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.




Student veterans: An untapped asset on campus and at work

Oct 15, 2018, 14:28 PM
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Summary : Address this often-overlooked group and set the stage for success with other nontraditional populations.
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Student veterans tend to be overlooked by college recruitment strategies, according to representatives from Student Veterans of America (SVA).

“According to recent surveys, educators and even veterans themselves have the perception that veterans don’t do well in post-service life, don’t do well in careers and don’t pursue degrees,” said James Schmeling, Executive Vice President of SVA. “That perception is wrong.”

Dispelling myths
“Veterans are an untapped, vital resource for colleges,” said Dr. Chris Cate, Vice President of Research at SVA. “Their military service and background makes them persistent and resilient, and also makes them eligible for funding and VA benefits that are not available to civilians.”

According to data reported by the SVA, on average, veterans not only pursue degrees at higher rates, but they earn higher incomes than civilians. For example, veterans with bachelor’s degrees tend to outearn their civilian peers by $17,000 a year, and veterans with advanced degrees tend to outearn their civilian counterparts by more than $29,000 a year. Additionally, veterans from certain marginalized populations, including women, African Americans, and Latinos/as, all attain degrees at higher rates than their civilian counterparts.

“The most comparable student population to veterans is international students,” said Schmeling. Both groups include about one million students -- over $14 billion in tuition revenue -- and tend to pursue similar degrees, he noted. Furthermore, both international and veteran populations average higher graduation rates and higher GPAs (3.35 veterans, 3.4 international) than traditional student populations (2.94).

“When you compare spending on international student recruitment, services and programs to veterans’ programs, it’s pretty clear that most institutions are investing differently,” Schmeling said. “We think that’s primarily because decision-makers in higher education have no idea how well veterans perform.”

Serving veterans sets the stage for success with other nontraditional students
As anyone who works in higher education knows, the demographics of incoming students are changing. The ‘traditional,’ straight-out-of-high school student is fast being replaced by non-traditional students: adults, transfers, and first-generation students are moving into the majority. These students have different needs and expectations than 18-year-old freshmen. They may have jobs and families to support. That’s also likely with student veterans.

“So if you get it right with student veterans, you’ll probably set the stage for success with other nontraditional students,” Schmeling said.

To better understand this overlooked population and learn what you can do to recruit and serve student veterans, check out SVA’s session at the 2018 AACRAO SEM Conference, November 11-14, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

Categories :
  • Enrollment Management
  • Meetings, Workshops, and Trainings
  • SEM Conference
  • Veterans and Service Members
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