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GAO Publishes Report on VA Education Benefits Management

by Kirk R Contributor

Today in my Google Alerts, I got an interesting alert. It’s for a report published by the Gov’t Accounting Office (GAO) and their findings of the VA’s administration of Education Benefits. Veteran education benefits came to the forefront of the media in the past couple of months, so the GAO publishing this report is very timely indeed.

The GAO found (pretty much things we already know):

  • Student veterans face many challenges pursuing higher education
  • The VA’s administration of the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits creates financial challenges that impact academic success
  • Veteran’s academic success is already challenged by the transition from servicemember to student while adjusting to civilian life (and possibly managing disabilities)
  • The VA provides limited information about benefit processing timelines and payment policies prior to enrollment
  • The VA also provides limited direct support to veterans on campus

The GAO, while finding lots of faults with the administration of the benefits, also offers recommended solutions:

  • Provide vets with more information on payment timelines and policies
  • Working with schools to facilitate earlier access to other sources of financial aid
  • Promote opportunities to share best practices for serving veteran students
  • Create a plan to new data on student veteran outcomes to improve the management of benefits

No timelines were recommended, so no guarantee that the recommendations will even be put into place and that we’ll see sweeping changes to the way the VA handles the administration of Veteran Education Benefits. To read the full report, click over to the GAO’s website.


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