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ERIC Number: EJ838836
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr-17
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Colleges Cite Inequities in New Benefits for Veterans
Eckstein, Megan
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n32 pA1 Apr 2009
When the new GI Bill was signed into law last summer, advocates said its education benefits would significantly expand veterans' higher-education options. Beneficiaries would receive substantially more money than they did under older programs, enough to pay for the most expensive public institution in their state instead of only covering community-college tuition. However, some public-college leaders say the program, which takes effect on August 1, may have less impact on their enrollments than proponents originally claimed. Instead, those leaders say, the Post-9/11 GI Bill does more to help for-profit colleges, which for years have served large numbers of veterans in online and accelerated programs, by allowing them to tap into even more federal money. Under the law, the federal government will pay public institutions the amount of in-state tuition and fees for each veteran they enroll who is eligible for full benefits. However, private institutions can receive an even greater reimbursement from the federal government if they participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which is designed to help veterans pay for private colleges, out-of-state public institutions, and graduate programs. For each veteran they enroll, private institutions will receive the equivalent of the highest public-college tuition and mandatory fees in their state. The institutions that participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program can waive up to half of the remaining charges and receive the same amount from the federal government. Some college leaders are pressing Congress for changes to the new GI Bill. One proposal would guarantee that all colleges would receive an amount per veteran that would at least equal the national average of tuition and fees at four-year public colleges--about $375 per credit and $6,900 for per-term fees, based on the figures each state provided to the Veterans Affairs Department. Colleges that cost less would be required to use the extra money on veteran services. A similar, and potentially cheaper, option would be to give colleges that charge less than the state cap an amount equal to half that difference to dedicate to veteran services. In the absence of legislative changes, colleges can also make some fixes themselves that do not cost anything, such as putting veterans in contact with each other, creating spaces for veterans to meet on campus, and soliciting private funds to help pay for veteran services.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: G I Bill