Currently, policymakers have little insight into the effectiveness of the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the return of investment it brings to the American people. While individual student-level data systems exist in many federal agencies, federal data remains isolated, with no current infrastructure to facilitate data sharing. This results in the inability of the VA to accurately report basic outcomes and return on investment of the billions of dollars spent on the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
As a result, Veterans and their family members who often take advantage of the GI Bill benefits all too often enroll in programs that have low Veteran student success rates and low ROI. In turn, Veterans spend precious time and scarce taxpayer dollars on pursuing a degree or credential that will not produce desired results.
Better data needs to be used immediately to improve the GI Bill Comparison Tool, a tool designed by the VA to help Student Veterans make the most of their education benefits. At present, the GI Bill Comparison tool is not on par with the data presented in the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard, which displays a range of student outcomes, such as the average salary of an institution’s graduates. Soon, the scorecard will be presenting student outcome data at the even more meaningful programmatic level while the GI Bill Comparison Tool falls further behind.
The Veterans Education Project is recommending that the Department of Veterans Affairs form a partnership with the Department of Education to share its data and provide the transparency Veterans deserve when deciding where and how to invest their GI Bill benefits.