Veterans Administration's Practices for Allowing Educational Benefit Payments for Courses Not Successfully Completed

HRD-83-47: Published: Mar 28, 1983. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 1983.

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GAO reviewed the Veterans Administration's (VA) implementation of the legislative provision which prohibits paying educational benefits to students for courses for which grades are not used in computing the requirements for graduation, including courses from which the students withdraw, unless there are mitigating circumstances.

GAO found that students have received educational benefits to which they may not have been entitled. VA had been accepting as mitigating circumstances nearly all statements submitted by students. The statements often did not indicate what control the students had over the events described or how the events affected the students' ability to successfully complete courses. As a result of discussions with VA officials, VA took action to clarify what mitigating circumstances should be accepted and to increase the requirements for supporting evidence. The VA action should, if properly implemented, substantially correct the situation.

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