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Department of Education to Hold Public Hearings on Higher Education Issues

On May 26, 2009, the Department of Education announced that it will hold three public hearings and related forums around the country to gather public suggestions on several higher education issues. The Department will also be conducting forums after each of the three hearings to discuss: (1) how changes to the Department’s financial aid communications and processes (including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) could improve college planning, preparation and access; and (2) how best to leverage federal postsecondary programs to foster student educational persistence and degree attainment. The dates and locations for these meetings are listed below. Continue reading “Department of Education to Hold Public Hearings on Higher Education Issues”

VA Announces Post-9/11 GI Bill Application Availability

United States Department of Veterans Affairs

Starting May 1, 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs will begin accepting applications for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.  The application form is available online.

The form requires that individuals currently eligible for another education benefit make an irrevocable election from their existing program to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Typically individuals who are eligible for more than one benefit may use a combined total of 48 months of entitlement.  Therefore, for those individuals eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) program, please be advised that if you have entitlement remaining under the MGIB, the number of months of Post-9/11 GI Bill entitlement you will be eligible for will be equal to the number of months remaining under MGIB.  However, if you exhaust all of your MGIB entitlement, then you may be entitled to a maximum of 12 additional months of entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Starting May 1, 2009 VA will begin processing applications for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and  you will receive a letter explaining VA’s decision regarding your eligibility for the program.  Payments for the Post-9/11 GI Bill will not be processed until August 1, 2009.

Click here to access the application form which includes instructions for submitting completed applications.

UW and National Education Associations Seek Pell Grant Entitlement

As the 111th Congress returns to regular session this week, the University of Washington and several higher education associations have sent letters to lawmakers in a show of support for the President’s proposal to make the Pell Grant program an entitlement. Such a move would provide annual increases equivalent to inflation (plus an additional 1%), eliminating the need for an annual debate over the program’s funding. UW’s letter was distributed to the entire Washington congressional delegation. A joint letter — from the Association of American Universities, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, American Association of State Colleges and Universitiesm, American Council on Education, and American Association of Community Colleges — was distributed to each member of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Pell Grant entitlement proposal will be debated as part of the annual appropriations process over the course of the spring, summer and early fall.

The Pell Grant entitlement would be largely paid for by savings realized from elimination of the Federal Family Education Loan Program, which is administered by financial institutions, and transition to the direct lending program for all schools. The University of Washington is already a direct lending school.