Steps to Getting Started

A. Have you signed up for Veterans Educational Benefits?

  • (1) If not, then go to: and click “Apply for Benefits”
  • (2) If you’ve used VA education benefits at a previous college, submit a “Change of School” form: and click “Manage Benefits”
  • (3) Once your application is processed, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will send you a “Certificate of Eligibility” (COE) via U.S. Mail.  Bring your COE and your DD214 to your first counseling appointment.

Download the Veterans Services Intake Form here. The form is fillable, once complete please look at step C2 and follow the directions there.

B. Become a Merritt College Student

  • (1) If you haven’t already, apply to be a Merritt College student here:
  • (2) When your application downloads successfully, you will get a confirmation email congratulating you on joining Merritt College.
  • (3) Your “Welcome email” contains instructions to create a password-protected account in Passport.  Passport is the electronic system you will use to add and drop classes, view your grades, etc.
  • In Passport, you will be assigned a Student ID number.  Bring your student ID number and your password when you come to your first counseling appointment.
  • If you have trouble with any of the above steps, you can get help in the Merritt College Welcome Center, Bldg R, Room 105, from 9:00-4:00 Monday through Thursday.  Our VA Certifying Official, Ms. Margie Rubio, works closely with student vets and will be happy to help you if you have questions:

C.  Complete the “New Student Enrollment” steps

IMPORTANT: at the end of the online orientation, you’re given an option to print a Certificate of Completion. Print and bring this certificate to your first counseling appointment. If you don’t have access to a printer, you can use the student computers in R-105 to log back in and print it.

  • (2) Counseling appointment to create a Student Educational Plan
    Please bring the following to your first veteran’s appointment
    • Veterans services intake form
    • DD214
    • Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
    • Transcripts from all previous colleges
    • Peralta Student ID number
    • Certificate of Completion for Online Orientation
    • Your Passport ID and password (so that you can enroll)
  • At the appointment, you’ll discuss your academic and career goals and create a Student Education Plan (SEP) that maps out the courses you need to reach those goals.  Ask for a signed copy of your SEP.
  • (3) Enroll in Classes
    Once you have your SEP, sit at the computers in R-105 (or use your own laptop) to enroll in the courses specified in your SEP.  We have Peer Advisors  to walk you through the enrollment process.
  • (4) Get your Classes VA-Certified
    Print your class schedule. Complete a Certification Enrollment Form to activate your benefits.  Please download the fillable form and open it using adobe reader. Once filled please rename the form by clicking on FILE and selecting RENAME. Rename the form with your first and last name. Once you are ready to save it please click on FILE and select SAVE. A copy of the filled form will be saved on your computer, then upload the renamed filled file here.

If you have any additional questions after reading this, don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Welcome to Merritt College – we look forward to helping you plan this next phase of your life!