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.


Oregon Community Colleges Sue VA Dept. over GI Bill Benefit Payments

Jul 20, 2022, 18:44 PM
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Summary : Schools sue the agency over its attempt to collect millions of dollars in GI Bill benefits that the VA says it overpaid for students enrolled in flight training programs.
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Two community colleges in Oregon are suing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) over its attempt to collect millions of dollars in GI Bill benefits that the department says it overpaid for students enrolled in flight training programs, reports The Oregonian. 

Flight programs have been scrutinized since the Los Angeles Times exposed one flight school connected with Southern Utah University for charging as much at $500,000 per student for training. Oregon schools, which have more reasonable fees according to an aviation expert, say their programs got caught up in the scandal, reported the Oregonian. 

The department asked Portland Community College for about $6 million in repayment, Central Oregon for $3.2 million, Kalmath for $1.3 million, and Lane for $275,000.

As reported in the Oregonian, Lane gave the VA its money back, but Klamath and Portland Community Colleges sued the department, asking federal judges to stop the agency's attempts to collect debt until the schools are allowed to participate in the arbitration process. Central Oregon settled a similar lawsuit with the VA.

The colleges have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in these legal battles, reports the Oregonian. Several flight schools temporarily suspended their aviation programs as they worked to get back into compliance with the VA regulations, leaving some students to delay completion of their program, or quit altogether, the Oregonian reported. 

Related Link

The Oregonian

Heather Zimar
Categories :
  • Advocacy
  • Community Colleges
  • Compliance and Reporting
  • Veterans and Service Members
Tags :
  • Debt
  • Federal Regulations
  • Federal relations
  • fraud
  • gi bill
  • in the courts
  • VA Programs
  • Veterans and service members issues
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