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.


Veterans Renew Push to Update 90/10 Rule

Aug 28, 2019, 14:06 PM
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Summary : Veterans' groups work to address for-profit colleges' recruitment of student veterans in the forthcoming Higher Education Act reauthorization.
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A group of veterans' organizations are working to advance a long-held priority of updating the federal 90/10 rule in the forthcoming Higher Education Act reauthorization, Inside Higher Ed reported. 

The current rule caps the share of revenue for-profits can take in from federal student aid at 90 percent. The other 10 percent must come from non-federal sources as a way to ensure that schools are not overly dependent on the federal government for their operation. However, a loophole in the law excludes Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DOD) education benefits from being counted as federal funds. Numerous veterans' groups aim to close that loophole by counting those benefits toward the federal cap. 

"Absolutely, 90-10 is our top priority," said Lauren Augustine, vice president for government affairs at Student Veterans of America. "It will continue to be so until we see closure of the loophole."

The abrupt shutdown of several for-profit college chains in recent years has added to the sense of urgency for veterans' organizations. Veterans groups say an overreliance on federal aid makes colleges less stable when they face potential sanctions, reported Inside Higher Ed.

Recently, Congressional Democrats have shown serious interest in addressing the issue, introducing eight bills to modify the 90/10 rule. Some measures would count veterans' benefits toward the cap, while others propose changing the ratio to 85-15, the original ratio until 1998. Some, like the Protecting Our Students and Taxpayers (POST) Act, would do both. 

AACRAO is listed in support of the POST Act.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress have suggested eliminating the rule altogether, arguing that it does more to gauge students' ability to pay for a program than their willingness to pay.

Proponents for the rule maintain that the rule is a useful market test of the value of for-profit programs and argue that the exemption of veterans' benefits from the rule creates an incentive to target those students for enrollment.

Wesley Wilson, an army veteran and a fellow at High Ground Veterans Advocacy, told Inside Higher Ed that many veterans first enroll in for-profit colleges while they are still in active service because of both convenience and word of mouth.

Wilson attended American Military University during his service before later transferring to Fordham University. He said the real marketing to veterans begins after they leave the military.

"There's a huge target on veterans' backs," he said. "If you make us worth less money, there's less incentive to be more aggressive with your recruitment or marketing."

Related Link

Inside Higher Ed

Michelle Mott
Categories :
  • Admissions and Recruitment
  • Advocacy
  • Financial Aid and FAFSA
  • Higher Education Act
  • Veterans and Service Members
Tags :
  • 90/10 rule
  • for-profit colleges
  • VA Programs
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