Northeast State Community College - We're here to get you there

Academic Progress ImageNortheast State is required by law to have and enforce standards of progress and conduct in order for our programs to be approved for VA benefits. If you fail to maintain prescribed standards of progress, VA must be informed promptly so that benefit payments can be discontinued in accordance with the law. Please refer to Academic Dismissal and Retention Standards in the Northeast State catalog.

The VA requires that students receiving educational benefits remain in active pursuit of their courses. If you stop attending any classes your enrollment will be adjusted with the VA and an overpayment of benefits may occur. To avoid overpayments you must attend class the entire term and take the final exam. Please note: If you stop attending a class and do not officially drop or withdraw, you will be assigned a grade.

You should promptly notify both the school and VA of any change in enrollment. 

If you drop a course, you must return all the money paid from the beginning of the term, not merely from the date the course is dropped, unless mitigating circumstances are submitted and accepted by the VA. (Mitigating circumstances will be considered to exist, without a specific request or explanation from you, in the first instance of withdrawal from a course or courses totaling not more than 6 semester hours or the equivalent.)

Mitigating circumstances are unanticipated and unavoidable events or situations beyond a student's control that prevent completion of a course with a creditable grade. You will be required to submit corroborative evidence to substantiate a claim of mitigating circumstances. For example, if you claim that a personal illness or injury seriously interfered with your enrollment, a physician's statement would be appropriate evidence; if you were required to withdraw from a course because of an unanticipated and unavoidable change in your hours of employment, then the employer's verification of the required change of work schedule should be submitted.

Examples of mitigating circumstances are:

  • an illness or injury during the enrollment period;
  • an illness or death in your immediate family;
  • an unavoidable change in your conditions of employment;
  • an unavoidable geographical transfer resulting from your employment;
  • immediate family or financial obligations beyond your control, which would require you to find employment;
  • discontinuance of the course by the school;
  • unanticipated active military service, including active duty for training; 
  • unanticipated difficulties with child care arrangements which prevents you from attending classes.

These examples are not all-inclusive and are included merely as guidelines.

Examples of unacceptable mitigating circumstances include withdrawal to avoid a failing grade, dislike of instructor and too many courses attempted.

A student may receive benefits for a course in which a grade of F is earned. The student may also receive benefits for one repeat if the course is successfully completed on the second attempt. However, if the course must be attempted a third time, the second attempt is no longer eligible for benefits and the VA assesses a penalty for the term. The hours for that term will be adjusted, resulting in a possible overpayment situation.

The VA will not pay for:

  • courses that are not counted toward graduation requirements in your stated major;
  • courses from which you withdraw and receive a non-punitive grade, unless mitigating circumstances are submitted and accepted by the VA;
  • courses for which you stop attending prior to the end of the term;
  • courses for which you have received transfer credit;
  • courses for which you have earned a grade of D or better unless the academic department requires a minimum grade of C;
  • courses taken for audit purposes;
  • electives that exceed the minimum number of credit hours required for graduation.

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Northeast State Community College, a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. For questions or concerns, please contact the Affirmative Action Officer.