Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Fund for Veterans Education

The Fund for Veterans’ Education was established by former Navy Lieutenant (now billionaire) Jerome Kohlberg to provide scholarships to veterans from all branches of the United States Armed Forces who served in Afghanistan or Iraq since September 11, 2001 and who are now enrolled in college or vocational-technical school.

According to its website, "Total maximum educational benefit over four years available to veterans who served with active duty units $39,636.; Average four year cost of attending a public university as an in state student $65,428; Average four year cost of a public university as an out of state student $105,216; Average four year cost of a private university $133,204."

Unless and until Congress gets its act together and passes a modern GI Bill, veterans who meet eligibility criteria can apply online for a scholarship:

Persons wishing to help the fund can find contact information at

Do your research, then be generous!

As Chris Moran reports in the San Diego Morning Tribute:

“This is something we owe,” Kohlberg said. Taking care of returning veterans is part of the cost of war as Kohlberg sees it, just like after World War II. Back then, Kohlberg had just finished three years in the Navy, a lieutenant in charge of the stores the U.S. military shopped at in Panama. When he returned, the U.S. government sent nearly 8 million veterans, including him, to school.

Kohlberg the veteran makes the moral argument that Congress needs to restore the compact between the warriors and their government. Kohlberg the capitalist makes an economic argument. The original GI Bill's massive swords-to-plowshares effort converted the world's mightiest military into a nation's middle class.
With the aid of the U.S. government, Kohlberg got a bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College, a master's degree from Harvard Business School and a law degree from Columbia University School of Law. In part because of the help they got from the government, Kohlberg said, his peers got better jobs and spent more money, paid more taxes and assumed more leadership roles in civilian life.

A new GI bill that covers all educational expenses of veterans is a good investment, one he estimates will pay five to 10 times its upfront amount. Kohlberg knows something about investments. As a pioneer of the leveraged buyout, he has amassed a $1.5 billion fortune that according to a Forbes list published this month makes him the world's 785th richest person.

Until Congress agrees to make that investment, Kohlberg will invest on his own.

There is another difference between now and then, Kohlberg said. The current wars have been financed largely by debt, while seemingly everyone in the nation sacrificed for the World War II effort, he said.

Kohlberg said he believes that even those who oppose the Iraq war as he does would agree that the nation must do more to support veterans of that war. “We're lucky we've been just sitting here on our duffs, all of us doing nothing for the war,” Kohlberg said. “We haven't even been asked.”

See full article here:
KUDOS to VA Watchdog for publicizing this program!

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