The new GI Bill provides more money for college education for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The goal is to boost college attendance for veterans in much the way World War II veterans went to college in record numbers on the original GI Bill.
But it is not working out so well. According to an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education:
About 26,000 veterans who applied for benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill are still waiting for their claims to be processed, part of a backlog that peaked at more than 200,000 outstanding claims this fall. The delays show no sign of abating as students begin to enroll, and tuition comes due, for the spring semester.
Because of this backlog, numerous veterans are facing eviction from their housing or dealing with mounting unpaid tuition bills.
Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) chairman of the Veterans Affairs’ Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, said the payment delays were “troubling.”
That’s one word for it. “Frightening” might be better word. The crippling delay is also puzzling; it looks like somehow the U.S. managed to prevent such trouble the first time around.