College Planning & Management

JUN 2012

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Page 57 of 107

Petersen Mfg. Co., Inc. Concrete & Steel Furnishings THE ACADEMIC ROAD FROM MILITARY TO MANAGEMENT BOOTS ON CAMPUS. The Post-9/11 GI Bill is the largest investment in veterans' education since World War II, covering the full cost of an undergraduate education at any public university or college in the country and many private schools for the nation's newest generation of veterans. Many U.S. colleges and universities are opening centers where veterans can fi nd help with military benefi ts, counseling, and career advice, while some schools have created special courses to help veterans transition back into civilian life. Planters Bollards Tables Benches Ash Urns Drinking Ftns. Waste Recepts. Challenges Presented by the Post-9/11 GI Bill The implementation of the Post-9/11 GI Bill created many challenges for the VA. According to a 2011 report by the RAND Corporation and the Lumina Foundation for Education on behalf of the American Council on Education, issues with the Post- 9/11 GI Bill included delayed or erroneous processing and payment of claims, which is hoped to improve as the VA modernizes its claims system infrastructure. These com- plications are attributable to the complex- ity of this version of the GI Bill compared to previous versions, such as the 1984 itera- tion known as the Montgomery GI Bill. Ac- cording to RAND's report, "Unlike benefi ts offered under the existing Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB), Post-9/11 GI Bill benefi ts vary according to the student's state and institutional location and involve payments not only to students but also to institutions. Consequently, they are more complex to administer than MGIB benefi ts." While the VA is making strides to im- 2471 Hwy 30, Denison, IA 51442 800-832-7383 prove its claims processing infrastructure, colleges and universities are also working to adapt to the changes presented by the 58 COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / JUNE 2012 Post-9/11 GI Bill. The administrative burden of monitoring GI benefi ts has caused college administrators to report a workload in- crease of 50 to 200 percent since the bill was implemented, according to the RAND study. Reasons for increased workload were cited as: (1) managing a 35 to 100 percent increase in total GI Bill enrollments, (2) familiarizing staff with new benefi t details and a new cer- tifi cation software system, (3) working with the student accounts offi ce to ensure that the institution received the correct tuition pay- ments and to troubleshoot payment errors with the VA, (4) resubmitting enrollment verifi cations to the VA each time a student added or dropped a course, and (5) assisting students in understanding their benefi t options. In order to manage the increased workload, colleges have added staff and rely on VA work-study students when possible. Some schools have also applied for grant money to fund additional veteran-related staff positions. Maximizing Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefi ts For many military students, the Post-9/11 GI Bill is the main reason for WWW.PLANNING4EDUCATION.COM PHOTO COURTESY OF MEGAN BEAN, MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY

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