Three years ago this month, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched Joining Forces, a national initiative to support America’s service members and military families – before, during and after deployment.
One of the best ways we can support those who serve is by providing them with tools and resources to help them pursue an education or find a good-paying job. We know that veterans make some of the very best students and employees; they bring the same determination and focus to their studies and their jobs that they brought to serving our country.
As more than one million service members transition back to civilian life over the next five years, many of them will pursue their education by using the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits they have earned.
That’s why resources like the VA’s GI Bill® Comparison Tool are so important. Veterans, service members, survivors, and eligible dependents can quickly and easily calculate their GI Bill benefits at more than 10,000 approved schools and job training programs.
In just a few clicks, service members can estimate tuition and fees, housing allowance and book stipends for each school. The Comparison Tool also provides important information on GI Bill beneficiary enrollment numbers, graduation rates, loan default rates, median borrowing levels, and whether or not the school participates in the Yellow Ribbon program or adheres to the Principles of Excellence.
By putting all of this information together in one place, the Comparison Tool lets beneficiaries compare their options and make a decision that’s best for their educational goals and their future.
To ensure that the institutions that are educating our veterans and military families are held to the highest standards of excellence, the VA has also launched a GI Bill® Feedback System. This online system allows GI Bill beneficiaries to report any negative experiences with educational institutions that participate in federal military and veterans educational benefits programs.
Additionally, GI Bill beneficiaries can go here to learn more about the types of questions they should consider before enrolling in schools.
These tools are just one more way the Obama Administration has stepped up to help our military, veterans and their families.
Tell us how you are serving our service members, veterans, and military families on social media by using #JoiningForces.
Sarah Baker is Policy Director to Dr. Jill Biden.