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 Passes, Senate Considers $1.9 Trillion COVID Relief Bill

Mar 4, 2021, 11:08 AM
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Summary : AACRAO strongly supports the package, which provides $40 billion in aid to higher education institutions and students during the pandemic and includes a provision to tighten the 90/10 rule.
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On Saturday, House Democrats approved their sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill, sending the measure to the Senate, The Washington Post reported. The legislation, President Biden's first major agenda item, passed 219-212, without any Republican support. 

The measure would provide $40 billion in aid to higher education institutions and students during the pandemic and includes a provision to tighten the 90/10 rule, which prohibits for-profit colleges from receiving more than 90 percent of their revenue from U.S. Education Department loans and grants, reported Inside Higher Ed. Currently, military and veterans' education benefits do not count toward that threshold despite being federal aid. The House-approved measure would expand the 90 percent cap on for-profit colleges' funding to include all types of federal funding, including veterans' benefits.

The Senate is now considering the legislation and will begin to vote on the package today. Senate Republicans objected to the bill's proposed changes to the 90/10 rule, reported Politico. On Monday, the Senate parliamentarian found that the provision complies with the special rules of budget reconciliation, the fast-track process Democrats are using to pass the COVID relief bill without the need to win GOP votes. The ruling clears the way for Senate Democrats to include the 90/10 rule change, however it is not yet clear whether the provision will make it in the final bill, according to Politico.

Ahead of both votes, AACRAO, along with over 50 other higher education organizations, sent letters to House and Senate leaders expressing strong support for the budget reconciliation package and urging lawmakers to pass the measure as quickly as possible. 

"We are particularly appreciative that nearly $40 billion is included in the legislation for students and institutions. While this amount falls short of our most recent estimate of at least $97 billion in student and institutional needs (and is far less than the $183 billion identified in a recent independent estimate), it represents the largest federal effort so far to address the crippling impact of the pandemic on colleges and universities," the groups stated.

Related Links

The Washington Post 

Inside Higher Ed 

Politico Pro (subscription required) 

Letter to House Leaders in Support of the COVID Relief Reconciliation Package 

Letter to Senate Leaders in Support of the COVID Relief Reconciliation Package 

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
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