NAICU Washington Update

GI Bill Updates

January 04, 2013

Bill Calls for Additional Vet Student Consumer Information

Among the last bills considered in the waning days of the 112th Congress was the “Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2012” (H.R. 4057), approved by the House on December 30 by a vote of 392-3.

The legislation is designed to improve the information that veteran students receive about postsecondary education as they consider how to use their GI Bill benefits without imposing duplicative data collection, reporting, and administrative requirements on institutions. President Obama is expected to sign it into law soon.

The final version included several improvements added by the Senate in mid-December in response to concerns raised by the higher education community (see earlier Washington Update story). In a letter to the leadership of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, NAICU joined several other higher education associations in endorsing the Senate amendments as a result of these improvements.

Department of Veterans Affairs Issues Payment Guidance

In a December 13 letter, the Department of Veterans Affairs makes several suggestions for steps institutions might take to address delays in the payment of GI Bill benefits. The letter acknowledges that payment issues have presented “challenges” to both students and institutions, and expresses appreciation to the many institutions that have worked to mitigate the impact on veteran students.

The VA plans to hold an interactive webinar later in January to solicit ideas for improving the payment process.  Details on the webinar have not yet been released.

VA Announces Maximum Tuition/Fees Payable to Private Colleges

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that, under the post-9/11 GI Bill, the maximum tuition and fees payable to private institutions  for the 2013-14 academic year will be $19,198.31.   (For GI Bill purposes, the academic year is August 1, 2013, through July 31, 2014.)

This figure, announced December 26, represents a 6.2-percent increase over the current maximum tuition and fees payment ($18,077.50).  The maximum payment amount for private institutions is adjusted annually by the average increase in undergraduate tuition costs.  The maximum payment for students at public institutions is set to each state's  in-state resident tuition and fee charges.

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