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The Veterans’ Student Loan Relief Fund is open to veterans of all branches of the United States Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines) as well as the Coast Guard, National Guard and Armed Forces Reserves. The fund is intended to provide assistance to veterans who feel they are in financial difficulties as a result of being defrauded or misled by the proprietary school they attended.
To be eligible to apply, individuals must –
- Be veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan (or served in the surrounding area and have documented service in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom) for a total of at least 60 days after September 11, 2001. Eligible applicants include veterans who did not meet the 60-day active service period as a result of a service-related injury or condition,
- Have attended at the undergraduate level a proprietary (for-profit) two- or four-year college or university, vocational-technical school or training institute in the United States after military service,
- Have applied for and accepted all eligible federal, state and institutional need-based grants and used all available military educational benefits (grants from all sources must be disclosed on the application), and
- Have incurred educational loans that have not yet been fully repaid.
If selected as a recipient, the veteran will receive up to $5,000 to repay educational loans.
Applicants must submit –
- Completed and signed application form.
- Personal statement regarding educational studies after military service and financial difficulties due to being defrauded or misled by the proprietary school attended.
- Documentation of military service and deployment (one or both of the following):
- United States Armed Forces: copy of official military orders and documentation of service dates in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom after September 11, 2001. (If DD214 does not clearly state dates of service in Iraq or Afghanistan or participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom, please supply other documentation such as a signed statement from your commanding officer or VA Administrator, the Basic Individual Report for Marines, or deployment roster.)
Note: If total service days in Afghanistan and/or Iraq is less than 60, provide military medical documentation of service-related injury or condition incurred in Afghanistan or Iraq
- Current, complete transcript of grades from proprietary (for-profit) institution attended (may be in the form of an electronic printout provided the document includes school name and student name.)
- School´s statement of financial aid for all years attended. (You should be able to get this online or at your school´s financial aid office.)
- Statement of military education benefits for all years received (go tohttp://www.gibill.va.gov).
- All educational loan promissory notes.
- Current statements for all educational loans showing outstanding balance.
- 2011 IRS Form 1040 with all Schedules and Attachments.
- Current credit history report (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion).
- Bankruptcy filings, if any.
Applicants will indicate whether their contact information may be shared with the sponsor in order to participate in interviews and research studies. The applicant´s decision to permit or not permit sharing of contact information will not be a factor in the selection process.
The application form and all required documents must be mailed in one envelope by postmark deadline August 11, 2012
Selection of Recipients
Applicants will be screened based on the following: applicant´s financial assets, level of educational debt, credit difficulties, bankruptcy filings (if any), and the impact of indebtedness on the applicant and his or her family. Other factors, including length of military service, number of deployments, completion of education, and level of employment following degree completion, will also be considered in the screening process.
From the pool of applicants who meet the screening criteria according to the process and factors listed above, recipients will be selected to represent broadly all areas of the United States and United States Territories and all branches of the United States Armed Forces.
Selection of recipients is made by Scholarship Management Services. In no instance does any member of any of the Armed Forces play a part in the selection. All applicants agree to accept the decision as final.
Applicants will be notified by the end of September 2012. Not all applicants to the program will be selected as recipients. Previous applicants may reapply if the program is offered again in the future.
Payment of Awards
Scholarship Management Services processes award payments in one installment. The check will be payable to the loan servicing agency for the individual´s account and mailed to the recipient´s home address in October 2012.
The payment may result in taxable income to the recipient. Recipients should consult a tax professional with any questions.
Recipients will be required to authorize release of personal statement, demographic information and contact information to the sponsor. Any use of such information for consumer awareness and public policy purposes will only be upon authorization by the recipient.
Recipients will be required to supply Scholarship Management Services with further information if requested in regard to the use of the award for loan repayment and to notify Scholarship Management Services of any change of address or other relevant contact Information.
The Veterans’ Student Loan Relief Fund reserves the right to review the conditions and procedures of this program and to make changes at any time including termination of the program.