By: June Olsen April 11, 2012
Helping Veterans Choose the Right College
Every year, thousands of soldiers return from a tour of duty, often times from protecting a foreign land such as Iraq or Afghanistan. Bags in hand, these men and women of valor are left to fend for themselvesand cope with the culture shock of returning to a civilian lifestyle when they return. Although the Government Issue (GI) Bill provides college education to those who seek it, many are left wanting the correct mechanism for getting back the lives they lost. Recently, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee produced a bill that aimed to elucidate some of the haze. The GI Bill Consumer Awareness Act aims to help soldiers make use of the tools given them by the GI Bill, assisting them in choosing the correct field of study for what they want to achieve in life. With for-profit, cheap online colleges being scrutinized for their predatory behavior, it is important to discern the differences between worthwhile college programs today.
The GI Bill Consumer Awareness Act illuminates a few key points:
- Information availability – Our veterans should have access to the most up-to-date statistics and information to help them choose a field of study, and an institution.
- Information Dissemination – A corollary to the above, the V.A. is charged with providing access to the above information to returning veterans, making the knowledge we’ve gained available and ready to veterans in need.
- Staffing and Training – A third part to the three headed monster, this portion of the bill requires the V.A. to provide accurate and trained support staff for veterans. With this portion, the bill creates a strong backbone of support for returning veterans: people trained in the assistance of veterans in choosing a career path and field of study.
- Curbing Misleading Marketing et al – This portion the bill empowers the V.A. to seek out those who are attempting to abuse and mislead veterans; with this language, the V.A. will seek to stamp out misinformation wherever possible, making sure that the information our veterans operate on is, at once, as accurate and up-to-date as possible.
The Manual to The Rest Of Your Life
One might wonder, why is a bill such as this necessary? The answer is twofold: one, the world is a completely different place, compared to when the original GI Bill was created: we now live in a global economy, where you’re no longer competing with the man down the street for a job, but the man who lives in the neighboring country. The second, and more worrisome portion of the answer is that there are those seeking to take advantage of returning veterans; flush with benefits, many veterans are looking for a way to make ends meet, a worry-free way to pay their bills and allow them to return to civilian life. The GI Bill Consumer Awareness Act, then, works to counteract these two problems.
In no small terms, the GI Bill Consumer Awareness Act seeks to give returning veterans a roadmap for the rest of their lives: with this bill, the V.A. endeavors to help veterans choose a career path, field of study, institution, and degree, based on the most accurate and, importantly, vital statistics looking at job prospects and financial issues. The V.A. hopes to remedy some of this willful obfuscation, and show those who we owe a tremendous debt to how much we appreciate their service.