Tuition payment delays persist for vets

With Veterans Day come and gone, GW is still waiting to receive tuition payments for more than half of the 300 GW veterans enrolled under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

More than a month after the Department of Veterans Affairs created emergency loans to cope with payout delays from the bill, Andrew Sonn, director of Student Academic and Student Services Customer Service Initiatives, said the University has yet to receive most of the tuition payments for many GW veterans.

Representatives from Veterans Affairs did not return requests for comment.

Sonn said that although tuition has not been received for these students, GW has no plans to keep them from continuing their studies.

“The Office of Veteran Services and members of key departments are working together to assist student veterans so that they have no disruptions in their academic endeavors,” Sonn said.

Brian Hawthorne, president and co-founder of the GW Veterans, said at least two other GW students are also awaiting payments for off-campus housing under the Bill, a problem he said is no longer remedied by the one-time emergency loan the Department of Veterans Affairs offered in October.

“Some have drawn emergency payments, some have drawn loans from GW, but now we have people that actually need a second loan and there’s no program right now in place to make that happen,” Hawthorne said. “We have guys who have drawn $3,000 from the VA who still have not been certified and paid. They got last month’s rent but now they are looking at next month’s rent.”

Hawthorne said that although the VA is working to address payout problems, the housing payment issue is one that only affects veterans in locations with high rent, like the D.C. area.

“GW and Student Veterans of America are working with the VA to find a solution because it’s a relative minority,” Hawthorne said. “It’s only really going to be for people who have significantly high housing rates – New York, D.C., San Francisco – so it’s not a blanket, across-the-board issue.”

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