School Certifying Officials

A School Certifying Official (SCO) is a representative of an educational institute or training establishment
who is authorized to submit enrollment certification to DVA (Department of Veterans Affairs) for VA education benefits.

SCO Responsibilities include:

  • Keep VA informed of the enrollment status of students receiving VA education benefits;
  • Ensure that only those courses that apply to the student’s program are certified;
  • Monitor student grades to ensure the student is making satisfactory progress, and report probation and
    termination as needed;
  • Monitor attendance (if applicable), and report violations of school attendance policy;
  • Monitor student conduct and report when student is suspended or dismissed for unsatisfactory conduct;
  • Notify school supervisors of internal problems that may affect timely reporting of enrollment or changes
    to enrollment of students receiving VA education benefits;
  • Notify the State Approving Agency (SAA) of any substantive program, policy, and approval criteria
    changes, and
  • Notify the VA Education Liaison Representative (ELR) of any changes to SCO staff.
    Maintain records of VA students and make all records available for inspection by DVA or the SAA:
  • Retain file (hardcopy or electronic) of certification documentation, records of academic progress, degree
    plan pursuit, prior credit transcripts and evaluation, registration documentation, tuition and fee charges,
    school application, enrollment agreements, and other applicable student documentation;
  • Maintain records for at least three years following the student’s last date of attendance, and,
  • Ensure that records are kept in a safe place and that the privacy of VA students is

Keeping up-to-date on state and federal regulations and benefits:
  • Read and maintain VA advisories and bulletins;
  • Keep up-to-date on state regulations and state education benefits for veterans and eligible persons, and
  • Attend training opportunities.
  • Be knowledgeable about school policies and programs, such as:
    • School’s academic programs: what are the currently offered programs, what programs have been
      recently discontinued, or are planned to be discontinued;
    • School’s academic policies and approval criteria such as, satisfactory academic progress, academic
      probation, termination, readmission, prior credit, etc.

Assisting students receiving VA education benefits in:
  • Applying for state and VA education benefits;
  • Identifying applicable resources for student success;
  • Inquiring about payment and benefit problems;
  • Ensuring that VA students are aware of their responsibility to the school, and
  • Understanding how progress, conduct, registration and attendance can impact benefits and cause student