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How #ForeverGIBill and STEM Can Bridge the Civilian-Military Divide 
Student Veterans of America | July 26, 2017

Written By: Adam Behrendt

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I am an undergraduate student veteran pursuing a degree in math at Stanford University. I was formerly a special-operations corpsman (medic), Navy Enlisted Classification 8403, having enlisted in October 2007, at the height of US involvement in the post-9/11 conflicts, and serving until I was medically retired in March 2015. I spent four of my seven years supporting reconnaissance operations in Southeast Asia.

I am also a volunteer for Service to School, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that works to ensure veterans draw maximum value from their educational benefits by gaining admission to the best universities possible.

The Harry W. Colmery Educational Assistance Act of 2017, part of Forever GI Bill, addresses two of the Post-9/11 GI Bill's shortcomings, removing the 15-year time limit on entitlement use and providing additional funding for veterans in STEM programs requiring in excess of the standard 128 semester credit hours to complete.

How Google's Resume Workshop Gave Me Fresh Perspective 
Student Veterans of America | July 21, 2017

Written By: Maureen Elias

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A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go to Google's office in Washington, DC, for a Veteran Resume Workshop. I have to admit, walking in was quite nostalgic. Last year, one week after the Bowie State University Student Veterans Association became a chapter of Student Veterans of America (SVA), I was in this same location, in this same room at the SVA Leadership Summit (now SVA Chapter Leadership Academy) to learn all about creating a business plan and elevating our chapter to greater heights. At that time, my leadership opportunities had been limited and I was completely intimidated and overwhelmed. Now, I was back at Google DC but for a whole other purpose. I was there as a soon to be graduate looking to shape my resume into something that will make me an exceptional candidate and help me find employment at a company that aligns with my value system and career aspirations.

#ForeverGIBill FAQ's
Student Veterans of America | July 20, 2017

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As the #ForeverGIBill continues to gain traction and move forward through Congress, we have been receiving questions and wanted to take the opportunity to bring some clarity about the bill. Below are our answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Does taking away the 15 year limit apply to all veterans?

 

The termination of the 15 year delimiting date applies to those who were discharged on or after Jan 1, 2013. While we wish this provision in the current legislation would apply to all veterans, the cost was beyond the reach of current resources. Our commitment to ensuring future generations have the best benefit possible includes removing this cap for those individuals. 

Chapter Leadership Academy to Promote Collaboration and Shared Planning
Student Veterans of America | July 17, 2017

Written By: Mr. Eric Gage, Director of Programs

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Over the past two years I have enjoyed teaching the best and brightest student veteran leaders in developing their student veteran organization thorough our Leadership Summit Series. Today, I'm more excited about what we're going to do next. Traditionally, the Leadership Summit Series was offered in-person in regional locations across the country. But, in an effort to empower a larger number of student veterans, I am very excited to continue teaching this curriculum – and more – through Student Veteran of America's Chapter Leadership Academy.

With the end of the school year approaching, many student veteran leaders struggle with building their chapter's plan for the following school year. Some chapter leaders and officers are new to their positions, and may not know exactly what they have volunteered for. Even experienced chapter leaders know the intense level of involvement necessary for proper chapter planning. As veterans, we know the key to success is training and planning. I have always enjoyed seeing the fire lit within student veterans who want to develop a student veteran organization that will leave their campus better than they found it. We're going to do that with the Chapter Leadership Academy.

How Will Congress Pay for #ForeverGIBill?
Student Veterans of America | July 17, 2017

Written By: Mr. Will Hubbard, Vice President of Government Affairs

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In receiving several questions regarding the pay-for covering HR 3218, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, also known as the #ForeverGIBill, we'd like to take the opportunity to provide some insight.

In the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Congress exempted VA from the changes to BAH. The rate was rising so quickly, that it would experience unsustainable growth over time. To manage these costs, the legislation slowed the growth rate for DoD, but not VA, creating a disparity between the active duty housing allowance and veterans housing allowance.

This legislation would bring the DoD and VA rates into alignment, also creating a slowed growth-rate for VA to mirror the current DoD rates. Importantly, this new rate was not a cut to individuals; it is simply not increasing as much as it had been. Month-to-month nobody would see less money in their housing allowance. For example, if you were receiving 1,200 for BAH one month, you would not see that amount go down to say 1,100—it would continue to rise, just not as rapidly.

  

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