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.


Military Draft Question on FAFSA Causes Stir

Jan 8, 2020, 16:25 PM
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Summary : Students who recently completed the FAFSA form took to social media over the weekend, concerned over a potential draft after the drone strike killing Iranian military leader.
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The Selective Service question on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) caused a stir on social media over the weekend, with students concerned over a potential draft after the drone strike killing Iranian military leader Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, MarketWatch reported. 

Students who recently completed the FAFSA form worried—incorrectly—that filling out the form had made them eligible to be drafted into the military. With a few exceptions, males in the U.S. must register with the Selective Service between the ages of 18 and 25 regardless of whether they complete the FAFSA. Those who do not register, however, are ineligible for federal student aid. Question No. 22 on the FAFSA—which female applicants are directed to skip—does ask males ages 18-25 if they are registered in the Selective Service System, and prompts them to register over the internet, reported MarketWatch.

The Selective Service said on its official Twitter account Friday morning that its website was experiencing high traffic volume "due to the spread of misinformation."

The U.S. Education Department verifies that every male student who fills out the FAFSA has also registered for Selective Service. If the student was legally required to register for Selective Service but never did it, their school will be notified and federal funds will not be released, Karen McCarthy, the director of policy analysis for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), told MarketWatch. 

There are cases in which schools can decide to release funds even if the student did not register for Selective Service, McCarthy noted. But schools are only allowed to do that if the student can prove they did not knowingly break the law by not registering.

NASFAA has long advocated against tying federal student aid to Selective Service status, McCarthy said. The group has also lobbied against a question on the FAFSA about whether the applicant has had any drug-related criminal convictions. Both questions have nothing to do with whether a student is eligible for federal student aid, McCarthy added.

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Michelle Mott
Categories :
  • Advocacy
  • Financial Aid and FAFSA
  • Veterans and Service Members
Tags :
  • Criminal
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