Post 9/11 GI Bill New Target of Budget Cuts

tuition cap

by Levi Newman on November 2, 2011

 

In the ongoing examination of the cost of veterans benefits, focus has shifted to the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

The Veterans Affairs department has paid out $11 billion in benefits to Post 9/11 GI Bill recipients since the bill was established in 2009, a significant budge line item. The high cost of this new GI Bill, coupled with the increase in its use, has made it a clear target for lawmakers trying to save other core veterans programs, like health care for the disabled.

In an effort to cut spending, a plan has been suggested by leaders of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs committees that caps the annual increase in tuition rates at three percent. This Veterans Affairs plan, that could cut $7 billion from veterans education benefits over the next 10 years, is currently in the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. The committee is tasked with cutting $1.2 trillion in federal spending over the next ten years by November 18.

The $7 billion savings estimate is based on a concept that would allow a maximum three percent annual increase in tuition reimbursement for new students, while allowing existing students to receive a full, uncapped rate increase as long as they do not change schools. Also, the cap would apply to tuition and fees at public and private schools, but not to the living stipend.

In other words, if a student is paying tuition fees of $7,605, and that increases 7.9 percent, the GI Bill tuition pay will only cover three percent of that increase. The student would have to pay $373 out-of-pocket.

There could be ways to offset those unpaid expenses for students that qualify for other federal student aid, such as Pell Grants, or some could qualify for Yellow Ribbon Program benefits, a program funded jointly by the school and the VA that covers tuition costs not paid by the GI Bill. Students may also choose to use their living stipend, which would not be capped under the proposal, to pay the difference. Some students may not be affected at all if their school doesn’t increase rates by more than three percent a year.

Caps on benefits have been used before, and even when they start small, their effects can build over time. Staying on top of your school’s tuition rate is the only way to know if you are covered by your current GI Bill.

 

Photo thanks to Eric Fischer under creative commons license on Flickr.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Jule Westcott November 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm

I am getting really tired of vet. benefit cuts. They been doing this since I got out over 35 yrs. ago. Why isn’t the American people raising cain over this. I’ve been fighting for VA disability for 14 yrs. This yr I finally got an Atty. When is it going to stop? We vets have sacrificed and sacrificed and sacrificed and congress still keep cutting our benefits. Why should we pay for their irresponsibilty. In Alaska they quit addressing our complaints, but Alaskans keep voting in the same people in there. Americans keep voting them in. We need to throw them out. They give themselves raises every yr. What do we get, the shaft. I am darn angry about this.

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RVN Veteran Robert Doyle November 2, 2011 at 6:08 pm

We are quickly becoming the 99%, and you fools will not like what we bring to the table as we are realizing we too are now expendable after surviving wars.

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Danny Woods November 2, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Why do not these idiots cut aid to all Communist countries and places like Iran, Iraq, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.Then start in Africa if needed. LEAVE THE VETERANS BENEFITS ALONE.

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Robert D Glover November 2, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Here is an idea. I am so sick and tired of politicians cutting everyhting out of everyone elses piggy bank, why doon’t they learn to tighten there belts some. No I take that back, learn to tighten your belts A LOT! Because a politician serves one term in office, they are entitled to a full retirement and all the trimings. I just got done serving my country long enough to gain myslef a nifty military retirement paycheck. This pay check consists of 50% of my base pay. The same politician that serves 1 term in office, gets a grand total of 100% of thier paycheck, numbering the 100′s of thousands of dollars per year. i am sick and tired of these idiots screwing up this country that I helpes to protect for over 20 years. This seems to be somewhat of a scam if you ask me. What would happen if we had people in office that actually cared about this country??

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Paul November 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Same as usual congress screws up and the military and veterans pay for it, haven’t we given enough???

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Kelly gallo November 2, 2011 at 7:52 pm

I believe veterans should be first priority over dependents.

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catherene avery November 2, 2011 at 8:18 pm

this sounds fair to me. my husband and son both had to pay part of their tuition when they went back to school. in fact my son had to pay out some major money for one of his schools.

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Ray G November 4, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Slowly starting think about those OWS protestors and how much they make sense against corrupt governments and banks.

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Charles T. Cauthen November 5, 2011 at 9:15 am

The DVA is a scam, a fraud pulled on the US taxpayer. It is nothing more than a political CASH COW for politcal favors, contracts and upper management thievery. Full of lies and propaganda. They help a few to make it look good, while denying thousands of vets. I would like to see and join a protest. I’m a VN combat vet, s–t on by the VA and ready to lock and load.

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Charles T. Cauthen November 5, 2011 at 9:20 am

Alex Horton investigated the GI bill for the VA and found that the bulk of the GI Bill money was going to political investors ripping off veterans. The info is available at Mother Earth.C

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Charles T. Cauthen November 5, 2011 at 9:27 am

Sorry, That’s MOTHER JONES, not Mother Earth. Duhhh

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Scott Doyle December 1, 2011 at 6:36 am

Unfortunately for us vets, the only ones in the position to make the changes to stop cutting are benefits are the ones who are benefiting from the cuts.

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Michael Clark January 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm

I am a 20 year Vet. I have never been so disappointed in my government in my life. You have the Democrat Mafia and the Republican Mafia and all either one wants to do is have the most power, Wether it benifits the USA or not. Then there are the people that truely run the who;e big picture. We serve and invest our lives for 20 years+ and even though we are promised Health care for life the Congree says “lets make them pay for it”. We pay tri-care then they keeep raosong it. Even though the president said he wanted health care for all of America. America can not provide medical care for the career Vet. How in the world is it going to pay for the entire population of this falling country? It sure hurts to say that. I have 20 years vested in this country, how many do you have Washington. OH How about some term limets? Get out of your office and actually do something for America instead of America taking care of you.!

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