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Fix to GI Bill will help veterans at private colleges in California

Military veterans who want to attend private colleges and universities in California have won an important victory that will provide them with financial aid from the federal government, officials announced Tuesday.

Because of a much-protested technicality in its wording, a new GI Bill previously would have awarded no tuition aid to those veterans. The law had pegged funding at private schools to the maximum in-state tuition at the most expensive public university in any state. But California public campuses traditionally avoid the word "tuition" and instead say they charge "fees" for in-staters.

Under an agreement between the state and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the bulk of fees in California now will be counted as tuition. As a result, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement that "California’s veterans can now access the full education benefits they have so rightfully earned through their great service to our nation."

-- Larry Gordon

Comments () | Archives (7)

I'm all for giving the veterans benefits when they have earned them, but can the gov't really afford to match tuition for private universities? Four years with room and board runs $125,000. The taxpayers are already subsidizing the public universities, then we are going to further subsidize military education benefits for those who want to go to private schools (private schools don't receive subsidies, at least not as much as public, which is why their tuition is higher).

Dear m,
The VA is only paying $287 per unit, the maximum in-state tuition rate for a state school. While it doesn't come close to paying the full tuition rate at most private schools, it is a step in the right direction to honor our vets and is comparable with other states. This will actually help California as much as the veterans since it makes it easier for them to attend our private schools rather than choose schools in other states.

Whoever in the State government (employee, elected official or appointee) that sat down with the VA and got this resolved needs to be identified by name so that the hundreds of veterans who will be able to avail themselves of this benefit can know his/her name and thank them for this help. Apparently none of the many veterans' lobbying organizations in D.C. took up this cause. Oh, and where were Senators Boxer and Feinberg when the GI Bill got passed - aren't they supposed to be looking out for us Californians?

Dear Doug,

$287 per unit is more assistance than I ever got in undergrad. Why should the taxpayer pay for a veteran to attend an expensive private university, when an already tax subsidized public one is available? There is no reason.

It's a double, even triple burden on the taxpayers. We pay for the military, we pay for public universities, then we would pay again for veterans to attend private universities?

Dear m,
This change allows veterans to receive the same amount of benefits at a private school as they would at a public school. It is based on the in-state tuition rate at public schools. It does not place any additional burden on tax payers.
Do you really have to ask why anyone would want to attend Stanford, USC, Pepperdine, etc? California has some top tier private schools that are full of heritage and academic excellence. Why not allow our vets to use their benefits at these institutions?

Very Gratefull for this bill. I have used up 20 months of the regular M.G.I. bill after being discharged from service. I have 16 months left to apply towards this new bill. I had no idea that this bill was in the workings or else I would have saved up all of my months and used them towards my current school SFSU. As a Veteran of two tours for my "country" all I want to now is get a College degree and "assimalate" into the productive pool of American people. I'm 25 I have been living at home with my parents since getting out, in a town were living wage is 15 or higher, applying for security jobs because the last one had to let me go do to the recession. My on campus liasons for V.A. benifits is short staffed and incompetent who was stonewalled due to this discrepency of fees/tution. I haven't seen a dime of this new bill YET and therefore have not been spinning in my chair with joy. Its disgruntling to know that California has shut down spring admisision for its State Schools and having it's veterans tap dance for funds they supposedly rate. If this was post WW2 I would have a house in the suburbs outside of Disney land instead of busting my head trying to figure out how I'm going to make this semseter renting a room smaller then the barracks I stayed in base while inbetween deployments to Fulljah and Ramadi. Paying taxes is tough I hear.

Thank you to the Good commited people who worked this bill out. A sincere and Humble thank you from one of your Veterans.

One last thing, I have not recieved any support from the yellow ribbon "support our Troops" bumper stickers. I guess its because Im a Veteran and not a troop anymore. Nor have I seen any from the Yellow Ribbon program that matches funds from certain schools with that of the V.A. SF state is not one of them.

California Vet,
Read here: http://www.legion.org/onlineupdate/2842/legion-salutes-california-fix-new-gi-bill

and also look up www.mygibil.org


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