The number of veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill slowed in fiscal year 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As reported by the Military Times, this marks the first time the popular benefit failed to increase its base by tens or hundreds of thousands of users over the prior year.
In 2015, there were 790,507 Post-9/11 GI Bill students—about 100 more students than the 790,408 in 2014. The VA noted in the Military Times, however, that the recent totals are calculated differently than in the past when students who changed institutions mid-year might have been counted twice. A comparison of the new data with past counts, without adjusting for duplications, would show a 36,000-student drop in Post-9/11 GI Bill users from fiscal year 2014 to 2015.
In addition, the Military Times analysis found that active-duty service members using military tuition assistance (TA) fell by 2.7 percent from fiscal year 2014 to 2015. In 2015, the total was 290,100, down from 298,100 in 2014, and 355,000 in 2013.
The VA was unable to attribute a reason for the declines. A spokesperson for the Department of Defense attributed the drops to automatic spending cuts by Congress as well was new rules and restrictions on who can use TA and when, reported the Military Times.
The Military Times annual analysis also found that military students at for-profit universities are passing classes at higher rates.
The Military Times