Implementation of some changes to the Gunnery Sgt. David Fry Scholarship Program are coming earlier than expected: As of November 1, 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs will begin accepting applications from Gold Star Spouses to participate in the program.
Veterans throughout the United States are returning to school for the Fall 2014 semester and need to know the developments that have taken place in veteran’s education benefits. The summer has been relatively busy for the staff at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America on Capitol Hill with the passing of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability (VACA) Act of 2014 and across the U.S. with the expansion of VetTogethers in each region.
After studying for three full semesters in their criminal justice program, I discovered that my degree was not properly accredited and would not lead to a career in law enforcement. I also learned that the credits would not transfer to a properly accredited school. At this point, I had used up my GI Bill benefits and was saddled with $50,000 in student loan debt for a worthless degree.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has just taken steps to remedy a loophole in the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP). The program, created by the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act in 2011, was specifically designed to provide education assistance to unemployed veterans ages 35 – 60 that were not eligible to receive GI Bill benefits.
Military-friendly schools are described as educational institutions that offer incentives such as flexibility, student support and value for active duty military members and veterans interested in higher education. Identifying military-friendly schools requires research, as the military does not have an official list of its own.
Last Thursday, a host of government departments and agencies—including the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense, Education, and Justice, in coordination with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission—came together to release an online feedback tool designed to give student-veterans and family members the ability to report negative experiences with educational institutions.
A recent report of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) suggested some interesting findings concerning VA education benefits. About 5 percent of the schools in the report received more than $3.8 billion in VA education payments—over 60 percent of all Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition benefits.