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"When I returned to law school after serving a tour in Iraq, I started getting harassing phone calls from my student loan lender saying that I was defaulting on my loan payments. Due to my deployment, I had used up all of my permissible grace period."
-Patrick Campbell, Iraq Veteran
Our Country's Veterans are being flogged when they return home to complete their education. Currently, their deployments do not put a freeze on the allotted grace period to begin repaying college loans. The universities the Student-Soldiers attend have been little help as well by not refunding tuition if they go overseas mid-semester or giving them the adequate time to complete these courses when they return.
Patrick Campbell, an Iraq Veteran and the Legislative Director for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), made recommendations to Senator Sherrod Brown and Representative Susan Davis who introduced the Veterans Education Tuition Support (VETS) Act to congress on Wednesday. The bill will do as follows:
- Require colleges to refund tuition for service members who deploy (or provide future credits).
- Restore veterans to their academic status when they return.
- Cap student loan interest payments at 6% while the student is deployed.
- Extend the period of time a student-soldier has to re-enroll after returning from abroad.