The Army Times recently published a feature on IAVA's relaunch of GIBill2008.org as a resource center for veterans to learn about their new educational benefits. Click here to read the article.
By Rick Maze - Staff writer
August 26, 2008
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is launching a national outreach program to help veterans prepare for the big increase in GI Bill education benefits that takes effect next year.
This includes an online calculator, at an IAVA Web site, that gives veterans an idea of how much money they will receive when the Post-9/11 GI Bill takes full effect on Aug. 1, 2009, with full tuition for people attending four-year public institutions, plus a monthly living expense and annual book allowance.
Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA executive director, says the Web site should help answer basic questions about the new program, which has spawned a fair amount of confusion because the details underwent many changes before the final plan was enacted.
Interest in the program remains high, Rieckhoff said, which is why IAVA is trying to get out the word on what to expect.
“Over a million men and women are now dreaming bigger dreams,” he said. “Right now, they are sitting on Humvees and standing at checkpoints in Iraq, thinking about a brighter future.”
Rieckhoff appeared Tuesday at a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Orlando, Fla., where he announced that IAVA, the first and largest group of veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, also will launch an advertising campaign to spread knowledge about the new college benefits.
“Passing a new GI Bill opened the doors of higher education to an entire generation of veterans, but now they need to know how to access the benefit,” he said.
A 20 percent increase in GI Bill benefits that took effect this past Aug. 1 was just a small first step under the new plan. Full tuition payments, the living stipend, book allowance and other changes will not take effect until next summer so that the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs have time to plan for the big increases.