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. to Forgive Loans of Disabled Veterans, But More Relief is Sought

Feb 5, 2020, 15:59 PM
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Summary : The Trump administration plans to forgive loans for disabled U.S. military veterans, but consumer groups say debt should be discharged for all who are too disabled to work.
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This July, the U.S. Education Department plans to forgive hundreds of millions of dollars in outstanding loan debt for roughly 25,000 disabled veterans, reports Inside Higher Ed. However, consumer and veterans' groups are seeking more relief.

Due to an executive order by President Trump, 25,000 borrowers will have their loans automatically discharged in July, without having to submit an application—previously a hurdle for veterans who might not know about the program or, due to their injury, not be capable of doing so.

However, some also want the agency to forgive the student loans of nearly 400,000 other borrowers who are also too disabled to work but do not qualify for the relief because they either are not veterans or because their injuries were not service related, Inside Higher Ed reported.

"We are disappointed that the interim final regulations only extend the automatic discharge system to a small subset of [disabled] borrowers," stated the National Consumer Law Center and two other consumer groups. "Like veterans, many Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients who qualify for loan cancellation are simply unaware of the discharge program. According to the NPR report, only one-third of matched eligible borrowers had even applied for loan discharge."

A department spokesperson declined to comment on the article, Inside Higher Ed reported.  

Related Link

Inside Higher Ed

Heather Zimar
Categories :
  • Advocacy
  • Financial Aid and FAFSA
  • Veterans and Service Members
Tags :
  • Debt
  • Disabled
  • education department
  • Federal relations
  • loan forgiveness
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