Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act - Forever GI Bill was signed into law
See our web page for more information.
GI Bill Comparison Tool
The GI Bill comparison tool provides key information about college affordability and value so beneficiaries can choose the best education program for their needs.
Compare VA-approved institutions and review other information to choose the educational program that works best for you.
You served with honor and you’re ready to further your education and skills. If you qualify, apply for VA education and training benefits online, in person, or request an application over the phone.
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April 5, 2018 3:05 PM
As part of the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, also known as the “Forever GI Bill (FGIB),” Section 107 of the law requires VA to calculate monthly housing payments based on the location of the campus where a student attends the majority of their classes. If you are a student Veteran, please keep in mind your campus’s zip code may affect your payment amount. A “campus” may include internships, externships, training, practicums, etc. VA is working with your School Certifying Officials to implement this change and ensure you receive your monthly housing payment. Students can expect to see changes in their monthly housing allowance after August 1, 2018.
March 15, 2018 5:00 PM
From March 15 to May 15, 2018, we are accepting new Yellow Ribbon Program agreements, modifications to existing open-ended agreements, or agreements to withdraw from participation. See our Yellow Ribbon Program Schools’ web page for instructions and forms.
March 13, 2018 4:00 PM
The transcript of the March 14, 2018 Education Service Webinar is now available.
February 26, 2018 11:45 AM
Catch the video here - Colmery Act FB Live Video.
February 13, 2018 3:40 PM
Find out if the Colmery Act (also known as the Forever GI Bill) impacts you by joining us for the #ExploreVA Facebook Live event with National Military Family Association.
February 7, 2018 11:15 AM
The Pat Tillman Foundation is pleased to announce the opening of the annual application process for the Tillman Scholars program for eligible active duty service members, veterans and military spouses. The application to join the 2018 Class of Tillman Scholars will remain open until Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. PT. For specific details on eligibility and to apply online, please visit: http://pattillmanfoundation.org/apply
January 31, 2018 1:10 PM
Ashford’s online programs are not fully compliant with GI Bill approval requirements; namely, its online programs must be approved by the state in which its main campus is located. The evidence available to VA strongly indicates that Ashford’s main campus is in California, but Ashford has not yet obtained approval from California as is required by law. Consequently, on November 9, 2017, VA notified Ashford that they must take steps to correct this problem, or VA will no longer be able to legally pay you benefits based on attending Ashford. However, as part of a plan to resolve the situation, we informed you that VA would continue to make payments to students attending Ashford until January 9, 2018, to give Ashford additional time to seek compliance with GI Bill approval requirements under the law. Also, as part of this same plan, Ashford agreed to apply to California by January 8, 2018, for approval of its online courses. I am pleased to report that Ashford applied to California on January 5, 2018. Therefore, at this point in time, VA will continue to pay benefits as long as Ashford continues to make a good faith effort to seek approval in California. It is important to understand that if at any time VA determines that Ashford is no longer making a good faith effort to gain approval in California, VA may be forced to stop making benefit payments. As VA has always maintained, approval by California would resolve VA’s concerns and allow uninterrupted benefits for students attending Ashford.
Our aim in taking this action is to protect your GI Bill benefits and to comply with the law, but we understand that this decision may cause disruption and hardship to students using their GI Bill benefits at Ashford. We have not taken corrective action against Ashford lightly, and are committed to help you avoid or mitigate any negative consequences that may result. Our online GI Bill Comparison Tool (https://www.vets.gov/gi-bill-comparison-tool) is an ideal tool to help you review and evaluate alternatives to Ashford. Furthermore, we will continue to notify you of any updates during this process, and our Education Call Center is standing-by to answer any questions you may have and can be reached at 1-888-442-4551 (Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. CST).
December 11, 2017 10:50 AM
The updated transcript of the November 29, 2017 Education Service Webinar is now available including answers to unanswered questions asked during the Webinar.
November 29, 2017 2:05 PM
The transcript of the November 29, 2017 Education Service Webinar is now available.
November 27, 2017 1:33 PM
The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2017, commonly referred to as the “Forever GI Bill,” was signed into law on August 16, 2017. It made several changes to GI Bill benefits, one of which was an extension of the time limit to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill. See more information on the Colmery Act and search “Elimination of 15-year Limitation to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill Program.”
November 15, 2017 12:05 PM
November 8, 2017 12:10 PM
The updated transcript of the September 27, 2017 Education Service Webinar is now available including answers to unanswered questions asked during the Webinar.
November 6, 2017 10:20 AM
See our latest communication on the Colmery Act and what is available to you right now.
October 24, 2017 12:25 PM
With hurricane season in full swing we want to remind you of our guidance for students affected.
We have created an FAQ specfically for this purpose.
October 2, 2017 2:45 PM
The transcript of the September 27, 2017 Education Service Webinar is now available. We will be answering some of the unanswered questions and including them in an updated version of the presentation.
September 6, 2017 11:45 AM
If your school is, or was, temporarily closed due to a hurricane, VA will consider your attendance as continuous and your payment will not be affected.
Beneficiaries Using Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill) or Chapter 35 (Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program)
As long as the enrollment was submitted prior to the incident, no further action is necessary to receive continued payment. If you started class before the incident occurred, no further action is necessary to receive continued payment. The continuation of benefits during a temporary school closure may continue for up to four weeks or until the end of the term, whichever is sooner.
Beneficiaries Using Chapter 30 or 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill) or Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)
Should continue to verify their attendance until further notice as if the school did not close, doing this will ensure that payment is not affected. Students may verify their attendance, using the WAVE website or by calling 1-877-VACERT.
Please contact our Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 (Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. CST) for any questions about your GI Bill benefits. If you’re unable to contact us by phone you can send us a secure inquiry at Right Now Web and place “Hurricane” in the subject line.
Please note: If the school remains open, but the student is unable to attend (i.e., if the student has to relocate as a result of the natural disaster), VA is unable to continue payment to a student. When the student is no longer pursuing classes, the school must report the termination to VA as soon as possible.
August 23, 2017 1:20 PM
"VONAPP"our online education benefit application is officially retired. VONAPP was a fillable online VA form. We now have a user interface that guides you through the application process, much like tax preparation software does.
Ready to apply? Click here to get started.
August 21, 2017 10:35 AM
The third quarter School Certifying Official Webinar will be September 27. A link will be sent to the participants prior to the event.
August 17, 2017 3:30 PM
The President signed into law the “Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act,” also known as the “Forever GI Bill,” which will bring significant changes to Veterans' education benefits.
The law is named after the American Legion national commander who wrote the original GI Bill language in 1944, and will allow more of you to use the GI Bill and more time to use it. For more information, check out the GI Bill Facebook, navigate to our webpage, or and read the Forever GI Bill law on Congress.gov, here.
August 16, 2017 9:30 AM
BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): You can continue to attend Ashford beyond August 16th.
Quick recap on the background: Based on changes to Ashford’s resident programs last year, Iowa’s SAA, the agency that previously approved Ashford online programs for VA benefits, found Ashford not in compliance with GI Bill approval criteria. This resulted in a court case in which the court, on July 17, 2017, dismissed Ashford’s petition to remain eligible for GI Bill participation.
On August 1, 2017, Ashford filed a motion for reconsideration of the July 17th ruling with the IA District Court.
What does this mean for you?
VA would not be able to pay benefits after Aug 16, 2017 unless Ashford took additional legal action. Ashford’s motion for reconsideration will delay the Aug 16th cutoff date. This means that if you are enrolled in classes at Ashford, you will continue to receive benefits for classes starting beyond Aug 16, 2017 while the Court considers Ashford’s motion. As further developments occur regarding this litigation, we will keep you updated.
I understand you may be frustrated with the back and forth of all of this. Our intent is to ensure you are informed as all of this proceeds. Your decision to continue at Ashford or to change schools is a personal one. We are committed to updating you on each development not to add to your frustration or angst, but to give you the latest information to make the decisions you need to make to pursue your educational goals.
Please take advantage of the resources you have available to make your best decision, including:
- Several of our Veterans Service Organization partners and Veteran community advocates can help with your decisions, answer questions, and have financial programs that can help; among them are Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Student Veterans of America, and Veterans Education Success.
- Our online GI Bill Comparison Tool can help you review and evaluate alternatives to Ashford and our Education Call Center is available at 1-888-442-4551 (Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. CST) for questions about your benefits and remaining entitlement. You may also securely email questions here.
I will continue to stay in touch with any changes so you have the latest information on which to make your educational choices. Please feel free to send this to other Ashford students you may know in case we missed them.
July 20, 2017 4:10 PM
Ashford University has been involved in an ongoing court case regarding its GI Bill approval with the Iowa State Approving Agency. A recent ruling from the Iowa District Court dismissed Ashford’s petition and affirmed the withdrawal of Ashford University’s online programs from GI Bill approval by the Iowa State Approving Agency. This means that classes offered by Ashford University can no longer be qualified for VA education benefits. This ruling will become final on August 16, 2017 unless Ashford University appeals the decision and the court delays implementation.
What does this mean for your GI Bill benefits?
If you are enrolled in classes at Ashford you will continue to receive benefits through the end of any class beginning on or before August 16, 2017. After that you will no longer receive GI Bill benefits, including the monthly housing allowance, for any classes at Ashford University unless Ashford University appeals and a court delays implementation of the current decision. Even if your enrollment for a class starting after August 16th was already submitted to VA, VA will not be able to pay for it. This includes payments under any GI Bill benefit program including the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program.
VA does not have the legal authority to restore any GI Bill benefits you have used to attend Ashford University, even if you are not finished with your program. However, you are free to pursue your education goals at another approved school or training facility.
What resources are available to you today?
Our GI Bill Comparison Tool can help you review and compare alternatives to Ashford University if you wish to continue your education goals at another institution. If you do, remember that you must transfer to a school approved for the GI Bill to continue receiving VA education benefits, including the monthly housing allowance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Here are a few more resources:
- You can view our previous emails sent over the past year.
- You may qualify for an emergency grant through the Veterans of Foreign Wars Unmet Needs program to assist with interim living expenses. VFW professional staff can also help answer education benefit questions through 1StudentVeteran@vfw.org.
- The American Legion has service officers in every state that can provide answers to questions about education benefits, federal student loans and credit transferability.
- Student Veterans of America has a network of over 1,400 student chapters at colleges and universities and their staff can provide answers to your questions.
- VA’s GI Bill Comparison Tool can help you review and compare alternative schools.
- In addition to the GI Bill Comparison Tool, you can also research schools on the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard
- For free legal advice and college choice counseling, visit Veterans Education Success website or email them directly, help@VeteransEducationSuccess.org.
What can I do if I have additional questions?
Our Education Call Center is available at 1-888-442-4551 (Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. CST) for any questions about your GI Bill benefits and remaining entitlement. If you have any other questions you can also write an email to Right Now Web.
We understand that this is a difficult situation and have tried to keep all Ashford students informed throughout this entire process. Please tag any Ashford student you may know in the comments below to make sure they are aware of what is going on, and what resources are available to them.
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