VA Softens Stance on Last Minute GI Bill Reforms
One aspect of the Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act (HR 1383 and S. 277) that I touched on some time ago is the impact it would have on the VA’s GI Bill payment processing. If passed the fairness act would provide tuition relief for students attending private colleges that exceed the $17,500 annual tuition benefit cap.
The VA has been preparing to implement the upcoming GI Bill changes under the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Improvements Act and they are confident that they will be ready to start implementing the tuition and housing payment changes this fall. However they have been warning that any last minute changes could cause a widespread negative impact on their ability to make timely payments to schools and veterans this fall.
Last week Tom Philpott reported that the VA has softened their stance and are now saying that while they still see payment challenges ahead if the Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act becomes law this year, they no longer fear a system wide impact. The reason for the change is that the VA found that the pending legislation will impact relatively few veterans - officials estimate that less than 6000 students will need relief from the benefit cap to avoid out-of-pocket expenses.