Late Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed an amended version the Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011 [H.R. 1383]. The bill, also known as the “grandfather clause,” would allow veterans in states that will face a reduction in GI Bill benefits on August 1st to complete their academic programs under the original rates.
IAVA supports this bill, however, the Senate version lists an inclusion date of January 4th, 2011, which would exclude student veterans who began college in the spring semester of 2011. Instead, IAVA calls on Congress to use the alternate inclusion date of April 1st, 2011, as it is listed in the House version of the bill. The intent of the bill is to protect student-veterans, who had planned their education based on the old rules, to finish their schooling accordingly. The April 1st inclusion date is the best way to protect these veterans from unexpected ballooning costs.
While H.R.1383 is a good step in the right direction, out-of-state student-veterans attending public institutions and veterans enrolled in high-fee programs at colleges such as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida would still be excluded from the “grandfather clause.” Like their peers, these veterans deserve to complete their academic programs under the benefit levels they were given to plan their academic careers. IAVA calls upon Congress to introduce legislation to immediately fix this grave shortcoming the New GI Bill 2.0 goes into effect on August 1st. After service to our country, no student-veteran should have the rug pulled out from under them and the final grandfather bill should not leave a single veteran behind. Follow IAVA on Twitter @NewGIBill for the latest updates on this issue.
Veteran of Iraq or Afghanistan considering going to college? Learn more about the benefits of the Post-9/11 GI Bill at www.NewGIBill.org.