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.


Higher Ed Plans for Biden and Sanders Differ

Mar 11, 2020, 14:24 PM
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Summary : In the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, frontrunners propose different approaches to dealing with college affordability and other higher education policy issues.
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Inside Higher Ed reported on the higher education plans released by Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

Biden's plan will cost $750 billion, while Sanders' plan will cost $2.2 trillion.

Sanders plans to cancel the entire balance of $1.6 trillion in outstanding student debt in the United States, while Biden would instead enroll all existing and new borrowers in income-based repayment plans, reported Inside Higher Ed. Biden's plan would forgive all remaining debt for those who have made 20 years of payments, and would change the tax code so that debt forgiven through income-based repayment would not be taxed. Biden's plan would also revamp the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

Sanders would eliminate tuition and fees at four-year public colleges and universities, tribal colleges, community college, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs with a federal and state partnership program. Biden would also establish a federal and state partnership and would make up to two years of community college free for all students.

As for other student aid, Sanders' plan to eliminate tuition at four-year schools would allow federal Pell Grants to be used for books, transportation, housing, and other costs. It would also triple funding for Federal Work Study. Biden's free community college plan would be "first dollar" so student aid grants could cover other cost of attending college besides tuition. Also under Biden's plan, students at four-year colleges would have access to a new grant program that would provide support services for students, especially veterans, single parents, low-income students, students of color, and students with disabilities. Under Biden's plan, Pell Grants would increase and be available to Dreamers and formerly incarcerated students.

Sanders' plan has not included a proposal for debt relief for students deceived by for-profits, Inside Higher Ed reported. Biden's plan would require for-profits to prove their value to the Education Department in order to be eligible for aid, and would restore the Obama-era borrower defense rule.

Sanders' plan would create a federal match for states and tribes to increase academic opportunities for students, hire new faculty, and provide professional development for professors. Biden's plan includes a grant program to help community colleges increase student retention and completion as well as funding to improve their health and safety of their facilities, reported Inside Higher Ed.

Both Sanders and Biden would invest in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs); Sanders' plan call for $1.3 billion per year to reduce or eliminate tuition and fees for low-income student. Biden's plan would invest $18 billion in grants to provide two years of free tuition to low- and middle-income students at HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions as well as programs to increase retention and graduation rates. It would spend an additional $10 billion to create centers of excellence for research, reported Inside Higher Ed.

Related Link

Inside Higher Ed

Heather Zimar
Categories :
  • Advocacy
  • Community Colleges
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Financial Aid and FAFSA
  • Grants and Scholarships
  • Immigration
  • Veterans and Service Members
Tags :
  • borrower defense
  • college completion
  • Debt
  • dreamers
  • Federal Regulations
  • Federal relations
  • for-profit colleges
  • free college
  • graduation rates
  • hbcu
  • IBR
  • MSI
  • pell grant
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness program
  • Retention
  • tuition free
  • work study
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