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.


Education Dept. Issues Rule to Formally Limit Emergency Grants

Jun 17, 2020, 18:56 PM
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Summary : Interim final rule prohibits undocumented immigrants and millions of other students who are not eligible for Title IV aid from receiving CARES Act grants.
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U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently unveiled an interim final rule that requires colleges and universities to limit emergency coronavirus relief grants only to students who qualify for federal financial aid. Grants that have already been handed out are not subject to the restriction, said the rule.

The regulation, published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, is effective immediately, although the department will accept public comments on the policy for 30 days. The rule carries out DeVos's policy, first announced in April, that prohibits undocumented immigrants—including those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections—and millions of other students who are not eligible for Title IV aid from receiving emergency stimulus grants created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The policy is being challenged in federal courts in California and Washington.

According to a department press release, the regulation helps to "ensure taxpayer-funded coronavirus relief money is distributed properly and does not go to foreign nationals, non-citizens, and students who may be enrolled in ineligible education programs."

Sec. DeVos added that the rule also aims to eliminate any "uncertainty" for colleges about how they must distribute the funds, while carrying out the department's "responsibility to taxpayers to administer the CARES Act faithfully."

Federal judges in two states issued rulings in the last week blocking the department from enforcing its restrictions, Inside Higher Ed reported. A judge in California on Wednesday and another in Washington State last week granted preliminary injunctions that gives colleges and universities in those states broader latitude in doling out the CARES Act grants. The rulings, for now, allows California and Washington institutions to give the help to thousands more students, including veterans attending college on the GI Bill, those who have defaulted on student loans, and others who are ineligible for regular student aid. However, the Washington State ruling leaves in place the ban on undocumented students receiving the grants. The limited injunctions apply only to institutions in the states of California and Washington and does not keep the interim rule DeVos announced last Thursday from going into effect in the rest of the nation.

Related Links

Federal Register

U.S. Education Department Press Release

Inside Higher Ed

Michelle Mott
Categories :
  • Advocacy
  • Financial Aid and FAFSA
  • Immigration
  • Veterans and Service Members
Tags :
  • covid-19
  • Daca
  • default
  • education department
  • Emergency Financial Support
  • Federal Regulations
  • Federal relations
  • gi bill
  • in the courts
  • international student
  • undocumented
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