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.


Kamala Harris on Higher Ed

Aug 13, 2020, 11:20 AM
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Summary : The senator and presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee does not have an extensive record on higher education issues.
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U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee, does not have an extensive record on higher education issues, Inside Higher Ed reported. 

However, Harris is known for taking on the for-profit giant Corinthian Colleges during her tenure as California's attorney general, accusing the chain of false and predatory advertising, intentionally making misrepresentations to students, securities fraud, and unlawful use of military seals in advertisements. In 2016, she won a federal court judgement from the now-defunct Corinthian, obtaining $1.1 billion in relief for students and veterans.

As attorney general and a Democratic senator from California, Harris further advocated for debt cancellation for former Corinthian students. Additionally, she and 16 other Democratic senators recently urged congressional leaders not to allow for-profit colleges to receive coronavirus aid aimed for higher education, reported Inside Higher Ed.

During her campaign for president, Harris said she would make community college free and four-year public college debt-free. In 2017, she endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders' College for All plan, which would make public colleges and universities tuition-free to students with family income up to $125,000; make community colleges tuition-free; cut student loan interest rates in half; and triple funding for the Federal Work-Study program. She also backed a proposal by Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), which would have made room and board, books, and other college expenses free.

Senator Harris did not support broad student loan forgiveness plans during her presidential campaign, though she had a targeted loan forgiveness proposal for student borrowers who started businesses in low-income areas, reported Forbes.

In recent months, she has been a proponent of the $10,000 loan forgiveness plan pushed by many Democrats, including Biden. Harris has also called for improving the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program and is a co-sponsor of the What You Can Do For Your Country Act, S. 1203. 

Last year, Harris proposed the Basic Assistance for Students In College Act, S. 2225, alongside Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Inside Higher Ed reported. The legislation would have created a $500 million competitive grant program for institutions to fund the basic needs of students, including food, housing, transportation, child care, health care and technology.

Additionally, Harris, a graduate of Howard University, proposed $60 billion in funding to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), with $50 billion going to fund scholarships, fellowships and research grants at HBCUs and another $10 billion to build classrooms, labs, and other facilities.

Related Links

Inside Higher Ed


Michelle Mott
Categories :
  • Advocacy
  • Community Colleges
  • Financial Aid and FAFSA
  • Grants and Scholarships
  • Veterans and Service Members
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  • Debt
  • Emergency Financial Support
  • Federal relations
  • for-profit colleges
  • free college
  • hbcu
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  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness program
  • student loans
  • tuition free
  • work study
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