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SVA, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Student Clearinghouse, launched the Million Records Project last year. The historic research initiative will provide near real-time data that policymakers, service providers, institutions of higher learning, and the general public can act on to support student veterans.
On Monday, March 24, 2014, SVA released the first phase of a series of findings to be published over the next 12 months. Initial findings include the rate at which student veterans complete college compared with traditional students; how long it takes them to complete higher education; the highest degree attained; and their degree fields.
Since its founding in 2008, Student Veterans of America (SVA) has advocated for the rights of veterans in higher education, played a central role in drafting the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and crafted legislation to secure in-state tuition for veterans nationwide. This advocacy has been rooted in the belief that investing in America’s veterans is smart for the country as a whole.
This ongoing effort to study the academic outcomes and progress of student veterans is the first of its kind and will enable service providers, policymakers, institutions of higher education, and government agencies to make data-driven decisions about how best to support veterans in higher education.
The Million Records Project is a public-private partnership led by SVA in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Student Clearinghouse.
In 2013, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provided a random sample of approximately 1 million student veteran records based on their initial use of the Montgomery and Post-9/11 GI bills from 2002 to 2010. The National Student Clearinghouse, which tracks graduation rates for 97 percent of all postsecondary students in the country, matched the VA data file with its DegreeTracker™ system. Information specific to the school and individuals was removed before it was provided to SVA.
The first phase of the Million Records Project, to be made public March 24, provides an unprecedented look at student veterans’ rate of completion, time-to-completion, highest degree attained, and their degree fields. It will allow comparisons among schools and with a national average. In the second phase, SVA will delve deeper into student veteran outcomes to determine which policies, practices, and services are linked with student veteran success on campus and in the workforce. This will be done in conjunction with research partners including the Institute for Veterans and Military Families.
The Million Records Project is made possible through support from Google, The Kresge Foundation, and Lumina Foundation.
About the GI Bill
Passed in 2008, the Post-9/11 GI Bill aims to meet the needs of today’s student veterans and build the foundation for America’s next generation of great leaders. The Post-9/11 GI Bill increased federal tuition support for student veterans and added support for non-tuition expenses to reflect the increased costs of higher education and the unique financial challenges of nontraditional students. Benefits now include full tuition at public, in-state institutions; significant tuition support for private institutions; a housing allowance at local market rates; a stipend for textbooks; and the ability to transfer education benefits to dependents.
Since 2001, more than 5 million veterans have used the education benefits through the Post-9/11 and Montgomery GI Bills. Many of these individuals would not have had access to education without this benefit.
Student Veterans of America released the initial findings of the Million Records Project on March 24, 2014. Access data and findings by following the links below
Watch the video below to learn about the initiative.