In a research project called the National Veteran Education Success Tracker (NVEST), Student Veterans of America (SVA) identified the many ways student Veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill are outperforming their peers based on success rates, degree-types, and graduation.
NVEST is the only research study to review all records of Post-9/11 GI Bill students and quantify how that investment translates for America. It is a joint effort with the National Student Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) and support from VA.
In 2016, VA provided information from nearly 1 million Veterans who used the Post-9/11 GI Bill between 2009 and 2015 to the Clearinghouse who returned student-level postsecondary enrollment and degree histories for 96 percent of these Post-9/11 GI Bill students. Personal identifying information specific to institutions and individuals was removed before data were provided to SVA for analysis. This research presents the most comprehensive view of student Veterans and GI Bill success to date.
SVA’s research conclusively demonstrates that Veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill outperform their peers in higher education. They are more likely to graduate and to earn a degree in emerging fields such as science, technology, engineering and math.
Since 2009, more than 340,000 Veterans have earned over 450,000 post-secondary degrees or certificates using the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the vast majority, 90 percent, are current or prior enlisted Servicemembers. SVA projects the Post-9/11 GI Bill – at current funding levels – will generate at least 100,000 degrees every year. Furthermore, women Veterans represent 23 percent of degree-earners despite only comprising about 16 percent of the Armed Forces.
“The information from this important study highlights the fact that the GI Bill continues to be a life changing benefit for Veterans as they transition into the workforce. It shows that Veterans are not only capable, but that many of them truly excel in an academic environment,” said Curtis L. Coy, VA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity.
NVEST is a clarion call to higher education and Veterans service organizations; our focus should not be on the challenges Veterans face in college, but how and where they are succeeding and to what extent we can accelerate their success.
“These results demonstrate that student Veterans are talent hiding in plain sight on campuses nationwide. We intend to use NVEST and additional research to make the case for why post-secondary schools should be doing more to recruit these high achieving-individuals. No other organization is better placed to affect change on their behalf than SVA,” said Jared Lyon, SVA’s President and CEO.
More information about NVEST is available at nvest.studentveterans.org including the full report and factsheets.
About the author: Barrett Y. Bogue is the vice president of communications for Student Veterans of America.