Student veterans brace for shutdown impact

Veterans could be hard hit if the government fails to fund the Post 9-11 GI Bill this month. Hatchet File Photo
Veterans could be hard hit if the government fails to fund the Post 9-11 GI Bill this month.. Hatchet File Photo

About 1,000 GW student veterans could be hit hard by the government shutdown if lawmakers don’t cut through the gridlock by the end of the month.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki warned lawmakers Wednesday that more than 5 million recipients of educational, employment and disability benefits could go without a check next month.

At GW, that means roughly 1,000 veterans, servicemembers and families could stop receiving tuition assistance and living stipends from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

While the VA has already paid students’ first semester tuition, senior Tommy Davis said students are already seeing the shutdown’s impact on veterans.

Veterans can receive up to $2,200 a month to help pay rent and other living expenses under the post-9/11 GI Bill. More than 500 GW students rely on those stipends.

Wayne Robinson, executive director of a national group called Student Veterans of America, urged Congress to end the shutdown to allow student veterans to focus on their studies.

“This is not a climate conducive to success in the classroom,” Robinson said. “Wondering whether or not you’ll be able to pay next month’s rent or even have GI Bill benefits to remain enrolled in school is unacceptable.”

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