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
Add to Briefcase
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 »
Congressional Budget Office Scores House Trumpcare Bill
34 minutes ago

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has released its score of the House-passed American Health Care Act, which would replace Obamacare. According to the CBO, the bill would reduce the deficit by $119 billion by 2026, while leaving 14 million more Americans uninsured in 2018 than under current law, a number swelling to 23 million by 2026. Further, insurance premiums would balloon 20 percent in 2018 and five percent in 2019 before the waiver provision in the legislation would kick in. The provision allows states to apply for waivers and permit insurers to offer skimpier plans, which would likely entice younger and healthier individuals to buy health insurance while potentially pricing older and less healthy Americans out of insurance plans. House Republicans approved this bill in late April without waiting for the CBO score.

Graham Rejects Trump’s Budget In Hearing
34 minutes ago

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing that President Donald Trump's budget is little more than recycling bin material. "The budget proposed by the president doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of passing," Graham said. Graham had previously opposed the budget over its nearly 30 percent cut to the budget of the State Department. The budget slashes spending on domestic priorities while increasing military spending.

Mnuchin Looks To Avoid Debt Ceiling Fight
7 hours ago
McConnell Not Sure How To Get 50 Votes For Health Care
8 hours ago

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that he doesn't yet know the formula towards gaining passage of an Obamacare replacement in the Senate. "I don't know how we get to 50 (votes) at the moment. But that's the goal," McConnell said. The House passed an Obamacare replacement bill which has been widely seen as dead on arrival in the Senate, and McConnell has put together a working group of Republican Senators working towards creating health care legislation which could gain the support of at least 50 Senators.

Ethics Cops Clear Mueller to Work on Trump Case
1 days ago

"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.