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Howard University Now Offering Loans to Veterans

Howard University is now offering student veterans an interest-free loan of $3,000 after an investigation revealed that the prestigious D.C. university lost its accreditation.

Students are required to repay the loan by December 14, 2021, which is the end of the fall semester. However, some students may not be able to pay the loan back if they can’t get their GI Bill benefits.

If Howard University is not able to accept GI Bill payments, then the veteran students will not receive the stipends they need to pay for rent or books. These students may have to find another school.

RELATED: VA Suspends Education Benefits at these 5 Schools

Howard University Loses Accreditation

In April, Howard learned that its ability to receive GI Bill payments would diminish after the State Approving Agency (SAA) for the District of Columbia revoked it. The revocation took effect on June 15th. The sixty day window allowing the university to rectify the situation closed on August 15th, just one week ago.

Each SAA has the authority to audit a school to ensure they comply with standing laws and guidelines. The SAAs also ensure that the VA’s quality standards are met by these institutions receiving GI Bill funds. A Military.com investigation revealed that the school had lost its accreditation after a series of preventable clerical errors.

RELATED: Why College Accreditation Matters for Military and Veterans

Consequences for Howard University

When a school loses its GI Bill credentials, it directly impacts the veteran by rendering their primary source of financial support useless. A suspension does not happen often, especially with top level schools. This indicates that there are systemic issues with how the university operates. 

The university is taking extreme measures to survive this blunder, even if those measures are not in the best interest of the students. A spokesman for Howard University blames the VA for instituting new rules last year. Not surprisingly, the school official was unable to report any of the changes that he claims caused these issues.

Even so, rule and regulation changes are common in the higher education game. What is uncommon is for an institute of higher learning to drop the ball on such a grand scale.

RELATED: GI Bill For-Profit Colleges: Issues and Problems

Who Is Impacted

As of right now, only new students attempting to use their VA benefits are impacted. However, the SAA could expand the penalties on the school, which would impact returning students who had already been using their GI Bill to pay education at Howard.

Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

(Image courtesy of Eric Glenn via Shutterstock.com)





About the author

Terry Howell is a retired Coast Guard veteran, where he served for 20 years.

He is currently the Executive Director for Veterans' Legacies, a non-profit that works to preserve veterans personal stories to help educate our youth.

Terry is also the author of The Military Advantage, an annually updated guide to military and veteran benefits.