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Bill would let schools directly access VA records of vets' benefit entitlements

Jul. 22, 2013 - 12:36PM   |  
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Educational institutions would have direct access to Veterans Affairs Department records of a student’s education benefits entitlements under a new House bill designed to help student veterans get better financial counseling.

The Veterans Education Transparency Act, or VET Act, is a bipartisan measure that would give public, private and for-profit schools direct access to VA records showing what GI Bill benefits an individual has available and how they can be used.

“Too often, veterans and colleges have incomplete information about their GI benefits, resulting in unexpected tuition bills for student veterans and their families,” said Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., the chief sponsor of the bill, HR 2749.

“The VET Act will fix this problem by letting colleges directly access information on veterans’ GI benefits, letting them give the best educational guidance to their students.”

Cosponsor Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, said the bill will help ensure that veterans “are not left holding the bill for an education that they earned through their service to this great nation.”

A school’s access to VA records would be provided only if the institution signs an agreement with VA to use the information only for education counseling, with steps taken to keep unauthorized people from having access. Students would be able to opt out of sharing the information.

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