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9.29.2011

It's Finally Here! Housing for Online GI Bill Students!!

October is the month that so many online students have been waiting for - they can finally receive the housing allowance while using their GI Bill for online programs.  This is huge for students - especially those where a traditional campus will not work. 

Online students will receive a housing allowance of $673.50 a month - half the national average of what traditional students receive.  The first checks will arrive in October.

I know when I spoke with many students, this was a huge issue and they did not want to take online programs because they lost so much money.  VA expects 40,000 students to take advantage of this benefit - but I will bet it is a lot higher!

9.27.2011

The Global Report Card is UP!

http://www.globalreportcard.org/
From the Bush Institute - pretty cool website to look at how your school district ranks against all other countries.  Very enlightening - also a little disturbing that DC performs so much better than Dallas.

9.21.2011

Updated MyCAA FAQ a great resource for college bound spouses!

If you have not seen the new MyCAA FAQ on the Military OneSource website, then you don't have all the updated knowledge you need to use the MyCAA program to move forward with your education. This is a great program even with all the cuts and changes and it is funded.......for now.

Just as with any military education program - use it or lose it.  Big spending cuts are looming and who knows what they will cut next.  They are already talking about cuts to military retirement - long considered untouchable! 

So please - take advantage of MyCAA while you can.

9.20.2011

Some Retirees can transfer GI Bill Benefits

Navy Times has the story that Some Army, Air Force retirees can still get GI Bill transfers due to the fact that there was confusion during the time it went into affect in from Aug1 to Nov 2009.  Read the article if you think you fall into that time frame and might be able to transfer.

9.19.2011

Get a Jump on College

My friends over at Straighterline.org have a great article on how their program can give military members an edge in earning their degree.  Many Service Members may be waiting to get started on their degree until they get CONUS or waiting until a new semester begins - but you don't have to. Many college and university programs will let you start when you want to start.  The beauty of Straighterline is that you can start when you want and finish faster -  you take the classes when you have the time.

Take a look at their article for those looking at using the GI Bill for Education.

9.13.2011

Meet us in HOUSTON for STEM Education Workshop!

eSchool News has a great piece on Laying the Foundation's one day STEM education workshop for teachers.  This is going to be a great event so please help spread the word.

More on LTF Training One Day STEM Event!

9.09.2011

Cut Tuition Costs

Money Magazine has a great article about bringing some sanity back into college costs.  When you select your college, please make sure that you are looking at all costs and make sure you know the freshman retention rate and the 4 year graduation rate.  You GI Bill is not going to cover the 6 year plan and for many schools that is the norm.

9.08.2011

NASA and LTF host STEM Conference!


Contact:
Kaci Schack
marketing@ltftraining.org
214.525.3009
www.ltftraining.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 8, 2011

Laying the Foundation Announces Keynote Speaker for Educator Conference in Houston
DALLAS, TEXAS – Laying the Foundation (LTF), a nonprofit organization that provides content-focused teacher training and classroom resources, announced the keynote speaker today for its upcoming One-Day Educator Conference at J. Frank Dobie High School in Houston, Texas. The October 1st Conference is designed for 6th-12th grade English, mathematics, science, social studies, art history/studio, and music theory teachers with the goal of providing strategies for building a college-ready environment in their schools. Registration may be accessed through www.ltftraining.org .

The conference will feature NASA Astronaut Alvin Drew, who will speak about his experiences as an
engineer, the importance of STEM education, and his missions in space. He has degrees in physics,
astronautical engineering, aerospace science, and strategic studies in political science. For NASA, he has logged more than 612 hours in space while flying over 10 million miles. He has also served as the
Director of Operations at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia.

The conference will feature over 50 workshops that will provide teachers with content knowledge,
strategies, and classroom-ready lessons on topics of interest they select. Teachers will leave the
conference with materials and strategies that they can use immediately in their classes to implement
rigorous state and national standards.

LTF has worked with NASA’s Human Research Program Education Outreach (HRPEO) project to provide teachers state-of-the-art math and science lessons that incorporate data from NASA space missions and LTF instructional strategies, and utilize the TI-Nspire for data analysis. These lessons provide another tool that teachers can use to get their students excited about science and to understand the critical need for math expertise.

“You cannot fix the college readiness gap or improve STEM education without great teachers with the
right resources,” said Dave Saba, CEO of Laying the Foundation. “Col. Drew will lead the way toward inspiring our teachers to challenge their students to become tomorrow’s scientists and engineers.”

About Laying the Foundation
Laying the Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the best content-based, pedagogy-driven, teacher-to-teacher training, supported by rigorous classroom-ready lessons and web-based resources to improve the quality of English, mathematics, and science instruction. LTF has trained over 34,000 teachers to date and has demonstrated dramatic increases in Advanced Placement exam participation and success in STEM subjects. LTF believes that training, mentoring, and empowering the teacher corps will lead to high standards of academic excellence for all students.
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The Comprehensive Look at GI Bill Changes

So many exciting changes to the GI Bill in GI Bill 2.0, that it takes a rather large post - directly from the GI Bill website shown below.  The big news is housing for distance learning, flight training and National Guard!!  These are big but our country is going broke - SO DON'T DELAY. Use it or lose it.  I don't know cuts are coming but the feds have to do something and the bill for these benefits is going to get big fast.  

"Upcoming Changes to The Post-9/11 GI-Bill
Effective August 1, 2009, but not payable until October 1, 2011
  • Expands the Post-9/11 GI Bill to include Active Service performed by National Guard members under title 32 U.S.C. for the purpose of organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing, or training the National Guard; or under section 502(f) for the purpose of responding to a national emergency.

Effective March 5, 2011

  • Limits active duty members to the net cost for tuition and fees prorated based on the eligibility tiers (40%-100%) previously established for Veterans.
    • Same limitations apply to transferee spouses of active duty servicemembers

Effective August 1, 2011

  • For Veterans and their transferees - simplifies the tuition and fee rates for those attending a public school and creates a national maximum for those enrolled in a private or foreign school
    • Pays all public school in-state tuition and fees;
    • Private and foreign school costs are capped at $17,500 annually;
    • The Yellow Ribbon Program still exists for out-of-state fees and costs above the cap.
  • For Active Duty Members and their transferees - creates a national rate for those active duty members enrolled in a private or foreign school pursuing a degree
    • Pays all public school in-state tuition and fees;
    • Private and foreign school costs are capped at $17,500 per academic year (an academic year begins August 1)
  • Allows VA to pay MGIB (chapter 30) and MGIB-SR (chapter 1606) ‘kickers’, or college fund payments, on a monthly basis instead of a lump sum at the beginning of the term
  • Prorates housing allowance by the student’s rate of pursuit (rounded to the nearest tenth)
    • A student training at a rate of pursuit of 75% would receive 80% of the BAH rate
  • Break or interval pay is no longer payable under any VA education benefit program unless under an Executive Order of the President or due to an emergency, such as a natural disaster or strike.
    • This means that when your semester ends (e.g. December 15th), your housing allowance is paid for the first 15 days of December only and begins again when your next semester begins (e.g. January 10th) and is paid for the remaining days of January.
    • Students using other VA education programs are included in this change. Monthly benefits will be pro-rated in the same manner.
    • Entitlement that previously would have been used for break pay will be available for use during a future enrollment.
  • Allows reimbursement for more than one “license or certification” test (previously only one test was allowed).
    • However, entitlement is now charged
  • Allows reimbursement of fees paid to take national exams used for admission to an institution of higher learning (e.g., SAT, ACT, GMAT, LSAT)
  • Allows those who are eligible for both Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (chapter 31) benefits and Post-9/11 GI Bill (chapter 33) benefits to choose the Post-9/11 GI Bill’s monthly housing allowance instead of the chapter 31 subsistence allowance.
  • NOAA and PHS personnel are now eligible to transfer their entitlement to eligible dependents

Effective October 1, 2011

  • Allows students to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill for -
    • Non-college degree (NCD) programs: Non-college degree (NCD) programs offered at non-degree granting schools: Pays the actual net costs for in-state tuition and fees or $17,500, whichever is less. Also pays up to $83 per month for books and supplies.
    • On-the-job and apprenticeship training: Pays a monthly benefit amount prorated based on time in program and up to $83 per month for books and supplies.
    • Flight programs: Per academic year, pays the actual net costs for in-state tuition and fees assessed by the school or $10,000, whichever is less.
    • Correspondence training: Per academic year, pays the actual net costs for in-state tuition and fees assessed by the school or $8,500, whichever is less.
  • Housing allowance is now payable to students (other than those on active duty) enrolled solely in distance learning. The housing allowance payable is equal to ½ the national average BAH for an E-5 with dependents.
    • The full-time rate for an individual eligible at the 100% eligibility tier would be $673.50 for 2011.
  • Allows students on active duty to receive a books and supplies stipend.
For changes that affect schools click here.
More information is forthcoming, please check back or view our Frequently Asked Questions for more information. You can subscribe for updates to the Frequently Asked Questions and will receive an email when changes are posted. Click here to view our FAQ on these changes.

9.07.2011

25 Resources of the GI Bill

The GI Bill is always confusing - but here are some resources that will help you get through the muck and find what you need.  Many are pushing online colleges, but they have the information you need so it is still worth checking out if you have not found it here (search on the right).

Enjoy - 25 Resources for the GI Bill

STEM High Schools

STEM - science, technology, engineering and math, are the subjects most valued by the military in looking at new recruits.  And it comes as no surprise to military members, that military offspring are staying the family business and going into the military as well. 

So if you want your children to succeed, finding a great STEM school might not be a bad idea - here is a list of the top 12 STEM high schools in the country.

9.06.2011

Credit By Exam

I get quite a few emails about the military education blog here - but this one seemed worthwhile in passing on.  DSST is announcing a contest they have just launched where veterans and military members will get the chance to win free DSST exams for college credit and a grand prize of $750 (the average amount saved by earning college credit through DSST vs. taking a 3-credit course in a traditional university setting).

The contest is geared towards veterans and military members because DSST tests (formerly known as the DANTES exam) allow for servicemen and women to earn college credit for the real-life experience they already have. With our contest, these courageous individuals can share their stories and be rewarded for it.

In order to submit an entry, users must visit the contest tab on the DSST Facebook page [ http://on.fb.me/oe1IJq ] and answer the following 3 questions:
  1. What is your story? [Ex: “I'm a veteran going back to school”]
  2. How can a DSST exam help you? [Ex: “It will allow me to earn college credit for the experience I already have”]
  3. What would you do with the money saved by earning college credit with DSST? [Ex: “Buy books for school”]
Each month, one entrant will win a free DSST exam voucher. The grand prize, to be awarded at the completion of the contest, is $750 towards the item(s) indicated in the answer to question #3. All contest entries will be judged on creativity, clarity, and relation to educational needs.
If you’d like to share this information with your network, you can direct them to the contest tab on our Facebook page [http://on.fb.me/oe1IJq].

Keep me posted if any of our readers win!!