A new veterans information site, Today's G.I. Bill, has been launched this week by the Lumina Foundation. The site aims to put all of the information about access, eligibility, and benefits for veterans all in one place. The Lumina foundation funds a lot of higher-education access information endeavors, and this seems to be its latest project.
The site could be useful for veterans seeking to understand their benefits, but much of the site links to other tools (the housing stipend section links to the Department of Defense's Basic Allowance for Housing tool and the section addressing the Yellow Ribbon Program, which outlines private institutions that provide a benefit for veterans, links to the Department of Veterans Affairs' list of participating institutions). Increasing information for veterans will help ensure they have access to the benefits expanded by the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill update that went into effect earlier this year.
Still, there have been problems with implementing the new program, with the VA falling behind on issuing many checks to veterans and higher education institutions. One veteran, a student at Cuesta College, reported that as of Friday his first check had only recently arrived. Veterans are turning to student loans to pay for tuition, housing, and books until their benefit checks. The new Post-9/11 G.I. Bill program is a huge expansion of benefits, so it's somewhat expected that the department may have trouble handling the increased volume of requests. But for many veterans who are starting to take out expensive loans and work part-time jobs to make up the difference, it can be a long time to wait.