New Student Instructions

  • Apply for admission to the college as a degree-seeking student

    • Please use promo code VETERAN to waive the application fee!
    • Be sure to submit transcripts from ALL prior education to the Office of the Registrar. Please note: The VA requires that all prior education be assessed for credit transferability before enrollment certification.
  • Military Transcripts

    • It is important to remember that the V.A. requires FSW to receive your military education transcripts within the first two semesters if you are a veteran. After your first semester, a hold will be placed on your account, preventing you from registering for the next semester until they are received. Most branches can request their military transcripts online using the DoD Website and request them to be sent to Florida SouthWestern State College. If you served in the United States Air Force, you would need to follow the instructions HERE. 
  • Complete a FAFSA application

    • You can utilize Federal Financial Aid simultaneously with V.A. education benefits. You are also encouraged to complete the application for FSW scholarships HERE.
  • Newly Admitted Students

    • Once accepted into FSW, you may have to complete a Placement Test, attend Orientation, and meet with an Academic Advisor. Please contact Admissions to confirm any outstanding holds and requirements at 239-489-9054.

    • Please note: All students are considered Non-Florida residents for Residency purposes until they complete a Florida Residency Declaration and provide the appropriate documentation. Please find the Out of State Fee Waiver for Veterans and other eligible students HERE.
  • Complete application for V.A. Education Benefits

    • If you have never used your benefit before: VA.gov/education/how-to-apply/
    • If you have used your benefit elsewhere: va.gov/education/change-gi-bill-benefits/ (Please save the confirmation page and provide to FSW VA Office)
    • The VA will typically send you a letter in the mail with details about your benefit within 30 days – this document is called a Certificate of Eligibility.
  • Provide the FSW Office of Veteran Services with your Certificate of Eligibility

    • We may also request your DD-214 (Member 4 copy).
  • Register for Classes

    • A student must be working toward a degree or certificate program in order to receive VA benefits. We encourage students to work closely with their academic advisor to ensure that the classes they plan to take are required for the degree/certificate selected. Only classes required for the student's degree will be certified for VA funding.
  • Submit a Veteran’s Deferment Request Form via your Student Portal

    • You must submit a Deferment Request Form every semester AND every time you register for a class or make any changes to your schedule (add/drop/withdraw).
    • This will ensure the V.A. is notified of your enrollment and prevents your classes from being dropped due to non-payment. Deferments should be submitted as early as possible and at least one week prior to the payment deadline. Refer to the current College Catalog for dates.
    • Log into your Student Portal
    • The “Veteran’s Deferment Form” can be found in the “Additional Links” box.
    • Complete the form and be sure you are choosing the correct term, then click submit.
    • After you submit the form, you should get a confirmation in your student email saying, “Step 3/4 complete.” As the remaining 3 steps are finalized by FSW staff, you will receive 3 additional emails confirming each step as they are completed.
  • Sign up for an “eBenefits” account HERE. 

    • eBenefits allows you to access information regarding your V.A. benefits, including remaining education benefit entitlement and V.A. payment history.