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.


Senate Passes Bill to Address 85-15 Policy Reset

Aug 10, 2022, 17:35 PM
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Summary : The legislation would clarify the 35 percent exemption to the 85-15 rule and restore it to its original intent.
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The U.S. Senate on Friday passed a bipartisan bill that aims to address part of the 85-15 reporting rule changes recently enacted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Higher Ed Dive reported. 

The 85-15 rule forbids students from using VA education benefits to pay for programs in which more than 85 percent of students enrolled receive GI Bill benefits or other VA aid. However, the rule exempts institutions with student populations with less than 35 percent veterans enrolled.

Under the VA's recent policy update, though, institutions must resubmit proof of their exemption and submit calculations for each of their programs. 

The Ensuring the Best Schools for Veterans Act, sponsored by Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) would make the 35 percent exemption explicit in the law, and clarify the statute's requirements. 

"No veteran should ever cut through bureaucratic red tape to access their hard-earned education benefits, and I urge my House colleagues to follow in the Senate's footsteps and pass this bill without delay," Tester said in a statement.

AACRAO and other higher education associations have been urging Congress to advance this legislative fix, expressing concern that the current rules place a significant burden on institutions.

The Senate-approved measure now moves to the House where it is expected to pass when the chamber plans to meet during the August recess to vote on the Inflation Reduction Act.

Related Link

U.S. Senator Jon Tester's Press Release 

Higher Ed Dive 

Michelle Mott
Categories :
  • Advocacy
  • Veterans and Service Members
Tags :
  • 85/15 rule
  • Federal Regulations
  • Federal relations
  • gi bill
  • tuition assistance program
  • VA Programs
  • Veterans
  • Veterans and service members issues
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