Hope for Fixes to Recent GI Bill Fixes

March 03, 2011 | Terry Howell

Source: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

The following statement from IAVA is in response to a recent Stars and Stripes article about the unfortunate financial effects of the pending changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill 2.0 on veteran students.

IAVA is fighting for a critical update to New GI Bill 2.0 that will exempt veterans currently enrolled in private schools from the new tuition cap if it cuts their benefits. At the same time, we encourage private schools like Columbia University to also participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Designed to complement the New GI Bill, this historic program provides private schools that offer scholarships to veterans with a matching federal fund up to the full cost of tuition.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, IAVA, The American Legion, and Student Veterans of America (SVA) widely promote the Yellow Ribbon program today.

Many private schools are technically participants in the Yellow Ribbon Program.  Schools in states with abnormally high tuition rates, however, have benefitted from old rules that allowed them to make minimal financial contributions to their student veterans’ education.

The updated Yellow Ribbon Program is a more cost-effective way for schools to show their support while closing the cost gap for veterans on their campuses.

We [IAVA] will continue to push Congress to grandfather in all veterans already attending private schools, but we call on those same schools to actively support their student veterans through the VA’s Yellow Ribbon Program.

About Terry Howell

Before becoming the Managing Editor for Military.com, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.