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New Data on Veterans' Education Benefits

February 6, 2020

About 6 percent of undergraduate college students in 2015-16 were veterans of the U.S. military, active-duty service members, in the reserves or the National Guard, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. That number was 7 percent for graduate students.

The total amount the federal government spent on military education benefits and aid that year was $14.3 billion, up from $12.1 billion in 2010-11.

The report said 43 percent of military undergraduates and 36 percent of military graduate students received some form of federal veterans’ education benefits. Military undergraduates received an average of about $15,100 in benefits that year, while their graduate student peers received $16,300. The data showed that 78 percent of military undergraduates who received benefits were men, the report found, while 73 percent who didn't receive benefits were men.

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Paul Fain

Paul Fain, Contributing Editor, came to Inside Higher Ed in September 2011, after a six-year stint covering leadership and finance for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Paul has also worked in higher ed P.R., with Widmeyer Communications, but couldn't stay away from reporting. A former staff writer for C-VILLE Weekly, a newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., Paul has written for The New York Times, Washington City Paper and Mother Jones. He's won a few journalism awards, including one for beat reporting from the Education Writers Association and the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award. Paul got hooked on journalism while working too many hours at The Review, the student newspaper at the University of Delaware, where he earned a degree in political science in 1996. A native of Dayton, Ohio, and a long-suffering fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, Fain plays guitar in a band with more possible names than polished songs.

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