New Web Site Seeks to Help Veterans Pick College and Use GI Bill Benefits

November 09, 2009

The American Council on Education has created a Web site to help military veterans choose a college and obtain their education benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, in the hope of encouraging more veterans to take advantage of the opportunities it offers.

The Web site, unveiled today, provides information on benefits eligibility and advice on picking a college and career path, as well as stories about veterans who have completed postsecondary education. But it does not deal with the biggest issue facing the GI Bill this year: So many veterans have already applied for the new benefits that the Veterans Affairs Department faces a backlog that could take months to clear.

The site is intended to demystify for veterans the process of applying to college and for education benefits, said Molly Corbett Broad, the council's president.

Matthew Randle, an Army medic who fought in Iraq in 2003, said he had found navigating the bureaucracies of the Veterans Affairs Department and of colleges and universities was a challenge.

"Nobody really took the time to explain to us the process involved," Mr. Randle said. "I would have used my benefits more differently in the beginning if I'd fully understood the choices I was making and the reasons I was making them."