Payment for GW veterans on schedule this year

September 2, 2010
by Kara Dunford

After significant delays last year, checks arrive on time

Despite an increase in the number of veterans participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program this academic year, a University administrator said this week that delays in financial payments will be minimal.

After experiencing significant delays last year in tuition payments for veterans participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program, the University's Office of Veteran Services worked proactively to ensure timely benefit payments, Executive Director for Administration in Student and Academic Support Services Andrew Sonn said. As part of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Yellow Ribbon Program gives veterans up to the full amount of tuition and fees at participating colleges across the country.

Last year, the University did not receive payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs for more than half of the program's participants until late into the fall semester. Subsequently, the Department of Veterans Affairs created emergency loans to help veterans and universities cope with payout delays.

Sonn said that in order to mitigate any lag time in payments, GW's OVS began submitting the certifications July 21 and have already begun to receive payments for the fall semester.

He added the office will work to ensure GW student veterans are not penalized for any delays that may occur.

"Above all else, GW will, as we did last year, work with individual GW student veterans so there are no financial penalties applied if there are any delays in benefit payments," Sonn said. "Our chief priority is to support student veterans' academic achievements at GW."

Sonn said participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program at GW has increased this year by approximately 80 students. This year, 240 GW students are Yellow Ribbon Program participants.

"The University is very pleased that the number of individuals with military experience enrolled at GW is on the upswing," Sonn said.

Ryan Bos, president of GW Student Vets, said he is pleased with the work the OVS does to aid veterans in their educational endeavors.

"The University's assistance to veterans and their families is unbelievable," Bos said. "They have an office dedicated to veterans and families with three people working strictly on certifying veterans' claims and other veteran-related tasks. There are many people here working to keep GW a top military-friendly school."