ACHA Wellness Needs of Military Students Coalition Chair
The Government shutdown has different effects on our student populations. But how does it impact our military and veteran students on our college campuses?
Here is a link to a Veterans Field Guide to the Government Shutdown created by the Veterans Association (VA). It was last updated on October 7, 2013. As it may change daily, please continue to review the document.
Almost all branches of the military have suspended their tuition assistance (TA) programs. Students can still use TA if already approved for this semester, but most new applications will not be approved until funds are appropriated. The VA is continuing to process and issue payments for education claims, though payments to students may be slow. The VA should continue to pay until they are out of funds, and the length of the shutdown will determine how long the money will last.
Air Force (log in by Air Force Personnel required)
For those campuses that have a VetSuccess program, your representative has most likely been furloughed (effective October 8) and will remain furloughed until funds have been appropriated. Those students utilizing the GI Bill will find the hotline non-operational and the website not up to date. Vocational Rehabilitation counselors have also been furloughed, so many of our students with disability ratings are left with questions that cannot be answered.
As it is uncertain how long this government shutdown will persist, it is important that our campuses and counseling and student health clinics prepare to support our military and veteran students. Many of them rely on their GI Bill for more than tuition; it also pays for housing and food allowances. Inform your staff and learn as much as you can. Many of the Veteran Center employees that these students rely on for answers may not be available. It is up to all of us to help our military and veteran students in this time of need.