Colleges Respond to GI Bill Benefit Delays
How colleges and universities are helping military students who can’t pay for college.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill, which went into effect in August 2009, was created to encourage military veterans from wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to pursue their education through degree programs at colleges and universities.
However, since its implementation, the program has experienced delays with processing the required paperwork, leading to many military veterans being concerned about not receiving their education benefits in time to pay for their college tuition.
The blame for these delays has been placed on both the Department of Veterans Affairs and the colleges and universities themselves. The Department of Veterans Affairs has had difficulty keeping up with processing the large number of GI Bill applications and the claims for benefit payments. The department also relies on the colleges and universities to send them enrollment certificates for the military veterans to process this paperwork; the department claims that delays in receiving these certificates from the schools have contributed to the problem.
While the Department of Veterans Affairs has implemented measures to improve their processes and get military veterans the tuition money they need to pay for college, some schools have also started to step in to assist military veterans as they wait for their Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition money.
In some cases, colleges and universities have set up loan programs to help veterans pay for college. Some schools are also deferring tuition costs for qualified veterans who area waiting for GI Bill money. For example, one school, the University of Phoenix, has implemented a tuition deferral program that allows students to defer their tuition costs until they receive their Certificate of Eligibility from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Students sign a document, called a memorandum of understanding, indicating that they will receive tuition deferment and be responsible to pay for college costs not covered by the military benefit.
If you are veteran using the Post-9/11 GI Bill to help pay for college and you are concerned about your tuition payments, contact the veterans affairs office or financial aid office at your college or university to find out if they will offer deferment options.
What Is the Post-9/11 GI Bill?
This college education benefit is offered to military veterans who have served at least 90 days of active duty service on or after 9/11. Service members who were honorably discharged after 30 days with a disability related to their military service can also receive military benefits through this GI Bill.
The payments for this GI Bill cover college tuition, a monthly housing allowance, a book stipend, tutoring, and fees for licensing and certification tests. Veterans in rural areas who would need to relocate or travel by air to the nearest eligible college or university can receive a one-time education benefit of $500 to complete their studies. The benefits can also be transferred to other family members, such as spouses and children.
Learn more about the Post-9/11 GI Bill and financial aid for military students.
SOURCES: gibill.va.gov, blogs.va.gov
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