Vet Students Encounter Benefit Funding Delays
More than 277,000 military veteran students have taken advantage of the new GI Bill that helps cover most or all of college expenses. Unfortunately, thousands of these students are being forced to take out personal loans or use their own money to cover those expenses because of delays in benefit payments.
Keith Wilson, Department of Veteran Affairs education service director, said the department has done as well as it can do, “taking into account the complexity of this bill.” On average, the VA department stated that it takes about 35 days to process GI Bill benefit claims but often stretches weeks longer. Luckily, colleges have been allowing veteran students to enroll and have been deferring tuition payments until the benefit payments come in for some.
The VA Department is in the process of developing an automatic system that will calculate the records and benefit details for individual students. Unfortunately, that system may not be in effect until next year, which still leaves thousands of students to fend for themselves. But the more students have to pay their own way, the more they find they can't afford college, dropping out or stressfully trying to find extra work.
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