Last February, I introduced VA’s GI Bill® Comparison Tool as a new resource Veterans and their beneficiaries could use to find information online about the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The public response went beyond our expectations. Since launch the tool has received nearly 350,000 site visits and was featured by the Second Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, on NBC’s “Today Show.”
After the segment aired we had the highest traffic since the initial launch week of the tool. The response is a testament to how eager students are for helpful information about schools. This was a great step in making students informed consumers first and GI Bill users second.
I’m pleased to announce that we’re still improving the tool and there’s plenty more to come. As I wrote before:
Before this tool launched, estimating how much beneficiaries may receive under the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit was challenging. Many beneficiaries provided this feedback to our GI Bill Facebook page. The new comparison tool makes it easy to estimate Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits with just one click.
In addition, you can find and compare information on our 10,000+ approved education and training programs, including estimated tuition and fee amounts and your projected housing allowance. Also available are each school’s graduation rate, student loan default rate and Yellow Ribbon participation.
The latest version was launched August 25th and it does all I wrote above and more.
This new version prepopulates the tuition and fees from the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and provides a personalized estimate of Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition and fee, housing, and book stipend payments to the student. Thanks to these improvements, you now have an even more accurate estimate for how much your education will cost and how much the GI Bill will cover.
This version also indicates whether the school has a student Veterans group or VetSuccess on Campus program, or is an “8 Keys to Veterans’ Success” participant. It also displays a link to Yellow Ribbon Agreement information.
You can research to your heart’s content, but don’t forget, we have more improvements coming soon, including a better search capability and the ability to do a side-by-side comparison of schools.
Curtis Coy is VA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity