Veterans' Education Benefits Held Up
Ohio’s leaders are urging colleges throughout Ohio to be lenient with students who are relying on veteran’s benefits to pay the bills. In an interview with Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles, Kim Norris with the Ohio Board of Regents explains there are problems with processing payments for some veterans.
Norris – The US Dept of Veteran Affiairs has encountered a problem when they were transferring electronic records between their regional offices which caused them to lose a number of eligibity certifications for student veterans in Ohio and West Virginina. So the Chancellor, working with the OH Dept of Veterans Services here in Ohio, sent a letter to university presidents, private, public, not for profit universities here in the state, asking them to be flexible as possible. We want these students to stay in school. The last thing these students need is to have a problem trying to enroll or for some reason not enroll. We don’t want that to happen.
Ingles – Are there schools that are not allowing these students to enroll because of the paperwork issue?
Norris – Well the deadlines for tuition and certainly housing is already underway or right around the corner for many students. So some of this would be giving them the ability to pay for housing that might be off campus for example. So we want to make sure universities are well aware this is happening. I know one of our university presidents was in contact with the v.a. and they said it could be weeks or months before these individuals receive their benefits. They were trying to work out a stop gap measure for students.
Ingles – How many students are affected by this?
Norris – We don’t know yet. I know we can give you anecdotaly the majority of Bowling Green student veterans will not receive their housing allowance or stipends for books for example. So we don’t know. This program is offered through the U.S. Dept of Veteran Affairs so we are anxious to let those students know to contact the university now and (get to the bottom of this. 2:17)
Kim Norris is a spokeswoman for Ohio Chancellor Jim Petro. She was speaking to Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles.