Maine College of Art welcomes all veterans, spouses, and dependents! MECA works hard to provide a military friendly environment for veterans to achieve their educational goals.

We realize that the reintegration from military to civilian and academic life can be challenging. To help with the transition, we provide services and support through out the academic career of our veteran students, as well as ensure that all veteran students receive Department of Veteran Affairs educational benefits.

MECA Vets assist active and reserve military, veterans, spouses and dependents at Maine College of Art to navigate the academic environment through programs, support services, the certification of educational benefits and campus and community resources. Our commitment is to provide comprehensive and personalized services within the unique learning community that facilitates the students social and academic integration. From admission to achieving their academic and professional goals— it’s about your success.

Active Duty Military, Veterans, Spouses, Dependents might be eligible for educational benefits under:

  • Chapter 33 (post 9/11 GI Bill)®
  • Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill)®
  • Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation)
  • Yellow Ribbon Program

Contact Liam Sullivan, Director of Enrollment and Outreach, at 207.699.5037 or lsullivan@meca.edu with questions or for more information.

What is MECA Vets?

VA Certifying Official at MECA

The VA Certifying Official is Anne E. Dennison – Registrar

Anne E. Dennison – Registrar
Office located on second floor within Administrative Center.
207.699.5054
adennison@MECA.edu
fax: 207.775.5087

Veteran Benefits at MECA

Maine College of Art programs are approved for military personnel, veterans, and their eligible dependents under various educational assistance programs. The Registrar of the College is the Certifying Official and can be reached at adennison@meca.edu. Please notify the registrar upon admission to the college if you will be receiving VA benefits.

To apply for veterans educational benefits online, search for the VONAPP (Veterans Online Application) on the Dept. of Veterans Affairs website (www.gibill.va.gov). Prior to applying, please read the latest update on the Post-9/11 GI Bill® and contact the Department of Veterans Affairs (1.888.442.4551, prompts 1 then 0) to discuss your eligibility. The election of CH 33 is irrevocable; the service member or veteran will need to make the best decision on which program benefits them most – staying with the Montgomery GI Bill® or electing the Post-9/11 GI Bill®. Representatives with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Buffalo, NY are available to counsel members on a comparison of both program benefits.

One month before classes begin the Registrar will submit an electronic enrollment certification to the Department of Veterans Affairs on your behalf. This certification will included the number of credit hours authorized towards completion of degree, tuition and fees for the term.. An undergraduate student would receive maximum monthly entitlement with full-time status of 12 credit hours or more for Fall or Spring semester.

Please contact the Registrar with any questions you might have on veterans’ educational benefits. Thank you for all that you do and for your service to our country.

Disclosure Policy and Solomon Amendment

The College normally will not supply non-related organizations with personally identifiable student information, including “directory information.” Active students who wish to have directory information withheld from release must do so in writing on a “per academic-year” basis. Please remember: Active students must renew a request for nondisclosure each year to keep such requests in effect.

One exception to this policy is the result of a federal law known as the “Solomon Amendment” which requires the College to release directory information to military recruiters upon request. For this purpose, directory information is defined as: name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, level of education, academic major, degrees received, and educational institution in which a student most recently was enrolled. Information not required or permitted by the Solomon Amendment and not considered directory information under FERPA will not be released without written permission of the student.

Helpful Links

Applications for benefits can also be submitted to the VA directly on-line at VONAPP at www.gibill.va.gov.

Tutoring Services

Tutoring services are available to students who are using educational benefits and need tutoring during the semester. Students can receive additional VA assistance to defer the expenses incurred for tutoring services.

To utilize this, the student must select a tutor, obtain a letter from the Instructor indicating the exact tutoring needed, and submit the VA Tutorial Assistance form, 22-1990t, to Anne Denison, College Registrar. The amount paid to the rate of the monthly tutoring cost must not exceed $100.00 per calendar month. The maximum amount payable is $1,200.00. Dependent students, Chapter 35, receive up to $1,200 without entitlement being charged.

State & National Contacts

VA Regional Office in Togus, ME
1.800.827.1000

Vocational Rehab
623.5764

Bureau of Veterans Services in Augustam, ME
626.4464

Veterans Assistance Center in Portland, ME
780.3584

National VA Education Benefits in Buffalo, NY
888.442.4551

Veteran Credit Hours & Benefits

Undergraduate Program
Monthly benefit rates for all VA Educational Assistance are based on the number of credit hours taken during each semester.

BFA – twelve credit hours is considered to be full-time
BFA – Nine credit hours is three-quarter time
BFA – Six hours is considered half-time
Students enrolled in less than six credit hours will only receive payment for the cost of tuition and fees.
All benefit checks, except advance pay, are sent directly to the veteran/dependent at the end of each month of attendance. Chapter 30 payment is generally six weeks after the start date of the semester.

Graduate Program
Monthly benefit rates for all VA Educational Assistance are based on the number of credit hours taken during each semester. In the graduate program fifteen credit hours is considered full-time.

Billing
All students who do not receive Financial Aid are expected to pay the College upon receipt of their bills. Students may participate in TMS Payment Plan. For more information please contact Student Billing.

If a student repeatedly fails to satisfy his or her financial obligation to MECA, the Student Billing Office may exercise the option to cancel the student’s registration. A cancellation of registration would immediately place the veteran/dependent student in a state of overpayment of VA Educational Benefits for that semester, and he or she would be required to repay the Veterans Administration.

Audit
The VA will not pay educational benefits for courses that are audited.

Add, Drops, & Withdrawals

Adds: If a veteran/dependent student adds a course, he or she must contact the MECA’s Registrars Office. A change in credit hours will sometimes mean a change in enrollment status resulting in an increase of VA Educational Benefits.
Note: The following information is an attempt to summarize a very complex VA Regulation concerning drops and/or withdrawals. For additional information contact The Veterans Administration.

Drops: If a student reduces his or her credits during the first 30 days of the semester and the reduction results in a change in the full or part-time enrollment status of the student, benefits are not reduced for that month. The student must notify the MECA Registrars Office of any reduction in credit hours. A reduction in benefits will take place beginning with the next month.

Withdrawals: If a student withdraws from a course, benefits may be reduced back to the first day of the semester if mitigating circumstances are not reported to the VA. Students are allowed a one-time automatic mitigating circumstance if they remain in at least six credit hours. If there are extenuating circumstances, he or she must submit a statement of explanation. This will be forwarded to the VA by the MECA Registrars Office. The student should realize that the submission of the statement WILL NOT guarantee that he or she will be released from the overpayment liability. The VA has the final authority to determine whether or not the circumstances are acceptable.

Change of Program
Under the law, a person receiving VA Educational Benefits is entitled to an unlimited number of program (major) changes as long as no more than 12 credit hours are lost in the resulting change. All major changes must be reported in writing to the MECA Registrars Office.

Salute to Service

Maine College of Art and MECA Vets honor veteran students and their families with an exhibit in celebration of Veterans Day. This art installation is put on by current veteran students, alumni, and other military veteran artists.

Art Service // 2014 Exhibit

Art and military service have always co-existed, sometimes in parallel, sometimes crossing over, and sometimes at odds.

This exhibition is about service, war, peace, and art as therapeutic work for both the artist-veterans who make it and the community in which it exists. Much of the military art we recognize and know is monuments to the fallen. “Our Lady of Victories” watches over Monument Square in Portland. Paid for by the Portland Soldiers and Sailors Association, the inscription reads, “Portland/To Her Sons Who Died/For The Union.”

However, the military also has a history of recruiting artists. The work of these soldier artists ranged from recording combat and battle scenes to the work of “The Ghost Army” in World War II, a special tactical unit that through deception saved thousands of Allied lives. (Ellsworth Kelly and Art Kane served in this unit.) This exhibit shows the work of artists both during and after military service.

Artists:

Ren Albon ’14, United States Navy
Peter Buotte MFA ’05, United States Army
Lesley Corbett ’13, United States Army
Evan Poole ’15, United States Army
Frederick Twombly ’15, United States Army
Patrick Scholz ’15, United States Marine Corps
Phil Stevens ’91, United States Army
David Thomas ’68, United States Army