We’d like to update you on the tremendous progress implementing our piece of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (“the Choice Act”) – specifically, the provision affecting students using the Post-9/11 GI Bill® and Montgomery GI Bill.
Section 702 of the Choice Act requires VA to disapprove programs at public colleges for Post-9/11 GI Bill and MGIB benefits that don’t provide the resident-rate tuition and fee charges to covered individuals. The disapproval applies to any terms beginning after July 1, 2015. This change affects thousands of Post-9/11 GI Bill and MGIB – AD students. To remain approved for VA’s GI Bill programs, schools must charge in-state tuition and fee amounts to those covered by this law.
When we last wrote about this in May, we indicated that Secretary McDonald decided to exercise his waiver authority and grant more time for states and territories to comply.
Today we’re pleased to report that 45 states and several territories comply with the law and have begun charging covered individuals up to the resident-rate for tuition and fees at public schools.
This means that nearly 5,000 public schools, covering nearly 93% of the GI Bill student population, are participating. Now, that doesn’t mean that all of their students will qualify; the school still has to verify that someone is a covered individual. But it does demonstrate the breadth and depth of the progress we’ve made thanks to your support.
This effort took energy and support from so many people and organizations, and I’m proud of how we worked together for the greater good of the Veteran community. I especially want to thank our SAA colleagues for ensuring their respective legislative bodies or education commissions took the necessary steps to comply.
Other states have delegated the compliance decision to their respective schools …you can see which ones at the link below.
The remaining few non-compliant states and territories have until December 31, 2015, to comply, thanks to the Secretary’s waiver. All of them have indicated they intend to comply.
Our work isn’t done yet, but we are so close. We won’t stop until every state and territory complies, and we’ll continue to update you on our progress.
You can read more about the resident-rate requirements of the Choice Act by visiting our website at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/702.asp. There you can also track the latest compliance status by state, territory, and school on our map.