Veterans Services | OCTC

Veterans Services

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) educational benefits are designated to provide eligible individuals with an opportunity for educational and career growth. It is certainly one of the most valuable benefits afforded to veterans and qualified dependents and should be wisely utilized. Veterans have earned the right to use their educational benefits for the purpose it was intended for, and we at OCTC are both pleased and honored to assist you in utilizing it to your best advantage. We welcome you to our campus and hope you will significantly benefit through your studies.

Before Applying for VA Educational Benefits

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) requires each applicant utilizing their VA educational benefits to be formally accepted into an approved curriculum (Program of Study) before initial certification of attendance can be sent to the VA.

Normally, formal acceptance is achieved by completion of the following:

  • OCTC admissions application for the program you are attempting to attend (this should be completed and submitted before any other steps are taken). VA will not pay for students to list a major of Undecided.
  • Submission of official high school transcripts, official copies of GED scores or Adult High School diploma (if required).
  • Submission of official transcripts from all other colleges attended.
  • Any other documentation required by the program you are applying for.

VA Educational Benefits

Eligibility for VA educational benefits is determined by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. All students should visit the Veteran Affairs website for the most up-to-date information on the education benefits. Find out if you are eligible for the GI Bill® and related benefits, and learn how to apply online. 

While we are happy to assist you with your application for benefits, the OCTC Veterans Affairs office does not approve or deny benefits. To check on the status of an Education benefit payment, call 888-GIBILL-1 (888-442-4551). You can select the option for an automated update, or speak to a claims specialist.  You can also visit the GI Bill® Help Portal to see answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at

Tuition Assistance

If you are on active duty, a drilling reservist, or a member of the National Guard you may qualify for Federal or State Tuition Assistance (TA). Many of these programs are time-sensitive so the earlier you get things done, the smoother your benefits will go. Keep in mind that schools and other programs have their own deadlines as well.

Work with your respective branch of service if you plan to use Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA). Please use the following links for additional information.

Applicants and students must speak with their Educational Services Officer (ESO) or Counselor prior to enrolling.

Kentucky Tuition Waiver Program

This program is an educational benefit provided for children, step-children, adopted children, spouses, and un-remarried widows and widowers in recognition of military service of certain disabled or deceased Kentucky veterans. Additional information about this program and the application process is available at the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs.

Contact Information for OCTC Veterans Benefits

VA School Certifying Official - John Bristow

john bristow
OCTC Main Campus - Campus Center
4800 New Hartford Rd.
Owensboro, KY 42303
Phone: (270) 852-8165

John Bristow is an Experiential Learning Opportunities Success Coach and Veteran Services Coordinator with Owensboro Community and Technical College and acts as a liaison between Staff and Students by providing crucial support to the decision making process. John is a Veteran with over 20 years of diverse work expertise and knowledge that supports his background helping to guide and assist students on their journey of career choices and personal development and growth. His proven performance supports the mission and strategic goals of the school and creates positive results.

VA School Certifying Officials are not part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). His/Her responsibility is to interpret, explain, and administer VA regulations as they apply to you at OCTC. Eligibility for VA educational benefits is determined by the VA Regional Processing Office (RPO) in Buffalo, NY.