By Debbie Gregory.
In-state tuition rates to public colleges and universities will now be available to all recent U.S. military veterans and their families throughout the country.
In honor of Veterans Day, the White House made the announcement, reiterating President Obama’s “steadfast commitment” to our military members and veterans.
The president is also calling on Congress to move forward on three pieces of legislation to help improve veterans’ education.
According to Cecilia Muñoz, the Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council, “These pieces of legislation will really ensure that veterans have the opportunities and assistance to … realize the American dream.”
The first bill would heighten standards for schools receiving G.I. Bill funds. The second bill is aimed at protecting G.I. Bill benefits for veterans whose schools close mid-term. The third bill would increase regulation of for-profit colleges, many of which target veterans.
“What we think this does is ramp up the accountability” of those schools, Munoz said, adding that it ensures “we are requiring a high-quality education for veterans that have served us well.”
Additionally, the VA has revamped the GI Bill Comparison Tool, another way to help Veterans obtain and use their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. The GI Bill® Comparison Tool allows Veterans to enter their military status, the GI Bill benefit that they are thinking of using, their Cumulative Post 9-11 Active Duty Service , and the name of the school that they wish to research. The tool then provides a list of the schools that match. By clicking on the school’s name, the user can then read the data that the tool provides, including the amount of tuition and fees, the amount of Monthly Allowance for Housing (MAH) the student will receive, and the amount of book stipend.
The GI Bill Comparison will let the student know if their potential college, university or vocational school meets the required guidelines to receive federal funding, and whether it is a Yellow Ribbon School, how many GI Bill students there are. It also specifies whether there is a student veteran group, a VetSuccess on campus, etc.