Veterans & Military Student Benefits
The largest of a variety of federal programs supporting veteran and service member education is the post-9/11 GI Bill administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Substantial education support is also made available to active-duty service members by the Department of Defense through its Tuition Assistance program.
The Yellow Ribbon program is of particular interest to independent colleges. This program expands institutional choice for veterans, and offers an excellent example of the ways in which public/private partnerships can help assure a good institutional “fit” for students. Federal incentives for private colleges to further increase the scholarships veterans receive have made it possible for independent colleges to serve thousands more veterans than otherwise would have been possible.
As expenditures on these programs continue to grow, institutions can expect to see increased scrutiny of the educational outcomes of their veteran students. Among other steps, the VA has developed a GI Bill® Comparison Tool to assist veterans in selecting a school. The tool provides a variety of information regarding an institution’s price, participation in veteran support programs, outcomes (retention, graduation, average salaries, repayment rates), acceptance of military training credit, and reported complaints.