NAICU Washington Update

Veterans Realizing Success in Higher Education

May 19, 2014

Representatives on the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs explored the effectiveness of initiatives focused on promoting educational attainment among veterans. During the May 8 hearing, “Defining and Improving Success for Student Veterans,” witnesses offered a positive assessment of the effectiveness of the post-9/11 GI Bill and highlighted existing efforts to provide educational supports and resources for veterans.

Several witnesses mentioned the findings of the “Million Records Project,” initiated by the Student Veterans of America in cooperation with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. That report found that nearly 80 percent of student veterans attend public institutions, with the remaining 20 percent split just about evenly between private, non-profit and proprietary schools. According to the report, a majority of post-9/11 veterans using the GI Bill complete their higher education. Veterans who began their education at private, non-profit institutions posted the highest graduation rate of nearly 64 percent. (This figure includes students who transferred and later graduated from a public or for-profit institution.)

The Veteran Affairs Department Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity Curtis L. Coy described the Department’s activities in implementing the “Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2012” (Public Law 112-249) and the “Principles of Excellence” Executive Order issued in April 2012. Mr. Coy reported that approximately 106,000 users have accessed the GI Comparison Tool. Students have filed 1,400 complaints, with complaints being evenly divided between payment and educational issues. The VA has initiated 25 risk-based reviews stemming from receipt of these complaints.

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