Many military members who proudly serve our country have access to tremendous education benefits. But that doesn’t mean they’re always able to breeze through a degree program without incurring any debt.
A unique organization is working hard to help veterans who are struggling with the lingering costs of higher education. The Leave No Veteran Behind program offers to partially or completely pay off higher education loans for veterans who would otherwise receive no aid from the government.
Even though new GI Bills have helped thousands of service members and veterans access higher education, there are holes that LNVB seeks to fill. For example, the GI bill does not cover loans that have already been used for education, even for someone already enlisted. In addition, the Military Student Loan Repayment program is not available to all veterans, even though many of the excluded have found themselves in thousands of dollars of debt from higher education.
How Leave No Veteran Behind Works
Leave No Veteran Behind essentially facilitates a trade between the community and veterans seeking aid with their higher education loans. In exchange for loan reimbursement, the program requires veterans helped to give back at least 100 hours of service to their communities.
This reintegrates veterans to civilian life and has them use their skills to help their communities. Veterans qualifying include those who:
Veterans seeking help paying off educational loans can check a full list of requirements on the LNVB website. Applying is designed to be simple and can be done online with scanned copies of the required documentation of service and college attendance. Upon approval, enrollees are entered into a queue for repayment in the order they were received.
The program as a whole is experiencing rapid growth as the word about its mission spreads. Although they have only completely paid off the loans of five veterans thus far, there are over 100 currently involved and hundreds more going through the enrollment process.
How it began
LNVB is a nonprofit program and receives most funds through donations made on their website. Any support is appreciated and they encourage any veterans facing similar struggles to apply for enrollment.
Photo thanks to Vaedri1 via Flickr Creative Commons