The number of Veterans who have used GI Bill higher education benefits as of 2014, according to a new report from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University -- Missing Perspectives: Servicemembers Transition From Service to Civilian Life.
While this sounds like a very large number -- representing about $12 billion per year, covering higher education/training/licensing/credentialing programs -- it actually includes less than half of eligible Veterans, according to the report.
The IVFM research -- which surveyed about 8,500 Service members (active duty, National Guard and Reserves, Veterans, and some families) -- found that the number one problem/barrier to pursuing education was lack of financial resources (56%). Other issues included personal/family obligations (28%), expiration of GI Bill benefits (25%), health/disability problems (23%), and conflict between work and school (22%).
Among those actively pursuing higher education, according to the survey, the top five problems were:
Additionally, more than one in five Veterans in college indicated discomfort sharing their military background on campus.
All of these issues notwithstanding, 92% of those surveyed "indicated that education should play a role in their post-service transition."
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