Veterans

March 24, 2014

Half of vets on G.I. Bill graduate, report estimates

A little more than half of the veterans who got college money under the GI Bill since 2009 eventually graduated, though many took longer to do it, a new study estimates.

The report released March 214 estimated that 51.7 percent of student veterans earned a degree or certificate for some kind of higher education. That’s slightly lower than the graduation rate for traditional students, who generally enroll out of high school, but higher than for veterans’ non-traditional peers — those students who also tend to be older and have families and jobs.

The study was done by the Student Veterans of America, an advocacy group, with help from the Veterans Affairs Department and the National Student Clearinghouse. Experts on veteran issues say it’s the most comprehensive study to date on a sparsely researched subject — how vets are performing under a GI Bill program that has spent nearly $35 billion since 2009.

“Americans have invested substantial dollars in giving our veterans an opportunity to further their education and this report shows many positive signs that they are doing just that,” SVA president Wayne Robinson said. “The majority of student veterans accessing their GI Bill benefits are completing degrees and showing unparalleled determination to do so, despite many unique barriers.”

The Post-9/11 GI Bill went into effect in 2009 for America’s newest generation of veterans. It provides the most generous educational benefits since the original bill went into effect in 1944 for World War II troops. The benefit can be used by a veteran or a member of the immediate family — and more than a million people have used it so far. VA pays all tuition and fees for an in-state student at a public university, $1,000 annually for books and supplies, and a housing allowance generally the same as an army sergeant with dependents would get from the Defense Department. This school year the average monthly payment was $1,430.

The SVA, a nonprofit coalition of 985 student vet organizations on college and university campuses globally, entered into an agreement with the VA to create a database, which consisted of 1 million records from veteran beneficiaries who enrolled for education benefits between 2002 and 2013.

Analysis of the records showed that the majority of student veterans over those years finished a bachelor’s degree within four to six years and an associate degree within four, the SVA said. The group described the graduation rates as strong considering the extra challenges many student veterans face, such as having a service-related disability.

“They are persisting and they are graduating — so that’s really exciting to know,” SVA spokesman William Hubbard said in an interview. He said previous reports have fed a public perception that too many veterans have been dropping out of school. Though different reports have counted in different ways and direct comparisons are difficult, Hubbard said the average of 51.7 percent vet completion rate over the years studied compares to 56 percent for traditional students and 43 percent for their nontraditional peers, figures found in other research.

Vets are going for degrees that could help them get in-demand careers, the report said. The top bachelor degree fields were business, social sciences, homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting, and computer and information sciences.

About 72 percent of the student veterans who graduated did so from public universities. Another 15.5 percent attended private universities, while about 13 percent attended for-profit schools.

Google, The Kresge Foundation, Lumina Foundation and Raytheon gave SVA more than $2.2 million to support the study project.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by TSgt. Anthony Nelson

Doolittle Tokyo Raiders receive Congressional Gold Medal

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Anthony Nelson Retired Lt. Gen. John “Jack” Hudson, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force director, accepts the Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders April 15, 2...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Alex Montes

WWII veteran reunites with former aircraft

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Alex Montes Retired Lt. Col. Alston Daniels beams as he sits in the cockpit of a Douglas C-47D Skytrain for the first time since 1962 April 7, 2015, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. Daniels flew ...
 
 
Navy photograph by PO1 Katherine Hofman

DOD to disinter USS Oklahoma unaccounted for service members

Navy photograph by PO1 Katherine Hofman PO2 Rick Baty, assigned to the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band, plays Taps honoring fallen sailors of the USS Oklahoma during the National Park Service annual USS Oklahoma Memorial ceremony. This...
 

 

VA extends program for veterans with traumatic brain injury

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced April 13 the award of 20 contracts for the Assisted Living Pilot Program for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury. Originally slated to end in 2014, the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 extended this program through October 2017. We are pleased to extend this valuable program and...
 
 
Air Force photograph

Doolittle Tokyo Raiders to receive Congressional Gold Medal

Air Force photograph The USS Hornet had 16 U.S. Army Air Forces North American B-25B Mitchells on deck, ready for the Tokyo Raid on April 18, 1942. Seventy-three years ago, 80 men achieved the unimaginable when they took off fr...
 
 
Army photograph by Patrick Bloodgood

Over 27,000 burial sites to open at Arlington next year

Army photograph by Patrick Bloodgood Construction crews move dirt and prepare the ground at the Arlington National Cemetery Millennium Expansion Project, Feb. 19, 2014. The project also involves restoring an impaired stream tha...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>