The Department of Veterans Affairs is scheduled to remove a GI Bill rule, possibly costing veterans thousands of dollars because of it. Congress is poised to act if the VA doesn’t decide otherwise before a coming deadline, Military.com reported.
The “rounding out” rule will be phased out Aug. 1, according to the VA. Under the rule, a GI Bill student can round out their college schedule with non-required classes to make their course load full-time once per program, allowing students to continue to receive full-time benefits.
Legislative intervention may be required if the rule is indeed phased out come August.
“Either the VA will need to make a decision before then, or Congress will have to fast-track legislation so as not to impact students in the fall semester,” Military.com reported.
“Hopefully, that won’t be necessary, but we’ll look at whatever alternatives there are,” said Rep. Mike Levin, D-Calif., who chairs the VA committee subpanel on economic opportunity. “I hope it will be as simple as reversing the decision. I hope Secretary McDonough reconsiders what the past administration decided to do.”
Dropping a class from a schedule could severely harm a GI Bill student’s income, costing them thousands of dollars in a semester.
“That full-time status ensures their housing allowance remains steady, consequently helping them complete their post-secondary education,” said Tanya Ang, vice president of advocacy group Veterans Education Success. “VA has been able to adequately address this situation for years, so it only makes sense they continue to do so without the intervention of Congress.”