Chairman Carper Commends Student Veterans of America for Undertaking Million Records Project to Study the Academic Progress of Student Veterans

WASHINGTON- Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, commended the Student Veterans of America (SVA) for undertaking a new initiative to study the academic progress and outcomes of the millions of veterans receiving Montgomery and Post-9/11 G.I. Bills education benefits.  The Million Records Project aims for a better understanding of student veterans, including their success in and after college, the programs and services that best help them accomplish their goals, and the policies that best help them achieve their potential.

“I believe that we have a moral obligation to ensure that those who have sacrificed for our country obtain the best education possible, one that will equip them with the skills they need to find a good job and go on to live productive lives,” said Chairman Carper. “I commend the Student Veterans of America for launching this initiative to help policymakers, colleges, universities, and the American public to better understand and support our servicemembers as they work to accomplish their higher education goals.  This endeavor also highlights the need for additional data sharing between the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Education on topics such as veterans’ student loan debt, which is crucial if we want to effectively address this issue. I eagerly await the subsequent findings of the Million Records Project, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to use these findings to ensure that our servicemen and women receive the most from their much-deserved benefits and achieve success both in and after college.”

On Monday, the SVA released their first in a 12-month series of reports documenting student veterans’ academic achievement.  This effort by SVA is the first-ever endeavor to track degree completion rates of student veterans.   Findings in this first report cover: student veterans’ college completion rates compared to those of traditional students, length of time it takes student veterans to complete a higher education, their highest degree attained, and their fields of study.  The report was made possible because the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the National Student Clearinghouse shared data with SVA.  Data sharing among Federal agencies and with the public has been a priority for Senator Carper as chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

As a veteran and G.I. Bill beneficiary, strengthening veterans’ education benefits has been a top priority of Senator Carper’s throughout his tenure in the Senate.  In 2012, he, along with a group of colleagues, introduced the Military and Veterans Education Protection Act, which ensures that taxpayer dollars are being used to the maximum effectiveness and benefit to servicemembers.  This year, Chairman Carper has commended the VA and Department of Defense for two new online initiatives that help veterans determine which higher education opportunities are right for them and file complaints if they believe they have been deceived or taken advantage of by a college.  

For more information on the SVA’s Million Records Project, please visit: http://studentveterans.org/what-we-do/million-records-project.html#home

For more information on Chairman Carper’s work on veterans’ issues, please visit: http://www.carper.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/veterans.

###