Will Vets Finally Get College Credit for Military Training?
Despite the rigorous learning demands in our contemporary armed forces, few veterans receive academic credit for military training. Therefore, they waste time and incur unnecessary expenses repeating unnecessary classes simply to gain required credits. To address this problem, senators, Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware and Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa have introduced the Military Learning for Credit Act, which, according to a report in Military Times, “would expand VA education benefits to include more proficiency exam fees and other costs related to documenting skills learned in uniform.”
The law “would allow veterans to use up to $500 to cover the costs of tests such as the College Level Examination Program, Dantes Subject Standardized Test Program, and ACT National Career Readiness Certificate, among others.” The proposal would also allow veterans to use their federal education stipends for “portfolio assessments” of “existing experience worth academic credit.” Such demonstrations of proficiency would cut down on required coursework, so vets could potentially graduate sooner at a lower cost.
Sen. Coons issued a statement, saying, “Our veterans receive intense and thorough training as service members…. The least we can do is ensure that…veterans have every opportunity to translate their military training into college credit.”
As advocates for veterans’ rights, we at Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban were disturbed to learn of research from Student Veterans of America that shows “only about 36 percent of veterans enrolled in higher education received any credit for their military training.” Of those, the credits awarded generally amount to a single college class. This is a paltry return for the knowledge and skills gained in today’s military.
All branches of our armed forces have set high standards for enlisted personnel and require rigorous learning to accomplish tasks related to service. Employers recognize that skills gained in the military translate well to civilian occupations. It’s time that academia honored our veterans’ achievements as well.
The VA benefits attorneys at Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban have more than 200 years of combined legal experience. To learn how we can help with an appeal of denied disability benefits, call 866-866-VETS or contact our office online.