As the nation prepares to observe Veterans Day, the American Council on Education (ACE) today launched TodaysGIBill.org, a comprehensive college guidance web site to provide information and inspire veterans to enroll and succeed in higher education.
Created with the support of Lumina Foundation for Education, TodaysGIBill.org is designed for returning and about-to-return veterans interested in going to college, as well as family members and dependents receiving transferable benefits.
The passage of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 greatly increased benefits available to veterans. However, research indicates that despite the generosity of the new benefit, obstacles still remain for veterans considering postsecondary education, including juggling family and work responsibilities, transitioning to life after military service, adjusting to classroom life, and accessing and using benefits.
In order to increase the number of veterans enrolling in and completing a college education, TodaysGIBill.org provides detailed information that will help demystify the college selection, admissions and financing processes. The site offers guidance on college preparation, transferability of credits, institution and program choice, application timelines and benefit eligibility.
"More than 2 million service men and women have earned Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, which they can use at more than 4,000 accredited, degree-granting institutions nationwide. TodaysGIBill.org provides clear, concise information that we hope will ease the transition from soldier to student," said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad.
"The development of human capital is a cornerstone of today's economic vitality," added Jamie P. Merisotis, president and chief executive officer of Lumina Foundation for Education. "Veterans are an exceptionally well-prepared and often unrecognized group that can help meet the need for millions more Americans with high quality postsecondary degrees and credentials. This important web site will provide veterans with the critical information and resources they need to succeed."
"Our focus group and survey research has shown that after leaving the military, it can be challenging for veterans to find reliable, one-stop sources of information about all of their education options. TodaysGIBill.org will help them make the most of their benefits, identify 'veteran friendly' campuses, and find the college or university that fits them best," said James Selbe, ACE assistant vice president for lifelong learning.
The site highlights success stories of current student veterans who are pursuing a college education. "It was important to me to make sure that my military service only postponed my time in college, not gave it away," said Matt Randle, an Army veteran and student at the University of Arizona who is featured on TodaysGIBill.org. "There was a maze of paperwork and bureaucracy to tackle, but without my GI Bill benefits, I wouldn't be enrolled in college, enjoying the experience and investing in myself."
To reach veterans who are seeking information about their benefits and their education options, ACE is engaging a wide range of veteran-service organizations, military-focused publications and social media outlets like Twitter (www.twitter.com/todaysgibill).
TodaysGIBill.org is part of ACE's Serving Those Who Serve: Higher Education and America's Veterans , a broad-based initiative designed to promote access to and success in higher education for more than 2 million service members and their families who are eligible for newly expanded benefits under the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. Resources available include information on campus best practices, a Q&A document on provisions of the new GI Bill, and an issue brief on the challenges veterans face when transitioning to campus.
Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.
Lumina Foundation for Education is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college - especially low-income students, students of color, first-generation students and adult learners. Our goal is to increase the percentage of Americans who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina pursues this goal in three ways: by identifying and supporting effective practice, through public policy advocacy, and by using our communications and convening power to build public will for change.
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