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December 27, 2011 11:25 AM G.I. Bill Problem Averted

By Daniel Luzer

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs decided to remove a policy change it had recently implemented that would have had potentially troublesome consequences for veterans in American colleges.

By the policy change the VA would have “deduct[ed] from its tuition payments to colleges any debts that student veterans owed the government from their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits,” according to a piece about the policy in Inside Higher Ed.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits provide veterans with extensive compensation after their service is complete.

Under the policy change, any money that veterans still owed the VA would simply be deducted from the amount the VA sends schools veterans attend.

This was a problem because, as the article explained, schools would then simply be shorted the money they charge students to attend. And they would have to go out and get that money directly from student veterans. It would put aid administrators “in the awkward position of becoming the government’s debt collectors from their own students.”

The VA backtracked. It explained (well, sort of) that,

System changes installed this week allowed for collection of Post-9/11 Bill debts from all education benefit payments issued to or on behalf of the student. However, because these changes had not been fully vetted, they have been withdrawn effective today.

Good to know.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer