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.


 
 

 
Army photograph by SSgt. Luisito Brooks

Medal of Honor recipient from Korean War laid to rest in Arlington

Army photograph by SSgt. Luisito Brooks Soldiers from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), provide ceremonial support during a full military honors burial for Pvt. Miguel A. Vera, Nov. 20, 2014, in Arlington National ...
 
 

VA to accept proposals for new scheduling system

As part of The Department of Veterans Affairs ongoing effort to improve veterans access to healthcare, the VA announced it has issued a Request for Proposal for a new Medical Appointment Scheduling System. The new MASS technology will help improve access to care for veterans by providing schedulers with state-of-the-art, management-based scheduling software. When it...
 
 

VA implements second phase of Choice Card program

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Nov. 18 that it began mailing Veterans Choice Cards on November 17 to Veterans currently waiting more than 30-days from their preferred date or the date that is medically determined by their physician for an appointment at a VA facility. VA continues to focus on implementation of this new...
 

 

VA to hold small business engagement in Atlanta next month

The Department of Veterans Affairs, in collaboration with other federal agencies and partners, will sponsor the 4th annual National Veterans Small Business Engagement, Dec. 9-11 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga. The premier event for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses, the NVSBE is expected to attract as many as 3,000 attendees offering the chance...
 
 
Navy photograph by PO3 Jon Erickson

World War II cruiser USS Houston final report completed

Navy photograph by PO3 Jon Erickson Naval officers from Australia, Indonesia and the United States participate in a wreath-laying ceremony aboard the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) in honor of the crews of the U.S. Na...
 
 
DOD photograph by PO2 Sean Hurt

Hagel says Vietnam Wall teaches sacrifice, need for questioning policies

DOD photograph by PO2 Sean Hurt Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel shakes hands with a Vietnam War veteran after a Veterans Day ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., Nov. 11, 2014. The Vietnam War Memorial t...
 




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>