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GI Bill Comparison Tool eases benefits calculation

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The Department of Veterans Affairs launched today an online GI Bill® Comparison Tool to make it easier for veterans, servicemembers and dependents to calculate their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and learn more about VA's approved colleges, universities and other education and training programs across the country.

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"We are pleased that Post-9/11 Veterans are taking advantage of this significant benefit program," said Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. "The new GI Bill Comparison Tool will help future beneficiaries as they make decisions about what education or training program best fits their needs." The GI Bill Comparison Tool provides key information about college affordability and brings together information from more than 17 different online sources and three federal agencies, including the number of students receiving VA education benefits at each school.

The GI Bill Comparison Tool is one item in a series of resources VA is launching in response to President Obama's Executive Order 13607, which directs agencies to implement and promote "Principles of Excellence" for education institutions that interact with veterans, servicemembers and their families; and to ensure beneficiaries have the information they need to make educated choices about VA education benefits and approved programs. Recently, VA also instituted a GI Bill online complaint system, designed to collect feedback from veterans, service members and their families who are experiencing problems with educational institutions receiving funding from federal military and veterans educational benefits programs, including benefits programs provided by the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the DOD Military Tuition Assistance Program.

The executive order, signed April 27, 2012, directs federal agencies to provide meaningful cost and quality information on schools, prevent deceptive recruiting practices and provide high-quality academic and student support services. VA works closely with partner institutions to ensure the needs of GI Bill beneficiaries are met.

More than 5,000 education institutions have agreed to the Principles of Excellence. The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a comprehensive education benefit created by Congress in 2008. In general, veterans and servicemembers who have served on active duty for 90 or more days since Sept. 10, 2001 are eligible. Since 2009, VA has distributed over $30 billion in the form of tuition and other education-related payments to more than one million veterans, servicemembers and their families, and to the universities, colleges and trade schools they attend.

As always please see your local County Veterans Service Officer if you have any questions. You can contact your local VSO at (218) 631-7617 or by email at david.anderson@co.wadena.mn.us and as always have a great week.

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