Financial spending on military personnel and veterans has had an up/down uncertainty to it of late. For example, last fall there was concern that pay increases might not go through, although ultimately they did. But there is good news coming for veterans.
One is an increase in the maximum tuition and fee amounts available to vets under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. According to the Federal Register, during the 2015-2016 academic year, the VA was allowed to pay the actual costs of tuition and fees so long as it didn’t exceed the in-state amounts for students at state public schools.
The caps on reimbursement were $21,084.89 for students training at private and foreign schools, $12,048.50 for students training at vocational flight schools, and $10,241.22 for students training at correspondence schools. Students could also get reimbursement for the costs of licensing, certification, or national tests.
However, there is an adjustment of a 4.2 percent increase authorized last fall for the academic year starting August 1, 2016 and ending in July 2017. Students at private and foreign schools will now get a maximum of $21,970.46. At vocational flight schools, the cap is $12,554.54. Students at correspondence schools can receive up to $10,671.35.
In addition, although not yet a law, Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) introduced H.R. 5178. The bill would “provide educational and vocational counseling for veterans on campuses of institutions of higher learning.” Counselors could offer assistance in space on campuses to be made available by the associated institutions of higher learning.
The lesson for veteran scholars is to keep an eye on the development of benefits so you know what is available. Sometimes the developments aren’t directly monetary but can affect educational plans. For example, it’s easier now to get college credits for training received while in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard. The more credits you can gain without additional work, the faster you may be able to get your degree.
The Yellow Ribbon Program can help students at participating institutions gain additional funds to continue their schooling without a negative impact on your GI Bill entitlement.
There are also all the state benefits that are available to veterans. These are generally over and above federal benefits and so can make your educational spending stretch further.
And then there are the refunds coming to veterans as a way to address student loan overcharges.
Checking the news to keep abreast of the latest developments is a smart investment of your time that can pay financial rewards.
American Sentinel University is proud to have been named as a “Military Friendly School” for the ninth consecutive year. This distinction puts American Sentinel in the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that do the most to embrace America’s military service members and veterans as students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success both in the classroom and after graduation. Learn more about our military friendly education programs and distance learning courses.