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.


New Data on Disabled Veterans Eligible for Loan Forgiveness

Nov 14, 2018, 16:32 PM
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Summary : More than half of the veterans with disabilities whom the Education Dept. has identified as eligible to have their student loans canceled are already in default on their debt.
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More than half of the veterans with disabilities whom the U.S. Education Department has identified as eligible to have their student loans canceled are already in default on their debt, according to new federal data, Politico reported.

Earlier this year, the Departments of Education and Veterans Affairs announced a joint effort to notify student veterans of their eligibility for discharge of their federal student loan debt because of permanent disability. The agencies identified more than 42,000 veterans who collectively owe more than $1 billion in federal student loans but are entitled to a discharge of that debt based on their "total and permanent disability," according to data released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from veterans' organizations. However, of those veterans, well over half—25,023 borrowers—had defaulted on their student loans as of mid-April, reported Inside Higher Ed.

Six veterans' groups, including Veterans Education Success and Vietnam Veterans of America, sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Friday urging the department to automatically provide the loan discharges. "It is not fair to ask severely disabled veterans to have to complete paperwork, especially given that some catastrophic disabilities will interfere with their ability to complete the paperwork," the groups wrote.

The Republican tax law passed last year removed any federal tax liability for permanent disability discharge. However, the Education Department reiterated in its response to the FOIA request that it was still concerned about state tax liabilities that would arise from automatic loan discharge.

Related Links


Inside Higher Ed

Michelle Mott
Categories :
  • Advocacy
  • Financial Aid and FAFSA
  • Veterans and Service Members
Tags :
  • default
  • Federal relations
  • forgiveness
  • student loans
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