GAO Examines GI Bill Implementation
May 6, 2011In a new report, the Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) recommends that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) take steps to provide critical program information to school officials so they can effectively administer benefits under the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. Increased collaboration with the Department of Education and the higher education community are also recommended.
The May 5 report, “Veterans’ Education Benefits: Enhanced Guidance and Collaboration Could Improve Administration of the Post-9/11 GI Bill Program,” acknowledges the considerable challenges faced by the VA in implementing the new GI Bill so quickly as well as the progress the agency has made over the last year. GAO makes a number of suggestions for improvements, such as providing more comprehensive guidance for institutions and finding a way to share information on individual veteran’s eligibility and awards with school officials, including those in the business office.
A NACUBO work group has been holding quarterly meetings with representatives from the VA’s Education Services, Finance Services, and Debt Management offices to discuss implementation issues. Bursars and others in the business office with responsibility for VA payments are encouraged to join NACUBO’s VA Processes email group to keep up-to-date and share issues and concerns with colleagues.
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