Military Advantage

President Signs GI Bill Fairness Act

GI Bill Legislative Update: President Obama signed the Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011 (HR 1383), on August 3, 20011, protecting veterans -- those who have been enrolled in the same non-public institution of higher learning since January 4, 2011 -- from the reduction of tuition coverage that went into effect on August 1 with the "GI Bill 2.0" $17,500 private school cap, which actually only affects seven states.

This new law will guarantee that tuition and fee benefits will remain unchanged through July 31, 2014, for veterans attending private schools in Michigan, New Hampshire, Arizona, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas.

Note: The impact of the legislation is felt in only these seven states because Michigan, New Hampshire, Arizona, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas had tuition rates cap which exceeded the new $17,500 annual tuition and fee cap. Veterans in other states were not in danger of loosing tuition benefits because their previous in-state tuition limits were already below the $17,500 cap.

The cost of this temporarily protection will be covered by adjusting the VA's Loan Guaranty Fee for "certain subsequent loans" which were planned to change in October. The Current funding fee for subsequent users is 3.3 percent. This rate was scheduled to drop by about a percent this fall. The planned fee reduction will be partially offset until October 12, 2012.

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