Welcome to Veterans Affairs

Nicholls currently enrolls 266 veterans and has also earned the Governor’s Military and Veteran Friendly Campus designation. Nicholls exceeded the Military Friendly® standard in all six ratings, including academic policies and compliance; admissions and orientation; culture and commitment; financial aid and assistance; graduation and career; and military student support and retention.

Brenner Ledet

“My biggest thing about coming into college was I didn’t know what was going on about the admissions process or a syllabus. Our veterans organizations here explains the whole college system and they teach you. A lot of veterans have families, bills and lives so coming back to college can be tough. It’s nice to have this mentorship along with the opportunities it brings,”

Nicholls State University is committed to providing outstanding service to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces both while on active duty and after separation. We believe that members of the military and veterans enhance the campus community and provide a wealth of insight both inside the classroom and through interaction with fellow students. Whether your service has been foreign or domestic, we thank you for your contribution and promise to make sure that your enrollment experience is as seamless as possible.

Members of the military and veterans can expect priority service when enrolling at Nicholls State University. We have exempted admissions criteria for veterans who are eligible for GI Bill benefits and who have received a discharge for any reason other than dishonorable. You also will be allowed priority registration, meaning you can register before the general student population. We encourage our veterans to utilize resources and services available at Nicholls, including the University Counseling Center. We have also identified a group of individual advisors that serve as veterans advocates.

If this is your first time at Nicholls, and you never took the ACT in high school, we will administer a Compass exam to assess your placement in English and Math. We will need transcripts from your high school or any previous colleges you attended. Other than your transcript, an application for admission is the only thing that should be completed. After you are admitted, you will need to complete the student request for VA benefits EVERY Semester!

If this is your first time at Nicholls and you plan to utilize either your Post 9/11 GI benefits or will continue on the Montgomery GI Bill, welcome to Nicholls! We are here to serve you! The individuals listed below are ready to work with you!

WE'RE HERE TO HELP!

We realize that you may be in another part of the world when you are completing the enrollment process, so we would be happy to work with you via email, fax, or phone. Below is a short directory of important contact information of the professionals that are ready to help you begin or continue your studies:

Gilberto Burbante
Coordinator of Veterans Services
gilberto.burbante@nicholls.edu
Phone (985) 448-4208
Fax (985) 448-4929

 

Courtney Cassard
Director of Enrollment Services
courtney.cassard@nicholls.edu
Phone (985) 448-4405
Fax (985) 448-4929

Casie Triche
Director of Financial Aid
casie.triche@nicholls.edu
Phone (985) 448-4077
Fax (985) 448-4124

SUPPORT PROGRAMS

  1. You must apply or reapply for admission. If you were forced to leave Nicholls because of a deployment, upon presenting the Office of Admissions a copy of your orders or your DD214, the $20 application fee will be waived. We will process your application immediately if registration is occurring. As per the Board of Regents and National Guard Policy Section II 8.2, we will make every possible effort to place you back into your academic studies track as close as possible to the same place you occupied when mobilized/activated.
  2. If this is your first time at Nicholls, you must apply for admission and submit the $20 application fee.
  3. You should make arrangements to visit with Courtney Cassard in the Office of Admissions. She will be happy to guide you through the enrollment process and discuss your financial aid package with you.
  4. Gilberto Burbante will be your Veteran’s Affairs liason. He can be reached at 985-448-4208
  5. When applying for your GI Bill benefits online, please use PO Box 2004, Thibodaux, LA 70310 as the school mailing address.

The mission of the Center of Excellence for Veteran Student success will be to simply help veterans help each other. We will focus on the community aspect of the veteran population and let them mentor and motivate each other. The Center will also increase outreach and recruitment activities to increase enrollment, and educational opportunities for veterans.

 

Vision

To continue to create a central place where veteran students can easily find the resources they need to be successful. I tis a one stop shop staffed by a trained coordinator,who is a veteran. This individual is responsible for monitoring the progress of the veteran student population and provides necessary referrals to services such as health services, disability services, faculty advisors, counseling, etc. Basically, the Coordinator is charged with navigating the bureaucracy of the organization, so the veteran doesn’t have to figure it out.

 

Goals

 

Goal 1: Act as a resource for Veterans on Campus

Objective: Identify student activities both on campus and outside activities that can increase student veteran camaraderie and support.

Objective 2: Educate all campus constituents about issues that veterans face.

 

Goal 2: In addition to building community within the Veteran population, increase participation in student leadership function for the entire campus

 

Goal 3: Recruitment of more student veterans to enroll at Nicholls State University.

Nicholls State University has the distinction of being names by GI Jobs Magazine as a Military Friendly School. An honor bestowed upon about 10% of schools in the nation. We would like to increase the veteran student population, because we believe that there are ample opportunities for veterans at Nicholls and believe that they contribute to the general student population both inside the classroom and with outside discussion.

 

Goal 4: Continue to improve the designated space for a Veterans Lounge.

This space represents a safe place where veteran students can meet with other veteran students. A common characteristic throughout time has been that only other veterans can understand what it’s like to serve in a war. With so many of our students having faced significant combat experience, they just want to be able to discuss those experiences with others who have faced the same thing. With so many of our Iraq/Afghanistan veterans returning with both physical and emotional scars, it is important they talk about what they face every day. The lounge is a place where our licensed counseling staff can meet with veterans to talk about techniques that will help them not just get a degree, but cope with everyday stressors. It is also a place where Disabled Student Services can have a presence, via brochure or otherwise to highlight the accommodations, individualized, are available to the veterans.

Tuition for Nicholls CCAF undergraduate courses is $250 per credit hour. All courses are three credit hours, costing you $750 a course.

Undergraduate Fee Structure

Credit HourCost Per Credit HourTotal Cost
1$250$250
2$250$500
3$250$750
4$250$1,000
5$250$1,250

 

 

Out-of-state fees are not charged to Nicholls CCAF students. Some courses may require additional fees. Please check with instructor to find out about additional costs.

MATH 117 Contemporary Mathematics and Quantitave Analysis – 3 Credit Hours – Selected topics from ratio, proportion, percent and percentages, modeling with algebraic functions, consumer mathematics, elementary graph theory, applications of mathematics to everyday problem-solving.

MATH 101 College Algebra- 3 Credit Hours – Linear equations and inequalities, linear applications, systems of linear equations, quadratic equations and inequalities, absolute-value equations and inequalities, radical equations, functions and graphs, polynomial and exponential and logarithmic functions.

PHIL 203 – Introduction to Philosophy – 3 Credit Hours – Basic philosophical problems and their relevance to  contemporary life.

SPCH 101 – Fundamentals of Public Speaking -3 Credit Hours – The delivery of carefully prepared speeches; audience analysis, outlining, and adapting researched subject to common speaking situations; production of voice, articulation, pronunciation, and body activity.

ENGL 101 – English Composition I – 3 Credit Hours – Introduction to expository writing and critical thinking.

GOVT 101 – American National Government – 3 Credit Hours – The principles, structure, and functions of the national government of the United States.

SOCI 151 – Introductory Sociology – 3 Credit Hours – Theories and trends of society and social action with particular reference to life in the United States today.

SPAN 101 – Elementary Spanish I – 3 Credit Hours – Pronunciation and fundamental grammatical structure in the language are introduced. Emphasis is on the development of the language skills.

Complete Your General Education Requirements Through the Air Force GEM Program

Nicholls State University is a participating institution in the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) General Education Mobile (GEM) program.

The University’s participation in the program enables airmen to complete up to 15 credits of their general education requirements in a block of five online courses at Nicholls State University that may be applied directly to a student’s Associate in Applied Science degree at CCAF or a degree at Nicholls State University.  By earning the general education requirements in a block of courses from one institution, students will benefit from greater continuity and be able to complete their degree more quickly. With online courses, students can continue their education without interruption, regardless of whether they go on temporary duty or deploy.

A big advantage of enrolling in the Nicholls GEM program is that you will not be asked to meet prerequisites for your courses.

Click here to view the Nicholls Courses that have been approved for the GEM program.

Complete the following steps to enroll in the GEM program:

STEP 1:  Select Nicholls State University as your GEM Institution

Airmen must develop a CCAF education goal in the Air Force Virtual Education Center (AFVEC)  portal prior to applying for AFTA.

STEP 2:  Complete the Nicholls Application

If you are not already a student at Nicholls, you must apply to the College. Please note that you will NOT be charged the application fee.

If you are only taking GEM courses to complete your CCAF degree and do not wish to pursue a degree with Nicholls, select the “CCAF GEM Application”.

Once you receive your acceptance letter from Nicholls State University with your student ID#, you may register for courses.

STEP 3:  Register for Courses

After you have chosen your course(s), you will need to register for them through Nicholls’ Online Banner Student Services Portal.

 

STEP 4:  Apply and Submit Tuition Assistance Forms

Request Tuition Assistance (TA) online in the AFVEC. The Tuition and Fee schedule for the CCAF GEM program can be found here.

This question can be very complex due to the several different criteria for eligibility and the changes that can occur to legislation concerning these benefits. The best way to determine your eligibility is to contact the Department of Veterans Affairs directly at 1-888-GIBILL1 or 1-888-442-4551. The Nicholls Office of Veterans Services does not have access to all the records that are needed to determine eligibility and thus cannot make the final judgments on eligibility. More specific information concerning each chapter of the GI Bill is available below.

CHAPTER 30 – MONTGOMERY GI BILL – ACTIVE DUTY
CHAPTER 31 – VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION
CHAPTER 33 – POST 9/11 GI BILL
CHAPTER 35 – SURVIVORS’ AND DEPENDENTS’ EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE
CHAPTER 1606 – MONTGOMERY GI BILL – SELECTED RESERVE
CHAPTER 1607 – RESERVE EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

These are the basic steps you should follow to begin using your GI Bill benefits.

Step 1: Application

The first step toward receiving your VA educational benefits is to fill out an application. We strongly encourage you to utilize the online application available here. It will spped up the VA’s processing if you scan a copy of your DD214 and submit it with your application. For veterans, the form that you should fill out is a VA Form 22-1990. For the dependent of a veteran, you should fill out VA Form 22-5490.

Step 2: Apply to Nicholls and schedule your classes

You will need to follow all of the steps required by our Office of Admissions. This includes submitting an application, paying the application fee, and scheduling.

Step 3: Certify your classes with the VA Counselor

Each semester you will need to certify that you are attending classes. You can do this by submitting a Request Form for VA Benefits. This form is also available at the counter of the Office of Veterans Services. This is something you will need to do each semester you want to receive your VA benefits.

Step 4: Verify your attendance with the VA

For chapters 30, 1606 and 1607 of the GI Bill, it is required that you verify that you are attending your classes. You can do this by calling 1-877-823-2378 or online. Once you verify your attendance, your payment will then be processed.

The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is a U.S. based allowance prescribed by geographic duty location, pay grade, and dependency status. It provides uniformed Service members equitable housing compensation based on housing costs in local civilian housing markets within the United States when government quarters are not provided. A uniformed service member stationed outside the U.S. , including U.S. territories and possessions, not furnished government housing, is eligible for Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA).

For further information visit the Defense Travel Management Office website

How do I apply for the GI Bill?

The first step is to complete the application VA Form 22-1990 or VA Form 22-5490. This form is available online or through your VA counselor. Once completed, submit this form to the VA regional office via fax, mail or electronically. Some supporting forms may be required to complete the application. (e.g. DD-214, N.O.B.E., proof of $600 kicker). Once you have submitted your application, you will receive correspondence from the VA about your approval or rejection as well as entitlement details. When applying for your GI Bill benefits online, please use this as the school mailing address.

What do I need to do to get my benefits started?

Students need to contact the Nicholls State University Office of Veterans Services in person or telephone to request processing of enrollment certifications. By contacting the VA Counselor each semester, students will provide our office with current information regarding addresses, degree objectives, etc.

I just transferred from another school. What do I need to do to get my benefits?

You will need to complete a request for certification as well as a VA-22-1995 or VA-22-5495 depending on your VA chapter type. Also, a recent award letter would be helpful, but is not required. This form can be found here or at the VA Counselor’s office.

What do I do after I apply for the GI Bill?

Please bring a copy of the application (VA Form 22-1990 or VA Form 22-5490) or letter of acceptance to the VA counselor for file purposes. Once you have your finalized class schedule, fill out a request for certification and return it to the VA counselor. However, please make sure you are aware of the “You Register, You Owe” policy.

Is there a form that I need to fill out each semester?

Yes. Each semester you will need to complete and sign a request for certification form and return it to the VA counselor’s office. This form is used to submit a VA-22-1999 form to the VA. It also gives the VA counselor permission to discuss and release your information to your academic advisor and/or fee collection when needed.

Do I need to call the VA each month?

If you are a veteran receiving chapter 30, 1606 or 1607 benefits, please call 1-877-823-2378 or go online to here verify your attendance each month. This verification can be completed as early as the last calendar day of each month.

What happens when I withdraw from a course(s) or resign?

The VA will reduce the student’s rate of pay if this withdrawal changes the student’s enrollment status. If the withdrawal occurs during the drop/add period, as defined by the VA, an adjustment is made on the rate of pay. If the withdrawal occurs after the drop/add period, the reduction may create an overpayment, unless there are mitigating circumstances.

When will I get paid?

Normally, your payments will come at the beginning of the month; however, in some cases, this may be delayed due to processing. Also, if you are applying for the first time, it can take a few weeks for the VA to process your application. You will receive payments for the full semester; however, those payments may be delayed. If you have questions regarding the amount or time of payments, please call the toll free number at 1-888-442-4551.

How much will I get paid?

This differs depending on what chapter of VA benefits you are receiving and how many hours you are taking. The GI bill will pay different rates for full time, ¾ time, ½ time or less than ½ time. Also, these rates get adjusted from time to time. The updated rates are available online here.

What is considered full time, ¾ time, ½ time or ¼ time?

Full Time = 12+ hours
¾ Time = 9-11 hours
½ Time = 6-8 hours
Less than ½ time = 4-5 hours
Less than ¼ time = 1-3 hours

Can I get my payments accelerated?

At this time Nicholls State University has not adopted the accelerated payment option.

What courses will the VA pay for?

The VA will NOT pay for courses that are not required in the student’s degree plan. If students wish to take courses that are not required, we will certify only the required courses. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the courses apply toward their degrees.

Does the VA pay for repeated courses?

The VA will pay for repeated courses as long as they are required and the grades previously earned do not meet degree requirements. Enrolling again in a course from which a student withdrew is not considered a repeated course.

Does the VA pay for remedial courses?

The VA will pay for a remedial course if the student has a deficiency in the subject. The VA will not pay for refresher courses.

What do I do if I change my major?

Please contact the VA Counselor, as this may cause your enrollment certification to change. You need to complete a VA 22-1995 (for veterans) or a VA 22-5495 (for dependents) with the VA counselor.

Can I have a double major or a minor?

No. The VA will only pay for one major and does not pay for a minor. If you wish to do this, you will be responsible for the classes.

Can I change my major in the middle of the semester?

If you change your major in the middle of the semester, your classes will need to be re-approved. If not approved, any money you have received from the beginning of the semester, including book stipend and tuition and fees for Chapter 33 Post 9/11, will have to be returned to the VA. If you must change your major, please try to change it at the very end of the semester or before the beginning of the next semester. When you change your major, you need to complete a VA 22-1995 (for veterans) or a VA 22-5495 (for dependents) and give it to the VA counselor.

I am taking a class for another major or for fun. Will the GI Bill pay for it?

No. The VA will only pay for classes that count towards your degree. If a class is not on your degree plan, it will not be certified. Prerequisites and developmental courses will be accepted.

I don’t have enough classes required for my major to make me full time. What do I do?

The VA will only pay for courses that count towards your degree plan. Just because you have 12 hours does not mean that those 12 hours will all be certified. If 9 hours count towards your degree, 9 hours will be certified. Only during your last semester the VA will pay for extra courses as long as one class counts toward your degree plan.

What will happen if I drop a class?

If you drop a class, please contact the VA counselor. This will need to be reported to the Department Veterans Affairs, and they will contact you concerning the change. However, it will only be reported if your status changes. Also, if you are receiving Chapter 33 Post 9/11, it will be reported to the VA.

Does the GI Bill make a payment for my tuition and fees?

Only for those receiving Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. Those who receive any other benefits, no. You are expected to make payments before the fee deadline or pay late fees. Please remember the “You Register, You Owe” policy.

Financial aid is asking for proof that I received the GI Bill. What do I do?

Call 1-888-GIBILL1 (1-888-442-4551). They will be able to send the required form to you. The VA counselor does not write these letters.

I’m in the National Guard. How do I get my tuition exemption?

Tuition exemption is NOT a GI bill program. This is a state program for the Louisiana National Guard. To use this benefit you must contact your unit and notify them to send the proper paperwork to the Nicholls Fee Collections Office. The VA counselor does NOT handle this program. You can call Sgt. Carter at 225-255-8304 to have your information sent to the Nicholls Fee Collections Office.

I’m the dependent of a veteran. What do I need to do to get tuition exemption?

This is NOT a GI bill benefit. Instead, this is a Louisiana Department of Veteran Affairs program that entitles some dependents of disabled or deceased veterans to receive tuition and fee exemption. For more information on this program, contact the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs or your local VA representative in your community to apply for the State Tuition Exemption fee certificate. Once you receive it, please provide a copy of it to the school VA certifying official. The Nicholls Fee Collections Office needs the original certificate in order to process the exemption after registering your classes, but before the fee deadline. This certificate does NOT cover all tuition and fees. For information regarding what is covered, please contact Melissa Rivere in Fee Collections.

Nicholls State University understands that veterans routinely encounter extraordinary obstacles in their college careers. A 19-year-old freshman can be called up in the middle of a semester and be forced to drop their entire schedule of classes. Returning from oversees deployment, you must re-enter the academic world with a workload that appears insurmountable. You don’t feel like a “traditional” student, and you aren’t-you have chosen to serve your country.

The following individuals are aware of the special challenges facing veterans and would like to help. Our Veterans Advocates are faculty that veterans can call on for information, advice, understanding, or just help working their way through university rules and regulations. Feel free to contact any of the Advocates listed below.

NameDepartment
Scott BeslinMath
Ellen BarkerLanguages & Literature
 Helena RichardNursing
Ashley MunsonDyslexia
Randy CheramieCulinary Arts
Jean DoneganArt
Amy HebertUniversity Studies
Todd KellerNursing
Ray GiguetteComputer Science
David ZerangueInterdisciplinary Studies
John GriffinManufacturing Technology
Gerard WhiteAllied Health
Stephen MichotHistory
Marilyn Macik-FreyManagement & Marketing
  
  
Margaret StacomLanguages & Literature
Linda StangaLanguages & Literature
Joseph ThysellHistory
Keri TurnerLanguages & Literature
  
Ianna WestMath
Paul WilsonHistory

MEET OUR COORDINATOR OF VETERANS SERVICES

gilberto burbante portrait

“I want to personally get to know all veterans at Nicholls, so that they won’t just be a number on my screen,” Burbante said. “My chief goal is to help make the transition to civilian life as seamless as possible for them.”

Gilberto Burbante

Associate Professor of Education
 

NEWS & EVENTS

CONTACT INFORMATION

Nicholls State University Veterans Coordinator

Gilberto Burbante
gilberto.burbante@nicholls.edu

Veterans Services
Shaver Gym
Nicholls Campus
Mailing: P. O. Box 2004
Thibodaux, LA 70310
Direct Phone: (985) 448-4208
Fax: (985) 448-4929

Lafourche Parish Department of VA

phone: (985) 447-0968
303 W. 3rd St.
Thibodaux, LA 70301

Terrebonne Parish Department of VA

Phone: (985) 857-3626
Fax: (985) 857-3783
8026 Main St.
Houma, LA 70360

Louisiana Department of VA

P. O. Box 94095
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
225-219-5000
1-877-GEAUXVA
Fax: 225-219-5590

VETERANS LOUNGE

We have a dedicated space for our student Veterans to catch up on assignments, visit with friends in between classes, or enjoy a cup of coffee. The Veterans Lounge features a computer, wireless internet access, a 60 inch television, a refrigerator, microwave, and more.