Covid-19 Conditions Highlight Inequity Among Student Veterans

Covid-19 Conditions Highlight Inequity Among Student Veterans

Student Veterans enrolled in distance-learning programs have relied on half as much of the typical Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) as Student Veterans who take traditional in-person courses.

With many in-person college lectures having converted to distance-learning due to the coronavirus pandemic, GI Bill S. 3503 was passed to protect Student Veterans who were originally enrolled in in-person classes by allowing them to continue to receive the same amount of monthly housing stipends despite courses going online. Online-only Student Veterans, however, were not granted the equivalent MHA entitlements of their peers.

The MHA for Student Veterans whose programs switched to distance learning due to COVID-19 will revert to half of the national Basic Housing Allowance Average, even though it is likely that distance learning will extend into 2021 and beyond. The conditions set by COVID-19 have highlighted the inequity among Student Veterans in online programs, and it has been made clear that online-only Student Veterans should be entitled to the full Monthly Housing Allowance afforded to all other Student Veterans in or outside of a pandemic. As such, the Veterans Education Project is advocating for online-only students to receive an MHA entitlement corresponding to the zip-code of their residence.

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