Can Uncle Sam Help Vets Get Bang for Their College Buck?

Veterans Affairs is promising its program will help students effectively use their GI Bill tuition funding.

National Journal
Jordain Carney
Feb. 5, 2014, 8:02 a.m.

The Vet­er­ans Af­fairs De­part­ment rolled out a tool Tues­day that al­lows vet­er­ans and their fam­il­ies to go on­line and see what col­lege costs are covered un­der the post-9/11 GI Bill.

The GI Bill com­par­is­on tool breaks down the tu­ition, hous­ing al­low­ance, and cost of books covered for more than 10,000 col­leges and train­ing pro­grams based on a vet­er­an’s cu­mu­lat­ive post-9/11 activ­ity-duty ser­vice and mil­it­ary status. The VA is also re­leas­ing the num­ber of GI Bill be­ne­fi­ciar­ies at an in­sti­tu­tion for the first time.

Vic­tor­ia Dillon, a deputy press sec­ret­ary at the VA, said the web­site culled in­form­a­tion “from more than 17 dif­fer­ent on­line sources,” adding that it is a “one-stop shop for the in­form­a­tion they need to make im­port­ant edu­ca­tion­al de­cisions.”

For ex­ample, a vet­er­an who was on act­ive duty for three years or more after Sept. 11, 2001, could get all of the in-state tu­ition cost at the Uni­versity of Vir­gin­ia paid for, as well as a $1,365 hous­ing al­low­ance per month if they are full time, and 1,000 per year for books, ac­cord­ing to the VA’s web­site.

The web­site in­cludes oth­er, non­vet­er­an in­form­a­tion on a school, such as gradu­ation rates and the me­di­an amount bor­rowed.

The VA’s rol­lout comes after the House passed le­gis­la­tion Monday that re­quires all pub­lic uni­versit­ies to give in-state tu­ition rates to vet­er­ans or risk los­ing oth­er GI Bill edu­ca­tion be­ne­fits.

A sim­il­ar pro­vi­sion is in­cluded in Sen. Bernie Sanders’s om­ni­bus vet­er­ans’ le­gis­la­tion bill that could be taken up by the Sen­ate as early as Thursday, al­though the timeline is flex­ible.

What We're Following See More »
Spy Agencies Hone in on Russia as Culprit of DNC Hack
6 minutes ago

"American intelligence agencies have told the White House they now have 'high confidence' that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee, according to federal officials who have been briefed on the evidence. But intelligence agencies have cautioned that they are uncertain whether the electronic break-in at the committee's computer systems was intended as fairly routine cyberespionage—of the kind the United States also conducts around the world—or as part of an effort to manipulate the 2016 presidential election." WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange "has made it clear that he hoped to harm Hillary Clinton's chances of winning the presidency."

Colony Capital Pulled Out of Trump Hotel
17 minutes ago

Colony Capital Founder Tom Barrack spoke on Donald Trump's behalf at the Democratic National Convention last week. But as the Washington Post learned, his company pulled out of Trump's Old Post Office project. The two companies issued a joint statement when the project was announced. But as a Colony spokeswoman told the Post, “Colony exited the joint venture after the project’s timeline became too long for the firm. As the project evolved, cheaper sources of capital for longer term investment became available to Trump." The Trump Organization is now financing the project through their own cash and a loan from Deutsche Bank. It's scheduled to open Sept. 12.

John Hinckley Jr. Granted Release
26 minutes ago

Thirty-five years after he tried to kill President Reagan, John Hinckley Jr. has been freed. "A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has granted a request for Hinckley to leave the mental hospital where he's lived for decades, to go live full-time with his elderly mother in Williamsburg, VA. The release could happen as early as next week, the judge ruled. Under the terms of his order, Hinckley is not allowed to contact his victims, their relatives or actress Jodie Foster, with whom he was obsessed. Hinckley also will not be permitted to 'knowingly travel' to areas where the current president or members or Congress are present. The judge said Hinckley could be allowed to live on his own or in a group home after one year.

Bill Clinton Gets Personal in Convention Speech
10 hours ago

“In the spring of 1971, I met a girl,” started Bill Clinton. In his speech Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, Clinton brought a personal touch, telling parallel stories of his relationship with Hillary Clinton and the work she has done throughout her career. He lauded the Democratic nominee for her career of work, touching on her earliest days of advocacy for children and those with disabilities while in law school, her role as Secretary of State, and her work in raising their daughter, Chelsea. Providing a number of anecdotes throughout the speech, Clinton built to a crescendo, imploring the audience to support his wife for president. "You should elect her, she'll never quit when the going gets tough," he said. "Your children and grandchildren will be grateful."

Mothers Of The Movement Endorse Hillary Clinton
13 hours ago

A coalition of mothers whose children lost their lives in high profile cases across the country, known as the Mothers Of The Movement, were greeted with deafening chants of "Black Lives Matter" before telling their stories. The mothers of Sandra Bland, Jordan Davis, and Trayvon Martin spoke for the group, soliciting both tears and applause from the crowd. "Hillary Clinton has the compassion and understanding to comfort a grieving mother," said Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin. "And that's why, in the memory of our children, we are imploring you — all of you — to vote this election day."