Veterans & Service Members

AACRAO recognizes and honors the sacrifices these men and women have made and its members are proud to assist them and meet their educational needs. Veterans and students on active military duty and their families face special circumstances and challenges.

Changes in federal statute and executive actions have greatly promoted the expansion of services toward veterans and their families. Since the Post-9/11 GI Bill was passed in 2009, close to 1 million veterans, service members, and eligible dependents have taken advantage of the educational benefits available to them. With the passage of more recent legislation, such as the Forever GI Bill in 2017 and the Isakson Roe and THRIVE Acts in 2021, there will be significant changes to military education benefits over the coming years.


Latest Actions

AACRAO recently hosted a webinar to discuss the implementation of veteran legislation passed in December 2020, also known as the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act. This law will have a transformative effect on the mission of Education Service to provide ready access to, and timely and accurate delivery of, education benefits to Veterans, Service members, and their families, as well as further enable the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to empower GI Bill beneficiaries to achieve their vocational and career goals.

Other recent legislation introduced in both the House and Senate include important provisions to help ensure veterans can continue to receive their education benefits as well as technical corrections to the legislation passed last year.


Biden Signs Key Veterans Benefits Bill Into Law

Dec 28, 2021, 22:21 PM
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Summary : New law extends certain COVID-related flexibilities for veterans education benefits and addresses concerns with legislation passed earlier this year that made sweeping changes to the administration and oversight of GI Bill benefits.
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Last week, President Biden signed the Responsible Education Mitigating Options and Technical Extensions (REMOTE) Act, H.R. 5545, into law. The legislation makes important technical corrections to the recent Isakson Roe Act and extends certain COVID-related flexibilities for veterans education benefits.

In particular, the REMOTE Act allows student veterans taking remote classes to continue receiving full GI Bill housing benefits through summer 2022, Military Times reported. Student veterans enrolled in traditional in-person courses receive the full monthly housing stipend, while students in online-only classes get half of that amount. However, when the pandemic shuttered college campuses, forcing students to shift to virtual learning, Congress granted the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) broad authority to continue paying out the full housing stipends to online students. The policy, which was set to expire December 21, helped tens of thousands of student veterans avoid losing part of their benefits.

"While we've made a lot of progress in getting this virus under control, many veterans continue to take classes online due to the pandemic and need the protections in this legislation in order to continue their studies," said Representative Mike Levin (D-CA), chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee's panel on economic opportunity. "At a time when we are trying to keep veterans housed and encourage them to pursue a higher education, the last thing we can afford is to let these protections expire and risk derailing their studies or, even worse, forcing them out of their homes."

As part of the technical corrections to the Isakson Roe legislation, the REMOTE Act amends language banning the use of commission-based international student recruitment by institutions that receive GI Bill funding, Inside Higher Ed reported. The measure restores the ability of U.S. colleges and universities to recruit foreign students abroad utilizing incentive-based compensation agreements. 

The REMOTE Act also allows the VA to waive the second certification requirement for institutions with a flat rate tuition and fee structure; permits institutions to satisfy Isakson Roe section 1018's consumer information requirements by using the Education Department's "College Financing Plan" template; and includes language to fix the VA's rounding out policy, which helps veterans receive full time benefits during the last term of their education program. 

AACRAO and other higher education and veterans organizations actively advocated for the changes included in the REMOTE Act. The association applauds the swift passage of this time-sensitive legislation. 

Related Links

Military Times 

Inside Higher Ed 

Michelle Mott
Categories :
  • Advocacy
  • International Admissions and Credential Evaluation
  • International Education
  • Online and Distance Learning
  • Veterans and Service Members
Tags :
  • covid-19
  • education department
  • Federal relations
  • gi bill
  • incentive compensation
  • international students
  • tuition
  • VA Programs
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