In response to today's pressure, IAVA has just received good news that the Department of Veterans Affairs has chimed in on the Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011 [H.R. 1383] after talks with the House Veterans Affairs Committee. According to the VA, it will now regulate HR 1383 (pending passage) so that the January 4, 2011 eligibility date will cover all student veterans attending school during the Winter/Spring terms of the 2010/2011 school year. This would not have been possible without your incredible support today urging Chairman Miller to fix the bill!
So here's the breakdown of the new regulation:
- HR 1383 will apply to those that are "enrolled" on or by January 4th, 2011
- A student did not actually have to be attending classes on that date:
- The person had to be a student accepted into the school;
- The person’s classes did not have to have started yet;
- For the purposes of the "Grandfather Clause" the person will still be considered an "enrolled" student.
Veterans who matriculated in the spring semester will be considered as "enrolled" and "registered" before January 4th, even if their classes began after January 4th. Based on this news, H.R. 1383 will cover most private school students who are negatively affected by the upgrades to the New GI Bill which go into effect next Monday, August 1st.
The changes in regulations for H.R.1383 is a step in the right direction and great news for thousands of veterans; however, there is still more work to be done to ensure that all deserving veterans are covered. Out-of-state student veterans at public institutions and veterans enrolled in high-fee programs at colleges such as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in states such as Florida are still excluded from the “grandfather clause.” IAVA firmly believes these veterans deserve to complete their academic programs under the benefit levels they were given to plan their academic careers.
IAVA will not stop fighting until all student-veterans get the benefits they were counting on, and we call upon Congress to introduce legislation to fix this shortcoming. In the interim, IAVA encourages states that value veterans to treat all out-of-state vets as in-state veterans. These states understand the benefits of having them at their schools and should afford them equal opportunity to complete their degrees.