GI Bill Benefits
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) education benefits and the transfer of military credit to academic credit can be difficult topics to understand. Therefore, it is advisable to ensure that staff at your institution who deal with these issues thoroughly understand the roles and responsibilities of the VA and Defense Department and the American Council on Education, as well as your institution’s policies related to GI Bill benefits. This will help staff provide simple, accurate answers to veterans who may have questions. Helping these staff to understand the student veteran perspective can also create an environment that fosters a positive attitude towards working with these offices in the future.
Understanding and assisting with GI Bill questions is more important now than ever before. As of October 1, 2011, changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill added flexibility and some new benefits. For example, eligible veterans may qualify for increased payment rates, housing stipends for online-only students, book stipends, support for on-the-job apprenticeship programs, and more. With these added benefits in mind, students will be comparing schools to find the one that best meets their needs. Having a dedicated representative on staff to understand and translate these benefits for both students (potential and current) and faculty/staff will help to make your institution stand out.
No two veterans have the same careers, experiences, or military incentives. While the GI Bill is a widely recognized form of financial aid for veterans, it is important to realize there are many versions of this aid and to understand each of them. Be cognizant of the resources available to help you learn about eligibility, compare benefits, and find benefits calculators.