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entitled 'Higher Education: Veteran Students Received Similar Amounts 
of Title IV Aid As Nonveterans but More Total Aid with GI Benefits' 
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Report to the Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, 
Committee on Veterans' Affairs, House of Representatives: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
GAO: 

June 2008: 

Higher Education: 

Veteran Students Received Similar Amounts of Title IV Aid As 
Nonveterans but More Total Aid with GI Benefits: 

GAO-08-741: 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Appendix I: Briefing Slides on Title IV Aid: 

Appendix II: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

Appendix III: Estimated Federal Title IV Aid Awarded to Students: 

Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Tables: 

Table 1: Estimated Aid Awarded to First-Year Students Attending Public 
2-Year Institutions Full-Time in Academic Year 2005 to 2006, by Income 
Level and Veteran Status: 

Table 2: Estimated Aid Awarded to First-Year Students Attending Public 
4-Year Institutions Full-Time in Academic Year 2005 to 2006, by Income 
Level and Veteran Status: 

Table 3: Estimated Aid Awarded to First-Year Students Attending Private 
(Not-for-Profit) 4-Year Institutions Full-time in Academic Year 2005 to 
2006, by Income Level and Veteran Status: 

Table 4: Estimated Aid Awarded to First-Year Students Attending 
Proprietary (For-Profit) Institutions Full-time in Academic Year 2005 
to 2006, by Income Level and Veteran Status: 

Abbreviations: 

COA: cost of attendance: 

DOD: Department of Defense: 

EFA: estimated financial assistance: 

EFC: expected family contribution: 

FSEOG: Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants: 

FWS: Federal Work-Study: 

VA: Department of Veterans Affairs: 

[End of section] 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

Washington, DC 20548: 

June 20, 2008: 

The Honorable John Boozman: 
Ranking Member: 
Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity: 
Committee on Veterans' Affairs: 
House of Representatives: 

Dear Mr. Boozman: 

Over the past decade, average college tuition and fees increased 
between 20 and 38 percent, depending on the type of institution. This 
rising cost of college affects all students--both veteran and 
nonveteran students--who rely on a mix of family resources, grants, 
scholarships, loans, and work-study to finance their education. 
Students may face particular hardships when the cost of attendance 
outpaces students' available resources. For example, some lenders 
recently have tightened the eligibility criteria for obtaining student 
loans in response to problems in financial markets. In fiscal year 
2007, the Department of Education (Education) provided $82 billion in 
financial aid in the form of grants, loans, and work-study programs 
under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, to 11 
million students and their families. The primary Title IV aid programs 
include Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, and campus-based aid programs. 
Veterans also may be eligible for federal financial aid from the 
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA awarded about $2 billion in 
Chapter 30 education benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill[Footnote 1] 
(Chapter 30 GI benefits) to more than 300,000 veteran students in 
fiscal year 2007. 

In 2002, we reported that veteran students were awarded similar amounts 
of Title IV aid as nonveteran students, and veterans' total federal aid 
was greater when Chapter 30 GI benefits were included.[Footnote 2] You 
asked about whether this has changed, resulting in veterans receiving 
less federal financial aid. To address this question, you asked us to 
determine (1) how the amount of Title IV financial aid awarded to 
veteran students compares with that awarded to nonveteran students, (2) 
how higher education institutions allocate Title IV financial aid among 
veteran and nonveteran students, and (3) how federal agencies and 
higher education institutions provide information to veterans on Title 
IV financial aid. 

To address our first objective, we compared veteran students to 
nonveteran, independent students. Our scope includes both veterans and 
active-duty personnel who served for 3 or more years and received 
Chapter 30 GI benefits.[Footnote 3] We used the most recent data 
available from Education to compare amounts of Title IV aid awarded to 
veteran and nonveteran students in their first year of full-time study. 
We assessed the reliability of the Education data and determined the 
data were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of this study. We 
obtained from VA the Chapter 30 GI benefit amount for servicemembers in 
academic year 2005 to 2006. To address the second and third objectives, 
we reviewed laws and regulations, reviewed Education and VA documents, 
and interviewed agency officials responsible for administering Title IV 
aid programs and GI benefits programs. To obtain information about how 
schools allocate Title IV aid and provide information to veteran 
students, we interviewed financial aid officials and officials 
dedicated to veterans' issues at eight schools selected based on 
diversity in number of students, number of veterans, and other factors. 
We also interviewed representatives of education and veteran interest 
groups to obtain their perspectives on these issues. 

On May 20, 2008, we briefed your office on the results of our analysis. 
This report formally conveys the information provided in that briefing 
(see app. I). In summary, we found the following: 

* Overall, veteran students received similar amounts of Title IV aid as 
nonveteran, independent students.[Footnote 4] However, when including 
Chapter 30 GI benefits, veterans received more total federal aid than 
nonveterans. (See app. III for more data on receipt of federal aid.) 

* Laws and regulations largely dictate how higher education 
institutions allocate Title IV aid among veteran and nonveteran 
students, but five of the eight schools we interviewed used their 
limited flexibility to allow veterans to be eligible for larger amounts 
of certain types of Title IV aid. 

* While federal agencies and schools provide the same information on 
Title IV aid to all students, some of the schools we interviewed in 
areas with nearby military bases reach out to veteran students. In 
addition, there are some recent federal efforts to inform veterans 
about Title IV aid, such as workshops on federal aid for personnel 
separating from the military. 

We conducted this performance audit from February through June 2008 in 
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those 
standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain 
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our 
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that 
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and 
conclusions based on our audit objectives. (See app. II for a more 
detailed scope and methodology.) 

We provided a draft of this report to the Department of Education for 
review. The Department of Education had no formal comments but provided 
technical comments, which we incorporated where appropriate. In 
addition, the Department of Veterans Affairs reviewed the draft report 
and had no comments. 

We are sending copies of this report to the Departments of Education 
and Veterans Affairs, relevant congressional committees, and other 
interested parties. We will also make copies available to others on 
request. In addition, the report will be available at no charge on the 
GAO Web site at [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please 
contact me at (202) 512-7215 or scottg@gao.gov. Contact points for our 
Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs are listed on the 
last page of this report. GAO staff who have made major contributions 
to this report are listed in appendix IV. 

Sincerely yours, 

Signed by: 

George A. Scott: 
Director, Education, Workforce, and Income Security: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Briefing Slides on Title IV Aid: 

Veteran Students Received Similar Amounts of Title IV Aid As 
Nonveterans but More Total Aid with GI Benefits: 

Briefing for the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, Committee on 
Veterans’ Affairs, House of Representatives: 

May 20, 2008: 

Introduction: 

* The rising cost of college affects all students, who rely on a mix of 
family resources, grants, scholarships, and loans to finance their 
education. Further, some lenders have tightened eligibility criteria 
for obtaining student loans. 

* In fiscal year 2007, $82 billion in financial aid in the form of 
grants, loans, and work-study under Title IV of the Higher Education 
Act of 1965 was provided to 11 million students and their families 
(referred to as Title IV aid). The Department of Education (Education) 
administers Title IV programs. 

* Veterans may also be eligible for education benefits from the 
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA awarded about $2 billion in 
Chapter 30 education benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill [Footnote 6] 
(Chapter 30 GI benefits) to over 300,000 veteran students in fiscal 
year 2007. 

* Our prior work found that veteran students were awarded similar 
amounts of Title IV aid as nonveteran students, and veterans’ total 
federal aid was greater when Chapter 30 GI benefits were included. 
[Footnote 7] Interest has been expressed in knowing whether this has 
changed, resulting in veterans receiving less federal financial aid. 

Key Questions: 

1) How does the amount of Title IV financial aid awarded to veteran 
students compare with that awarded to nonveteran students? 

2) How do higher education institutions allocate Title IV financial aid 
among veteran and nonveteran students? 

3) How do federal agencies and higher education institutions provide 
information to veterans on Title IV financial aid? 

Scope and Methodology: 

* We compared veteran students to nonveteran,independent students 
(referred to in this report as nonveterans). Education considers 
veterans to be independent students for Title IV aid purposes. Our 
scope included both veterans and active-duty personnel who served for 3 
or more years and received Chapter 30 education benefits under the 
Montgomery GI Bill (referred to as veterans).[Footnote 8] 

* We used the most recent Education data available to compare amounts 
of Title IV aid awarded to veteran and nonveteran students in their 
first year of full-time study. [Footnote 9] 

* We obtained from VA the Chapter 30 GI benefit amount for 
servicemembers for the 2005 to 2006 academic year. 

* We reviewed laws and regulations on how higher education institutions 
(referred to as schools) award Title IV aid. 

* We interviewed Education and VA officials and reviewed agency 
documents. 

* We interviewed financial aid officials and officials dedicated to 
veterans’ issues at eight schools, as well as representatives of 
education and veteran organizations. 

- We selected a nonprobability sample of schools based on diversity in 
total number of undergraduate students, number of veteran students 
receiving GI benefits, geographic location, and school type (e.g., 2-or 
4-year public or private). We cannot generalize our findings beyond 
these schools. 

* We conducted this performance audit from February through June 2008 
in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 
Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain 
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our 
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that 
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and 
conclusions based on our audit objectives. 

Note: See Appendix II for a more detailed scope and methodology. 

Summary of Key Findings: 

* Overall, veteran students received similar amounts of Title IV aid as 
nonveteran students.[Footnote 10] However, when including Chapter 30 GI 
benefits, veterans received more total federal aid than nonveterans. 

* Laws and regulations largely dictate how schools allocate Title IV 
aid among veteran and nonveteran students. However, five of the eight 
schools we interviewed used their limited flexibility to allow veterans 
to be eligible for larger amounts of certain types of Title IV aid. 

* While federal agencies and schools provide the same information on 
Title IV aid to all students, two of the schools we interviewed reach 
out to veteran students at nearby military bases. In addition, in 2007, 
Education began new efforts to inform veterans about Title IV aid, such 
as workshops on federal aid for personnel separating from the military. 

Table: Education’s Title IV Financial Assistance—Federal Student Aid 
Administered by the Department of Education: 

Title IV student aid program: Federal Pell Grants; 
Program details and eligibility criteria: 
* Undergraduate students with financial need; 
* Student must be enrolled in a degree or certificate program; 
* Grant does not need to be repaid
Annual award amounts for first-year undergraduates: 
* $400 to $4,050 (award year 2005 to 2006); 
* $400 to $4,310 (award year 2007 to 2008). 

Title IV student aid program: Subsidized Stafford Loans; 
Program details and eligibility criteria: 
* Undergraduate and graduate students with financial need; 
* Student must be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program of 
study; 
* Federal government pays interest while student is in school, for 6 
months after student leaves school, and during a deferment period; 
Annual award amounts for first-year undergraduates: 

* Up to $2,625 (academic year 2005 to 2006); 
* Up to $3,500 (academic year 2007 to 2008). 

Title IV student aid program: Unsubsidized Stafford Loans; 
Program details and eligibility criteria: 
* Undergraduate and graduate students; not based on financial need; 
* Student must be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program of 
study; 
* Federal government does not pay interest; student responsible for all 
interest costs; 

Annual award amounts for first-year undergraduates: 

* Up to $6,625 for independent undergraduates (including any subsidized 
loan amounts received for the same period) (academic year 2005 to 
2006); 
* Up to $7,500 for independent undergraduates (including any subsidized 
loan amounts received for the same period) (academic year 2007 to 
2008). 

[End of table] 

Table: Education’s Title IV Financial Assistance—Federal Student Aid 
Administered by Schools (Campus-Based Aid): 

Title IV student aid program: Federal Supplemental Educational 
Opportunity Grants (FSEOG); 
Program details and eligibility criteria: 
* Given first to undergraduate students with exceptional financial 
need; 
* Priority given to Pell Grant recipients; 
* Schools must pay at least 25 percent of award amounts; 
* Grants do not have to be repaid; 
Annual award amounts for first-year undergraduates: 
* $100 to $4,000, except up to $4,400 for a study-abroad program (award 
year 2005 to 2006 and award year 2007 to 2008). 

Title IV student aid program: Federal Perkins Loans; 
Program details and eligibility criteria: 
* Undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need 
are given priority; 
* Schools must match at least one-third of the federal funds allocated 
to make low-interest (5 percent) loans; 
* Interest does not accrue while student is enrolled at least half-time 
in eligible study program; 
Annual award amounts for first-year undergraduates: 
* Up to $4,000 (award year 2005 to 2006 and award year 2007 to 2008). 

Title IV student aid program: Federal Work-Study (FWS); 
Program details and eligibility criteria: 
* Undergraduate and graduate students with financial need; 
* Students are provided on-or off-campus jobs paying at least current 
federal minimum wage; 
* School or off-campus employer pays at least 25 percent of the 
student’s wages; 
Annual award amounts for first-year undergraduates: 
* No annual minimum or maximum award amounts up to student’s financial 
need (award year 2005 to 2006 and award year 2007 to 2008). 

[End of table] 

VA’s Education Benefits Under GI Bill (Chapter 30 GI benefits): 

Montgomery GI Bill Benefits: 

* Eligibility: Veterans who met their duty obligation and were 
honorably discharged and active-duty personnel. To receive Chapter 30 
GI benefits, servicemembers must contribute $100 per month for the 
first 12 months of service. 

* Benefit amount and use: In academic year 2005 to 2006, individuals 
who completed 3 or more years of active duty service and were attending 
a college or university full-time received $1,034 per month for a 
maximum of 36 months.[Footnote 11] 
- Although outside the scope of our work, the GI Bill provides smaller 
benefit amounts to reservists. [Footnote 12] 

* In addition to GI education benefits, VA also has a work-study 
program and VA noneducation benefits, such as disability benefits. 

Comparing Total Federal Student Aid for Veterans and Nonveterans: 

Table: Veterans Received Similar Title IV Aid As Nonveterans but More 
Total Aid with Chapter 30 GI Benefits: 

Type of federal aid: Pell Grant (2005 to 2006); 
Veteran students (average aid amount): $2,322; 
Nonveteran, independent students (average aid amount): $2,482. 

Type of federal aid: Subsidized Stafford Loan (2005 to 2006); 
Veteran students (average aid amount): $2,082; 
Nonveteran, independent students (average aid amount): $2,109. 

Type of federal aid: Unsubsidized Stafford Loan (2005 to 2006); 
Veteran students (average aid amount): $2,959; 
Nonveteran, independent students (average aid amount): $2,945. 

Type of federal aid: Campus-based Aid (2003 to 2004); 
Veteran students (average aid amount): $1,450[A] (estimate); 
Nonveteran, independent students (average aid amount): $1,300[A] 
(estimate). 

Type of federal aid: Chapter 30 GI Benefits (2005 to 2006); 
Veteran students (average aid amount): $9,306; 
Nonveteran, independent students (average aid amount): N/A. 

Sources: For Pell Grants and Stafford Loans, U.S. Department of 
Education (2005 to 2006 is most recent student-level data). For campus-
based aid, National Postsecondary Student Aid Study provides data based 
on survey responses (2003 to 2004 is most recent student-level data). 
For Chapter 30 GI benefits, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. We 
used the Chapter 30 GI Benefit rate for 2005 to 2006 to be consistent 
with the most recent data available from Education for Title IV aid 
amounts. 

[A] These numbers were not significantly different at the 95 percent 
confidence level. 

Note: Data are for first-year, full-time students. These are average 
aid amounts and may not reflect the total aid received by any 
individual student. 

[End of table] 

Veterans Received Slightly Lower Pell Grants Due to Higher Income, 
Rather Than Chapter 30 GI Benefits: 

* Veterans received, on average, 6 percent less in Pell Grants than 
nonveterans in academic year 2005 to 2006—the most recent year for 
which these data are available. 

* Veteran students tend to have higher incomes than nonveteran 
students, generally making them eligible for less in Pell Grants. 
[Footnote 13] Chapter 30 GI benefits are not counted as income in 
determining veterans’ eligibility for Pell Grants, so any differences 
in aid are not due to receipt of Chapter 30 GI benefits. 

- For example in academic year 2005 to 2006, at the 75th percentile in 
income, veterans attending public 2-year schools earned an average of 
$38,550 the year before starting school, compared to $33,259 for 
nonveterans at the same percentile. With these higher incomes, veterans 
at this percentile were eligible for a Pell Grant of $1,600, compared 
to $2,100 for nonveterans. Comparing Total Federal Student Aid for 
Veterans and Nonveterans. 

Veterans Received Similar Amounts of Stafford Loans and Campus-Based 
Aid As Nonveterans: 

* Veterans received similar amounts of subsidized and unsubsidized 
Stafford Loans as nonveterans in academic year 2005 to 2006—the most 
recent year for which these data are available. 

* Veterans also received similar amounts as nonveterans of campus-based 
aid (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Perkins 
Loans, and Federal Work-Study) in academic year 2003 to 2004—the most 
recent year for which these data are available.[Footnote 14] 

How Institutions Allocate Title IV Aid among Veterans and Nonveterans: 

Schools Have Limited Flexibility in Allocating Title IV Aid among 
Veterans and Nonveterans: 

* Laws and regulations largely dictate how schools allocate Title IV 
aid among veteran and nonveteran students. 

* However, five of the eight schools we interviewed used their limited 
flexibility to allow veterans to be eligible for larger amounts of 
certain types of Title IV aid than nonveterans. 

* The following slide illustrates the process by which these schools 
determine a student’s need and eligibility for Title IV aid, including 
where the schools have flexibility in this process. 

Process Schools Follow to Determine Students’ Need and Eligibility for 
Title IV Aid: 

Step 1: 
Cost of attendance (COA), minus Expected family contribution (EFC) 
equals Financial need; 
* COA includes such items as tuition and fees, supplies, 
transportation, and personal expenses; 
* EFC is determined based on income, assets, and benefits. Includes VA 
noneducation benefits; 
* Schools may reduce the values of the data items used to calculate the 
EFC based on special circumstances for any student on a case-by-case 
basis. (area in which schools have flexibility in awarding Title IV 
financial aid) 

Step 2: 
Financial need, minus Pell Grant, if received, equals Remaining need. 

Step 3: 
Remaining need, minus Estimated financial assistance (EFA) equals Final 
remaining need; 
* EFA includes loans, grants, and scholarships. Includes Montgomery GI 
Bill-Active Duty (Chapter 30 GI Benefits) veterans education benefits 
with two exceptions: 
- Law requires schools to exclude Chapter 30 GI benefits from EFA when 
determining eligibility for subsidized Stafford Loans; 
- In awarding aid under the campus-based aid programs to veterans, the 
regulations provide an option to schools to exclude from EFA any 
portion of a subsidized Stafford Loan that is equal to or less than the 
Chapter 30 GI benefits. (area in which schools have flexibility in 
awarding Title IV financial aid) 

Step 4: 
Award additional Title IV aid as available to meet final remaining 
need. 

Source: Department of Educations' Federal Student Aid Handbook. 

Some Aspects of Title IV Are Advantageous to Veterans When Determining 
Eligibility: 

* Chapter 30 GI benefits are not counted as income in expected family 
contribution (EFC), so receiving Chapter 30 GI benefits does not affect 
a veteran’s eligibility for a Pell Grant. 

* Chapter 30 GI benefits—unlike scholarships—are not counted as a 
resource in estimated financial assistance (EFA) when determining 
eligibility for subsidized Stafford Loans. [Footnote 15] As a result, a 
veteran receiving Chapter 30 GI benefits would be eligible to receive a 
larger subsidized Stafford Loan than a nonveteran receiving the same 
amount in scholarships.[Footnote 16] 

* Opinions differ on whether veterans should have these advantages over 
other students. Some veterans’ interest groups and school officials we 
interviewed believe that the law should give veterans a greater 
advantage by not including Chapter 30 GI benefits as a resource in 
calculating eligibility for all Title IV aid. In contrast, some others 
believe that Chapter 30 GI benefits should be considered like any other 
financial resource, for example, a nonveteran student’s scholarship. 

Flexibilities Allow Schools to Make Veterans Eligible for Larger 
Amounts of Certain Types of Title IV Aid: 

Schools have flexibility at two points in the Title IV allocation 
process: 

* For veteran students, with respect to campus-based aid, schools can 
exclude subsidized Stafford Loans, if any, up to the amount the student 
receives in Chapter 30 GI benefits from the student’s EFA. As a result, 
a veteran receiving Chapter 30 GI benefits can be eligible for more 
campus-based aid than a nonveteran receiving a comparable scholarship. 
[Footnote 17] Five of the eight schools we interviewed reported using 
this flexibility. 

* For all students, including veterans, schools can use discretion in 
calculating eligibility for Title IV aid to account for special 
circumstances that are not reflected in a student’s financial aid 
application. 

- Special circumstances could include a change in family income, death 
of a family member, or high medical expenses. 

- The eight schools we interviewed told us they rarely used this 
discretion to account for special circumstances for either veteran or 
nonveteran students. 

Information to Veterans on Title IV Aid: 

Agencies and Schools Have Some Targeted Efforts to Inform Veterans 
about Title IV Aid: 

* Department of Education makes Title IV information available to all 
students, including veterans, on its Web site, and provides training 
and information to school financial aid officers who deal directly with 
students. 

* Education recently has begun coordinating with the Departments of 
Labor (Labor), Veterans Affairs (VA), and Defense (DOD) to provide 
Title IV aid information to veterans.•Education provides Title IV 
information for a VA newsletter to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. 
- Education and Labor conduct presentations to active-duty personnel 
separating from the military. Labor is the lead agency for personnel 
transitioning from active-duty to veteran status. 
- Labor, VA, and DOD provide Web site for separating personnel. 

* VA does not provide any information about Title IV directly to 
students, but rather refers students with Title IV questions to school 
financial aid offices. 

Schools in Areas with Nearby Military Bases Have Some Targeted 
Outreach: 

* While schools we interviewed primarily provide the same Title IV 
information to all students, two of the schools we interviewed have 
targeted outreach to veterans at nearby military bases. 

* At the eight schools we interviewed, officials dedicated to veterans’ 
issues provide assistance with GI benefits but refer veterans to 
financial aid officers for information about Title IV, as 
appropriate.[Footnote 18] 

* In addition to school officials’ efforts related to veterans, only 
one of the schools we interviewed reported having a student veterans’ 
group on campus. 
- One of the veterans’ interest groups we interviewed also highlighted 
a new association for student veterans’ groups nationwide. 

Views on Veterans’ Awareness of Federal Aid: 

Schools and interest groups we interviewed described the following 
range of views on veterans’ awareness of federal aid: 

* Some veterans may be more savvy about federal financial aid, perhaps 
based on their experience receiving Chapter 30 GI benefits and their 
network with other veterans. 

* Some students—both veteran and nonveteran—may be unaware or confused 
about Title IV aid. 

* Some veterans may think that their Chapter 30 GI benefits will cover 
all their school costs, but in some cases, they do not. 

* Some veterans may be aware of Title IV aid but mistakenly think they 
are not eligible due to Chapter 30 GI benefits. 

Concluding Observations: 

* Similar to our findings in 2002, veteran students received about the 
same amounts of Title IV aid as nonveteran students and, further, had 
similar opportunities to learn about Title IV aid. In some cases, Title 
IV could provide advantages to veterans, such as an option for schools 
to exclude Chapter 30 GI benefits when awarding campus-based aid. 

* However, our report does not address how the federal financial aid 
amounts reservists receive compare with other students. This may 
warrant further inquiry given the increasing number of reservists who 
have been called to active duty in recent years, as well as important 
differences in their receipt of GI benefits. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

The objectives of our study were to determine (1) how the amount of 
Title IV financial aid awarded to veteran students compares with that 
awarded to nonveteran students, (2) how higher education institutions 
allocate Title IV financial aid among veteran and nonveteran students, 
and (3) how federal agencies and higher education institutions provide 
information to veterans on Title IV financial aid. To address these 
issues, we obtained data on federal student aid from the Department of 
Education (Education), reviewed laws and regulations, and interviewed 
officials at Education, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and 
higher education institutions, as well as representatives of education 
and veterans groups. 

Education Data on Title IV Aid: 

We used the most recent Education data available to compare amounts of 
Title IV aid awarded to veteran and nonveteran students in their first 
year of full-time study. The specific year and type of data differ by 
type of aid. 

For Pell Grants and Stafford Loans, the most recent student-level data 
available are from academic year 2005 to 2006. 

* When reporting average aid amounts for veteran students and 
nonveteran independent students across all incomes and school types 
combined (slide 10), we used the amounts of aid actually received. 

* When differentiating among income levels and school types (appendix 
III), we reported the aid amounts for which each type of student was 
eligible. We asked Education to estimate the amount of Title IV aid 
awarded to the following populations: (1) veteran students; (2) 
nonveteran, independent students; and (3) nonveteran, dependent 
students who were in their first year of enrollment on a full-time 
basis at a public 2-year, public 4-year, private 4-year, or proprietary 
institution. For each of these populations, Education identified the 
25th, 50th, and 75th family income percentiles and the amount of Pell 
Grant and Stafford Loans awarded to students at these income levels, 
based on the average cost of attendance for each type of institution. 
Information on students attending private 2-year schools were excluded 
due to lack of reliable data. 

* To assess the reliability of the Pell Grant and Stafford Loan data, 
we interviewed Department of Education officials to identify (1) the 
system used to produce the data and the purpose of this system; (2) how 
and where the data are collected; (3) their view of the data quality, 
including its completeness and accuracy; (4) any data limitations, such 
as incomplete or incorrect data elements, that could affect the use of 
the data; and (5) any changes to data system procedures since the 2002 
report--which used 1999 to 2000 data--that would affect the 2005 to 
2006 data. We determined that the data on Pell Grants and Stafford 
Loans were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of this study. We 
also asked the Education officials who provided the data to confirm 
that they calculated the Title IV aid amounts using the same method 
that they used for our 2002 report.[Footnote 5] 

For campus-based aid, the most recent student-level data are from the 
2004 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, which reflects aid 
amounts students reported receiving in academic year 2003 to 2004. 

* To assess the reliability of campus-based aid data we reviewed 
related documents and performed electronic data testing of these data 
elements. We determined that the data were sufficiently reliable for 
the purposes of this study. 

Our report findings are based on the comparison of veteran students 
with nonveteran, independent students because veterans are considered 
independent students for Title IV aid purposes. Independent students 
also include, for example, those who are married or supporting 
children. Unlike independent students, dependent students must report 
their parents' income and assets, as well as their own, when applying 
for federal student aid. Federal student aid programs are based on the 
concept that a dependent student's parents have the primary 
responsibility for paying for their child's education. Appendix III 
includes data on Title IV aid for veteran; nonveteran, independent; and 
nonveteran, dependent students. 

VA Information on Chapter 30 GI Benefits: 

We obtained from VA the Chapter 30 GI benefit amount for servicemembers 
in academic year 2005 to 2006. Our scope included both veterans and 
active-duty personnel who served for 3 or more years and received 
Chapter 30 GI benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill. The GI benefit 
rate for veterans who had completed an enlistment of 3 years or more 
and were attending school full-time for an academic year of 9 months 
was $1,034 per month in the 2005 to 2006 academic year. We used the 
rate from academic year 2005 to 2006 to match the time period of the 
Pell Grant and Stafford Loan data. 

Our scope did not include reservists. Reservists can receive benefits 
under 10 U.S.C. Chapter 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill--Selected Reserve) and 
Chapter 1607 (Reserve Educational Assistance Program). 

Review of Federal Laws, Regulations, and Other Documents: 

We reviewed laws, regulations, and Education and VA documents to 
identify the type of federal aid available under Title IV programs and 
how schools determine students' eligibility for Title IV aid, including 
how GI benefits are treated in awarding this aid. We also interviewed 
officials at Education and VA responsible for administering Title IV 
aid programs and GI benefits programs. 

Interviews with School Officials: 

We interviewed financial aid officials and officials dedicated to 
veterans' issues at eight schools to obtain information about how 
schools allocate Title IV aid and provide information to veteran 
students. We selected a nonprobability sample of schools based on 
diversity in total number of undergraduate students, number of veteran 
students receiving GI benefits, school type, and geographic location. 
We cannot generalize our findings beyond these schools. The eight 
schools are listed below by school type. 

* Public 2-year schools:
- Asnuntuck Community College (CT); 
- Central Texas College (TX). 

* Public 4-year schools:
- University of Arkansas (AR); 
- University of Maryland University College (MD). 

* Private 4-year (not-for-profit) schools:
- St. Ambrose University (IA); 
- Whittier College (CA). 

* Proprietary (for profit) schools:
- Colorado Technical University (CO); 
- University of Phoenix (AZ). 

Interviews with Interest Groups: 

We interviewed representatives of the following education and veterans' 
interest groups to obtain their perspectives on these issues. 

* Education groups:
- National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators 
(NASFAA); 
- Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. 

* Veterans' groups:
- National Association of Veterans' Program Administrators (NAVPA); 
- Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW); 
- Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). 

We conducted this performance audit from February through June 2008 in 
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those 
standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain 
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our 
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that 
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and 
conclusions based on our audit objectives. 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: Estimated Federal Title IV Aid Awarded to Students: 

The following four tables provide estimates of the amount of Pell 
Grant, subsidized Stafford Loan, and unsubsidized Stafford Loan aid 
awarded to veteran and nonveteran students at public 2-year, public 4- 
year, private 4-year, and proprietary institutions, and the amount of 
Chapter 30 GI benefits available in academic year 2005 to 2006. In the 
briefing slides (see app. I), we compare veteran students to nonveteran 
independent students because veterans are considered independent 
students for Title IV aid purposes. However, in this appendix, we 
provide aid estimates for veteran and nonveteran, independent students, 
as well as nonveteran, dependent students. 

Table 1: Estimated Aid Awarded to First-Year Students Attending Public 
2-Year Institutions Full-Time in Academic Year 2005 to 2006, by Income 
Level and Veteran Status: 

Average cost of attendance = $11,692. 

Veteran student: 25[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $5,879; 
EFC = 0; 
Pell Grant: $4,050; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: 0; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $9,306; 
Total aid: $15,981. 

Veteran student: 50[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $17,241; 
EFC = $4,189; 
Pell Grant: $0; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: 0; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $9,306; 
Total aid: $11,931. 

Veteran student: 75[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $38,550; 
EFC = $2,411; 
Pell Grant: $1,600; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: 0; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $9,306; 
Total aid: $13,531. 

Nonveteran independent student[A]: 25[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $4,000; 
EFC = $0; 
Pell Grant: $4,050; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $4,000; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $10,675. 

Nonveteran independent student[A]: 50[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $14,400; 
EFC = $0; 
Pell Grant: $4,050; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $4,000; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $10,675. 

Nonveteran independent student[A]: 75[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $33,259; 
EFC = $1,912; 
Pell Grant: $2,100; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $4,000; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $8,725. 

Nonveteran dependent student[B]: 25[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $14,039; 
EFC = $0; 
Pell Grant: $4,050; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $0; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $6,675. 

Nonveteran dependent student[B]: 50[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $33,400; 
EFC = $2,037; 
Pell Grant: $2,000; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $0; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $4,625. 

Nonveteran dependent student[B]: 75[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $70,262; 
EFC = $11,503; 
Pell Grant: $0; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $0; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $0; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $0. 

Sources: For Pell Grants and Stafford Loans, U.S. Department of 
Education. For Chapter 30 GI benefits, U.S. Department of Veterans 
Affairs. 

Note: Average cost of attendance at a proprietary institution for the 
2005 to 2006 academic year was $22,931. The Department of Education 
calculated expected family contribution (EFC) using a weighted average 
of the EFC across students with different family characteristics within 
each student classification--veteran (always classified as 
independent), nonveteran independent, and nonveteran dependent. For 
each EFC/cost of attendance combination for each category of student 
the Department of Education determined the maximum Pell Grant and 
Stafford Loan amounts for a full-time, first-year student. Pell Grant 
amounts were determined according to the Pell Grant payment schedule 
for 2005 to 2006 (maximum award = $4,050). The subsidized Stafford Loan 
amount is the lesser of (1) cost of attendance minus the sum of EFC 
plus Pell Grant or (2) the maximum subsidized loan for a first-year 
student ($2,625). The unsubsidized Stafford Loan amount is the lesser 
of (1) cost of attendance minus the sum of Pell plus subsidized 
Stafford Loan plus other financial assistance (i.e.--GI Bill for 
veterans) or (2) the maximum additional unsubsidized loan for a first- 
year, independent student ($4,000). 

[A] Unsubsidized Stafford Loan amounts for nonveteran, independent 
students assume this population has no other financial assistance such 
as outside scholarships that may reduce the amount in unsubsidized 
loans for which this group may be eligible. 

[B] Parents of dependent students have several credit options for 
financing their child's education, including home equity, private 
loans, and federal PLUS loans. PLUS loans are available under Title IV 
of the Higher Education Act and are loans made to parents of dependent, 
undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time in an eligible 
program of study. Borrowers are responsible for paying all interest on 
the loan. The maximum amount that a parent may borrow through a PLUS 
loan is equal to the student's cost of attendance minus all other 
assistance. Among dependent students who attended proprietary 
institutions in academic year 2003 to 2004, 20.3% received PLUS loans. 

[C] Among students attending proprietary institutions, the Department 
of Education determined the 25th percentile, 50th percentile, and 75th 
percentile of family income in each student classification (veteran, 
nonveteran independent, and nonveteran dependent). 

[D] Chapter 30 GI Bill benefit amount is based on academic year 2005 to 
2006 rates of $1,034 per month (Ch. 30 of Title 38 U.S.C.--Montgomery 
GI Bill Active Duty) for veterans who have completed an enlistment of 3 
years or more and are attending school full-time for an academic year 
of 9 months. 

[End of table] 

Table 2: Estimated Aid Awarded to First-Year Students Attending Public 
4-Year Institutions Full-Time in Academic Year 2005 to 2006, by Income 
Level and Veteran Status: 

Average cost of attendance = $15,566. 

Veteran student: 25[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $4,010; 
EFC = 0; 
Pell Grant: $4,050; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: 0; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $9,306; 
Total aid: $15,981. 

Veteran student: 50[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $15,552; 
EFC = $3,625; 
Pell Grant: $400; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: 0; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $9,306; 
Total aid: $12,331. 

Veteran student: 75[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $44,784; 
EFC = $4,607; 
Pell Grant: $0; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: 0; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $9,306; 
Total aid: $11,931. 

Nonveteran independent student[A]: 25[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $3,099; 
EFC = $0; 
Pell Grant: $4,050; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $4,000; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $10,675. 

Nonveteran independent student[A]: 50[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $13,745; 
EFC = $2,816; 
Pell Grant: $1,200; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $4,000; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $7,825. 

Nonveteran independent student[A]: 75[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $37,995; 
EFC = $5,658; 
Pell Grant: $0; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $4,000; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $6,625. 

Nonveteran dependent student[B]: 25[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $22,832; 
EFC = $2450; 
Pell Grant: $3,800; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $0; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $6,425. 

Nonveteran dependent student[B]: 50[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $55,050; 
EFC = $6,680; 
Pell Grant: $0; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $0; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $2,625. 

Nonveteran dependent student[B]: 75[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $105,109; 
EFC = $22,712; 
Pell Grant: $0; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $0; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $0; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $0. 

Sources: For Pell Grants and Stafford Loans, U.S. Department of 
Education. For Chapter 30 GI benefits, U.S. Department of Veterans 
Affairs. 

Note: Average cost of attendance at a public 4-year institution for the 
2005 to 2006 academic year was $15,566. The Department of Education 
calculated expected family contribution (EFC) using a weighted average 
of the EFC across students with different family characteristics within 
each student classification—veteran (always classified as independent), 
nonveteran independent, and nonveteran dependent. For each EFC/cost of 
attendance combination for each category of student, the Department of 
Education determined the maximum Pell Grant and Stafford Loan amounts 
for a full-time, first-year student. Pell Grant amounts were determined 
according to the Pell Grant payment schedule for 2005 to 2006 (maximum 
award = $4,050). The subsidized Stafford Loan amount is the lesser of 
(1) cost of attendance minus the sum of EFC plus Pell Grant or (2) the 
maximum subsidized loan for a first-year student ($2,625). The 
unsubsidized Stafford Loan amount is the lesser of (1) cost of 
attendance minus the sum of Pell plus subsidized Stafford Loan plus 
other financial assistance (i.e.—GI Bill for veterans) or (2) the 
maximum additional unsubsidized loan for a first-year, independent 
student ($4,000). 

[A] Unsubsidized Stafford Loan amounts for nonveteran, independent 
students assume this population has no other financial assistance such 
as outside scholarships that may reduce the amount in unsubsidized 
loans for which this group may be eligible. 

[B] Parents of dependent students have several credit options for 
financing their child's education, including home equity, private 
loans, and federal PLUS loans. PLUS loans are available under Title IV 
of the Higher Education Act and are loans made to parents of dependent, 
undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time in an eligible 
program of study. Borrowers are responsible for paying all interest on 
the loan. The maximum amount that a parent may borrow through a PLUS 
loan is equal to the student's cost of attendance minus all other 
assistance. Among dependent students who attended proprietary 
institutions in academic year 2003 to 2004, 20.3% received PLUS loans. 

[C] Among students attending proprietary institutions, the Department 
of Education determined the 25th percentile, 50th percentile, and 75th 
percentile of family income in each student classification (veteran, 
nonveteran independent, and nonveteran dependent). 

[D] Chapter 30 GI Bill benefit amount is based on academic year 2005 to 
2006 rates of $1,034 per month (Ch. 30 of Title 38 U.S.C.--Montgomery 
GI Bill Active Duty) for veterans who have completed an enlistment of 3 
years or more and are attending school full-time for an academic year 
of 9 months. 

[End of table] 

Table 3: Estimated Aid Awarded to First-Year Students Attending Private 
(Not-for-Profit) 4-Year Institutions Full-time in Academic Year 2005 to 
2006, by Income Level and Veteran Status: 

Average cost of attendance = $31,916. 

Veteran student: 25[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $8,931; 
EFC = $1,021; 
Pell Grant: $3,000; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $4,000; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $9,306; 
Total aid: $18,931. 

Veteran student: 50[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $30,553; 
EFC = $1,763; 
Pell Grant: $2,300; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $4,000; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $9,306; 
Total aid: $18,231. 

Veteran student: 75[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $69,234; 
EFC = $12,453; 
Pell Grant: $0; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $4,000; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $9,306; 
Total aid: $15,931. 

Nonveteran independent student[A]: 25[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $3,599; 
EFC = $0; 
Pell Grant: $4,050; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $4,000; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $10,675. 

Nonveteran independent student[A]: 50[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $18,826; 
EFC = $4,410; 
Pell Grant: $0; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $4,000; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $6,625. 

Nonveteran independent student[A]: 75[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $52,078; 
EFC = $5,658; 
Pell Grant: $0; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $4,000; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $6,625. 

Nonveteran dependent student[B]: 25[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $25,277; 
EFC = $716; 
Pell Grant: $3,300; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $0; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $5,925. 

Nonveteran dependent student[B]: 50[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $64,784; 
EFC = $9,467; 
Pell Grant: $0; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $0; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $2,625. 

Nonveteran dependent student[B]: 75[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $121,989; 
EFC = $27,335; 
Pell Grant: $0; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $0; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $2,625. 

Sources: For Pell Grants and Stafford Loans, U.S. Department of 
Education. For Chapter 30 GI benefits, U.S. Department of Veterans 
Affairs. 

Note: Average cost of attendance at a private 4-year institution for 
the 2005 to 2006 academic year was $31,916. The Department of Education 
calculated expected family contribution (EFC) using a weighted average 
of the EFC across students with different family characteristics within 
each student classification—veteran (always classified as independent), 
nonveteran independent, and nonveteran dependent. For each EFC/cost of 
attendance combination for each category of student the Department of 
Education determined the maximum Pell Grant and Stafford Loan amounts 
for a full-time, first-year student. Pell Grant amounts were determined 
according to the Pell Grant payment schedule for 2005 to 2006 (maximum 
award = $4,050). The subsidized Stafford Loan amount is the lesser of 
(1) cost of attendance minus the sum of EFC plus Pell Grant or (2) the 
maximum subsidized loan for a first-year student ($2,625). The 
unsubsidized Stafford Loan amount is the lesser of (1) cost of 
attendance minus the sum of Pell plus subsidized Stafford Loan plus 
other financial assistance (i.e.—GI Bill for veterans) or (2) the 
maximum additional unsubsidized loan for a first-year, independent 
student ($4,000). 

[A] Unsubsidized Stafford Loan amounts for nonveteran, independent 
students assume this population has no other financial assistance such 
as outside scholarships that may reduce the amount in unsubsidized 
loans for which this group may be eligible. 

[B] Parents of dependent students have several credit options for 
financing their child's education, including home equity, private 
loans, and federal PLUS loans. PLUS loans are available under Title IV 
of the Higher Education Act and are loans made to parents of dependent, 
undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time in an eligible 
program of study. Borrowers are responsible for paying all interest on 
the loan. The maximum amount that a parent may borrow through a PLUS 
loan is equal to the student's cost of attendance minus all other 
assistance. Among dependent students who attended proprietary 
institutions in academic year 2003 to 2004, 20.3% received PLUS loans. 

[C] Among students attending proprietary institutions, the Department 
of Education determined the 25th percentile, 50th percentile, and 75th 
percentile of family income in each student classification (veteran, 
nonveteran independent, and nonveteran dependent). 

[D] Chapter 30 GI Bill benefit amount is based on academic year 2005 to 
2006 rates of $1,034 per month (Ch. 30 of Title 38 U.S.C.--Montgomery 
GI Bill Active Duty) for veterans who have completed an enlistment of 3 
years or more and are attending school full-time for an academic year 
of 9 months. 

[End of table] 

Table 4: Estimated Aid Awarded to First-Year Students Attending 
Proprietary (For-Profit) Institutions Full-time in Academic Year 2005 
to 2006, by Income Level and Veteran Status: 

Average cost of attendance = $22,931. 

Veteran student: 25[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $9,000; 
EFC = $921; 
Pell Grant: $3,100; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $4,000; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $9,306; 
Total aid: $19,031. 

Veteran student: 50[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $26,290; 
EFC = $1,329; 
Pell Grant: $2,700; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $4,000; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $9,306; 
Total aid: $18,631. 

Veteran student: 75[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $60,179; 
EFC = $8,999; 
Pell Grant: $0; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $2,001; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $9,306; 
Total aid: $13,932. 

Nonveteran independent student[A]: 25[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $4,200; 
EFC = $0; 
Pell Grant: $4,050; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $4,000; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $10,675. 

Nonveteran independent student[A]: 50[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $15,671; 
EFC = $0; 
Pell Grant: $4,0500; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $4,000; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $10,675. 

Nonveteran independent student[A]: 75[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $40,570; 
EFC = $3,562; 
Pell Grant: $500; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $4,000; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $7,125. 

Nonveteran dependent student[B]: 25[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $11,448; 
EFC = $0; 
Pell Grant: $4,050; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $0; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $6,675. 

Nonveteran dependent student[B]: 50[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $31,554; 
EFC = $1,649; 
Pell Grant: $2,400; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $0; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $5,025. 

Nonveteran dependent student[B]: 75[th] income percentile[C]; 
Income = $74,109; 
EFC = $13,881; 
Pell Grant: $0; 
Subsidized Stafford Loan: $2,625; 
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: $0; 
Chapter 30 GI benefit[D]: $0; 
Total aid: $2,625. 

Sources: For Pell Grants and Stafford Loans, U.S. Department of 
Education. For Chapter 30 GI benefits, U.S. Department of Veterans 
Affairs. 

Note: Average cost of attendance at a proprietary institution for the 
2005 to 2006 academic year was $22,931. The Department of Education 
calculated expected family contribution (EFC) using a weighted average 
of the EFC across students with different family characteristics within 
each student classification—veteran (always classified as independent), 
nonveteran independent, and nonveteran dependent. For each EFC/cost of 
attendance combination for each category of student the Department of 
Education determined the maximum Pell Grant and Stafford Loan amounts 
for a full-time, first-year student. Pell Grant amounts were determined 
according to the Pell Grant payment schedule for 2005 to 2006 (maximum 
award = $4,050). The subsidized Stafford Loan amount is the lesser of 
(1) cost of attendance minus the sum of EFC plus Pell Grant or (2) the 
maximum subsidized loan for a first-year student ($2,625). The 
unsubsidized Stafford Loan amount is the lesser of (1) cost of 
attendance minus the sum of Pell plus subsidized Stafford Loan plus 
other financial assistance (i.e.—GI Bill for veterans) or (2) the 
maximum additional unsubsidized loan for a first-year, independent 
student ($4,000). 

[A] Unsubsidized Stafford Loan amounts for nonveteran, independent 
students assume this population has no other financial assistance such 
as outside scholarships that may reduce the amount in unsubsidized 
loans for which this group may be eligible. 

[B] Parents of dependent students have several credit options for 
financing their child’s education, including home equity, private 
loans, and federal PLUS loans. PLUS loans are available under Title IV 
of the Higher Education Act and are loans made to parents of dependent, 
undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time in an eligible 
program of study. Borrowers are responsible for paying all interest on 
the loan. The maximum amount that a parent may borrow through a PLUS 
loan is equal to the student’s cost of attendance minus all other 
assistance. Among dependent students who attended proprietary 
institutions in academic year 2003 to 2004, 20.3% received PLUS loans. 

[C] Among students attending proprietary institutions, the Department 
of Education determined the 25th percentile, 50th percentile, and 75th 
percentile of family income in each student classification (veteran, 
nonveteran independent, and nonveteran dependent). 

[D] Chapter 30 GI Bill benefit amount is based on academic year 2005 to 
2006 rates of $1,034 per month (Ch. 30 of Title 38 U.S.C.—Montgomery GI 
Bill Active Duty) for veterans who have completed an enlistment of 3 
years or more and are attending school full-time for an academic year 
of 9 months. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix IV GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

George A. Scott, (202) 512-7215 or scottg@gao.gov: 

Staff Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the contact named above, Heather McCallum Hahn, 
Assistant Director; Linda L. Siegel; and Anthony Paras contributed 
significantly to all aspects of this report. Luann Moy assisted with 
methodology and data reliability, Alexander Galuten provided legal 
support, and Rachael C. Valliere assisted in report development. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] Montgomery GI Bill at 38 U.S.C. Chapter 30. 

[2] GAO, Veterans' Education Benefits: Comparison of Federal Assistance 
Awarded to Veteran and Nonveteran Students, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-02-368] (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 
28, 2002). 

[3] Our scope does not include reservists who can receive benefits 
under 10 U.S.C. Chapter 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill--Selected Reserve) and 
Chapter 1607 (Reserve Educational Assistance Program). 

[4] The numbers for the campus-based aid programs were not 
significantly different at the 95 percent confidence interval. These 
data are based on survey responses from the National Postsecondary 
Student Aid Study for 2003 to 2004. 

[5] GAO, Veterans' Education Benefits: Comparison of Federal Assistance 
Awarded to Veteran and Nonveteran Students, GAO-02-368 (Washington, 
D.C.: Feb. 28, 2002). 

[6] Montgomery GI Bill at 38 U.S.C. Chapter 30. 

[7] GAO, Veterans’ Education Benefits: Comparison of Federal Assistance 
Awarded to Veteran and Nonveteran Students, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-02-368] (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 
28, 2002). 

[8] Our scope did not include reservists. Reservists can receive 
benefits under 10 U.S.C. Chapter 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill-Selected 
Reserve) and Chapter 1607 (Reserve Educational Assistance Program). 

[9] We used 2005 to 2006 data for Pell Grant and Stafford Loans and 
2003 to 2004 data for campus-based aid. 

[10] The numbers for the campus-based aid programs were not 
significantly different at the 95 percent confidence interval. 

[11] We scoped our work to individuals who met these criteria, but GI 
benefit amounts for others depend on length of military service, type 
of service (active duty or reservist), and school enrollment status. 

[12] 10 U.S.C. Chapter 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill—Selected Reserve). In 
addition, 10 U.S.C. Chapter 1607 (Reserve Educational Assistance 
Program) provides benefits to reservists. 

[13] See appendix III for amounts of aid veteran and nonveteran 
students were eligible for across income levels and types of schools 
they attended. 

[14] These numbers were not significantly different at the 95 percent 
confidence level. 

[15] However, Chapter 30 GI benefits are considered in determining 
eligibility for unsubsidized Stafford Loans. 

[16] Individual veterans may be eligible for more Title IV aid but 
received, on average, similar amounts as nonveterans in academic year 
2005 to 2006. Contributing factors may include income and students’ 
decisions to not take loans for which they were eligible. 

[17] Individual veterans may be eligible for more Title IV aid but 
received, on average, similar estimated amounts as nonveterans in 
academic year 2003 to 2004. A contributing factor may be the amount of 
campus-based aid available at a particular school. 

[18] At two of the eight schools we interviewed, veterans’ officials 
were located in the same office as the financial aid officers to 
increase coordination. 

[End of section] 

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