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.


Trump Administration Appeals California Emergency Grant Ruling

Aug 19, 2020, 14:01 PM
legacy id :
Summary : Education Dept. to appeal a ruling that blocked the agency's efforts to prohibit undocumented immigrants and many other college students in California from receiving CARES Act grants.
Url :

The U.S. Education Department signaled its intention to appeal a federal injunction that blocked the agency's efforts to prohibit undocumented immigrants and many other college students in California from receiving emergency financial grants under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Earlier this year, California's community college system filed a federal lawsuit against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos alleging that she violated the constitutional principle of separation of powers when ruling only students who qualify for federal student aid eligible for the grants. DeVos's interpretation of the stimulus package excludes noncitizens and others who do not qualify for student aid, including veterans attending college on the GI Bill, borrowers who have defaulted on student loans, and others who are ineligible for regular student aid. 

In June, the department issued an interim final rule to formalize the controversial policy. That same month, a federal judge in California issued a ruling to bar the department from enforcing its restrictions. The preliminary injunctions that gives colleges and universities in the states broader latitude in doling out the CARES Act grants. A federal judge in Washington state issued a similar ruling, but left in place the ban on undocumented students receiving the grants.

In a brief notice, the department stated that it will challenge the California ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Justice Department attorneys representing the Education Department reportedly pointed to references in other parts of the coronavirus relief package to the Higher Education Act, the federal law that among other things guides federal student aid. The department argued that Congress intended for the grants to go only to students who are eligible for student aid, Inside Higher Ed reported.

The department also referenced the Washington state ruling, which granted a more limited injunction covering only students who are U.S. citizens. The judge in that case said there was a reasonable argument to be made on both sides of whether undocumented immigrants are eligible for the aid. The department said the split decision gave them confidence they would win the appeal in the California case.

Related Link

Inside Higher Ed

Michelle Mott
Categories :
  • Advocacy
  • Financial Aid and FAFSA
  • Grants and Scholarships
  • Immigration
  • Veterans and Service Members
Tags :
  • covid-19
  • default
  • education department
  • Emergency Financial Support
  • Federal Regulations
  • Federal relations
  • gi bill
  • in the courts
  • student loans
  • undocumented
Related people