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The VA 85-15 rule prevents Veterans from enrolling in low-quality college programs. Photo credit: Pexels.

Changes for Veterans in education

President Biden signs clarifying bill regarding the VA 85-15 rule.

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According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the 85/15 Rule (85/15) requires that a minimal number of non-Veterans find a program worthwhile and valuable or the payment of Federal funds to Veterans who enroll in the program will not be authorized. 

On Friday, President Joe Biden signed a bill into law clarifying an exception to the VA 85-15 rule. According to Higher Ed Dive, the new statement says colleges do not have to follow the 85-15 rule if their share of students who receive VA benefits is below 35% of their institution-wide enrollment — but the new VA policy included the requirement for colleges to compute 85-15 ratios for their programs. 

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The rule seeks to prevent fraud and abuse by ensuring at least 15% of students in academic programs are not using VA benefits to pay for them. The 85-15 rule bars students from using education funding from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, such as GI Bill benefits, to pay for academic programs where more than 85% of students receive VA aid. 

Colleges that enroll low shares of veterans can receive exemptions from the rule, but recent VA regulatory changes created headaches for institutions that qualify for the exemptions. The new law aims to streamline that process. 

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