VA launches college-selection tool

An online resource designed to help GI Bill-eligible veterans make informed educational decisions has been launched by the Department of Veterans Affairs. According to VA, the new GI Bill Comparison Tool  will "make it easier for veterans to calculate their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and learn more about colleges, universities and other educational and training programs across the country."

According to Steve Gonzalez, assistant director of The American Legion’s Veterans Employment & Education Division, the new online resource was largely the brainchild of the Legion and colleagues from the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The GI Bill Comparison Tool offers information on individual schools’ graduation rates, loan default rates and average student loan amounts as well as – for the first time – data about the number of students receiving education benefits at a particular school. The tool, VA says, will "enable student veterans and their families to compare education options (and) help them reach their educational goals and find a good job."

Development of the GI Bill Comparison Tool was among the government initiatives prompted by President Obama’s April, 2012, Executive Order 13607 which promotes "Principles of Excellence" and discourages predatory recruiting of student veterans and deceptive financial practices that had been reported at a handful of schools.

The online GI Bill Comparison Tool can be accessed on VA’s website.