibility ends 12 years from one of these dates, whichever comes later:

  • The date you received notice of your date of separation from active duty, or
  • The date you received your first VA service-connected disability rating

The basic period of eligibility may be extended if a VRC finds that you have a serious employment handicap (SEH). Having an SEH means your service-connected disability significantly limits your ability to prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment (a job that doesn’t make your disability worse; is stable; and matches your abilities, aptitudes, and interests).

If you were discharged from active duty on or after January 1, 2013, the 12-year basic period of eligibility doesn’t apply to you. There’s no time limit on your eligibility.


Step 1: Complete VONAPP application (print out a copy for yourself) through E-Benefits
Step 2: Schedule a meeting with your assigned Veteran Readiness and Employment counselor to determine benefit eligibility: O.C.C. Chp 31 Counselor assigned;

VR&E Counselor: Shawyna Gartell. Email:

C/o Ocean County Veterans Bureau
1027 Hooper Avenue – 1st Floor – Bldg 2
PO Box 2191
Toms River, NJ 08754
Tel#: 732-349-6106
Fax#: 732-506-5181

  • If you are approved for benefits, your counselor will send a notification to the school of your eligibility. After the school completes your certification, you will be able to purchase your books in the bookstore through the voc rehab program. You can also apply to your counselor for a computer, printer, etc.

**Remember that the funds are paid directly to the school, not the student.

Ocean County College campus Archway

Veteran’s Voices

The Veterans’ Voices program showcases organizations, programs, and advocates that support combat, Veteran isolation, mental health resources, and benefits literacy on and off-campus and regionally.

Veterans’ Voices airs on OceanTV20 and Comcast Channel 24:

  • Wednesdays: 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Thursdays: 12 a.m.
  • Sundays: 7 p.m.

Watch all the Veterans’ Voices episodes on YouTube.

Green Zone Training

The Veteran and Military Resource Center (VMRC) provides Green Zone Training across the campus for faculty, staff, and students as well as custom sessions for community organizations. Green Zone Training provides a general overview of military culture, structure, and norms that govern those who serve and impact their transition from the military to college and the civilian sector. Upon completion, participants will have a better understanding of the unique needs of military-affiliated students and be able to better assist them to identify and connect with appropriate resources.

Green Zone Training will provide you with:

  • General understanding of military culture Understanding &
  • Recognizing the challenges student veterans may face.
  • Identify on & off campus resources available to student veterans.

ocean county college supporting out veterans supporting our troops always forward the green zone logoAims to educate faculty, staff, and students about military culture, structure, and norms that govern those who serve, and how their transition from the military to college and the civilian sector impacts them.

With service members transitioning out of the military and turning to college as their next step we as faculty, staff, and students may not know how best to empower and support our student veterans as well as we would like to.

For more information on how to sign up for this free training, contact the VMRC at or Alyssa Tipton, Human Resources at

Awards & Distinctions

The Military Friendly® School designation recognizes a college’s commitment, effort, and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefits for the military community.

Veteran Services

The Military Times’ Best for Vets: Colleges 2020 designation is based on policies related to military and veteran students, academic outcomes, military-supportive cultures, costs, and financial aid.

The V.M.R.C. has been recognized as a Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success.

Learn more about the V.M.R.C. in the Summer/Fall 2020 Ocean Views (PDF) magazine.

The New Jersey’s Governor “We Value Our Veterans” Award gives your municipality, business, or academic institution the opportunity to value and honor the sacrifices, patriotism, and bravery displayed by our men and women who have worn the military uniform.

Your town, enterprise, or institution may already recognize Veterans in numerous ways. This award provides an additional avenue to honor New Jerseyans’ who have answered the call to arms in defense of American Values. Our Veterans’ service represents an important part of New Jersey heritage and receiving this award will serve as a conspicuous representation of your support of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.

To our Veterans – past, present, and future – we thank you for your service and sacrifice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Guaranteed one-on-one advisement while attending and after graduating from OCC as a Veteran and Military Service Member.

The following dedicated members of our staff are available to assist you.

  • Kencis Kleinschmidt, Veteran Program Coordinator –  at 732-255-0400 x2080
  • Karen Wilson-Wylie, Certifying Official of VA Education Benefits in Financial Aid
  • Deeanne Gatta-Saltar, Military Liaison to Academic Advising
  • Lisa Hussain, Military Liaison and Accounting Associate
    • Lisa reviews and processes Tuition Assistance packets for National Guardsman and Reservist Service Members (TA or also named 1606 or Montgomery GI Bill) / (732)255-0400 x2364

No GPA requirement (certain programs have specific academic requirements).

Yes, the Military and Veterans Lounge gives you full access to a studying area and breakout room.

All military and veteran affiliated students are welcome to use the services and resources at the center, including spouses and dependents.

The V.M.R.C can refer you to a dedicated financial aid officer in the Student Enrollment Center, located in Building #9.

Yes, you can join the Student Veterans Organization and our chapter of the Student Veterans of America Foundation.

OCC also offers a variety of other clubs and organizations you may want to join. Visit the Student Life page to learn more!

Yes, we offer a chapter of the S.A.L.U.T.E. Honor Society for Military and Veteran students.

To inquire about VA Educational Benefits, go to

  • Quick steps: scroll to “Get GI Bill and other Education Benefits”
  • Click “How to Apply”
  • Scroll down to: “How Do I Apply” (Green Button) follow the steps

Point of Contact for VA Ed. Benefits: 1-888-442-4551

Any Chapter 31 Recipient or Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) need to work directly with their VA counselor: Shawyna Gartell.


Information regarding benefits and eligibility criteria can be found under Educational Benefits listed above.

The chapter recipient is responsible to retrieve their Certification of Eligibility letter from the VA and/or VA Education Counselors. This information must be submitted to Karen Wilson-Wylie in Financial Aid, to have their benefits Certified and receive their benefits compensation.

Please email the Veterans Department at for all program initiatives and events, on or off campus, resources in non-profits, scholarships and engagements.


Telephone: 732.255.0400, Ext. 2080

Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Student Center (Bldg 8) Room 221


Christina Hernandez
Assistant Director
Veteran and Military Resource Center

Veronica Guevara-Lovgren, MA
Executive Director of Student Services
(732) 255-0400 ext. 2262

Julianna Dressner
Administrative Asst. I
Veteran and Military Resource Center

Deeanne Gatta-Salter
Military and Veteran Liaison to Academic Advising
Schedule an Appointment


Students can estimate their individual cost of attending OCC using our Net Price Calculator tool.

Answer a few simple questions and receive an estimate instantly!

Text Link