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.


House Education Committee Advances COVID-19 Relief Bill

Feb 11, 2021, 13:14 PM
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Summary : House Democrats' coronavirus relief package would provide an additional $40 billion in aid to institutions and students and strengthen the 90-10 rule regulating for-profit institutions.
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The U.S. House Education and Labor Committee approved, along party lines, Democrats' coronavirus relief package, which would provide an additional $40 billion in aid to institutions and students, Inside Higher Ed reported. The marathon markup session lasted over 13 hours with lawmakers considering more than 30 amendments. 

The measure is part of the broader $1.9 trillion aid package that Democrats are advancing through Congress using the budget reconciliation process, which creates a filibuster-proof path for the legislation in the Senate without the need for Republican votes. The education plan now heads to the House Budget Committee, which will package proposals from various committees into a single piece of legislation that heads to the House floor, Politico reported.

Under the committee-approved bill, colleges and universities would receive a share of the money based on a formula weighted toward their share of Pell Grant recipients and students who were in-person before the pandemic, reported Politico. Private nonprofit colleges would be fully eligible for the funds, though an earlier proposal appeared to exempt many of them. Additionally, it appears that the measure would make undocumented student eligible to receive emergency grants. 

The legislation would require most institutions to spend at least 50 percent of their funding on direct financial aid grants to students. However, it would require for-profit colleges to spend their entire allocation on direct assistance to students.

The measure largely mirrors President Biden's proposal, but House Democrats omitted a $5 billion education fund for governors and instead directs that money into higher education, according to Politico. House Democrats also included a provision that would expand restrictions on how for-profit colleges access federal funding by closing a loophole in the 90/10 rule.

The federal rule prohibits for-profit colleges from receiving more than 90 percent of their revenue from Education Department loans and grants. Currently, military and veterans' education benefits do not count toward that threshold despite being federal aid. The approved measure would expand the 90 percent cap on for-profit colleges' funding to include all types of federal funding, including veterans' benefits.

Ahead of the markup, AACRAO and other higher education associations sent a letter to House education committee leaders in support of the FY21 budget resolution's reconciliation instructions.

"The pandemic has disproportionately affected low-income students and communities of color. Substantial federal support is critical to limiting the losses experienced and to restoring opportunity to those who most need it," the groups state.

Related Links

Inside Higher Ed 

Politico Pro (subscription required) 

Letter in Support of Higher Education Emergency Relief in FY21 Budget Resolution 

Michelle Mott
Categories :
  • Advocacy
  • Financial Aid and FAFSA
  • Grants and Scholarships
  • Veterans and Service Members
Tags :
  • 90/10 rule
  • covid-19
  • education department
  • Federal relations
  • for-profit colleges
  • pell grant
  • undocumented
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