ONLY ON 3: UNCW student on Post 9/11 GI Bill told to pay up

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Submitted: Thu, 04/28/2011 - 3:25am
Updated: Thu, 04/28/2011 - 3:50pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A UNCW student who was initially told his education would be paid for under the Post 9/11 GI Bill is now being told he needs to pay up.

Ian Burns served in the Marine Corps as a military dog handler, working with bomb sniffing dogs while in Iraq.

“Of course it was pretty scary finding explosives with your dog and typically whatever you did, you tried to get away from them as quickly as possible,” Burns said.

After more than four years in the Corps, Burns decided to study Criminology at UNCW, transferring hours from a school in South Carolina.

“Once my obligation was completed, I decided that I accomplished everything I wanted in the military and that I wanted to return to school and finish up my degree,” Burns said.

Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, he was told his education would be completely covered.

“I don’t feel that as a veteran I have this huge sense of entitlement,” Burns said. “Obviously that’s a really nice benefit and up until this point it’s been really great to have it so far.”

But a few months ago, Congress voted a new GI Bill into effect, which removes the benefits for veterans attending out-of-state schools and those going to private schools.

Burns received an e-mail from UNCW this week saying because of the changes, he would have to pay $5,500 a semester to continue his education.

“So for them to change it when students are in the middle of getting their degrees and for me, you know being so close to being finished, it’s just frustrating that they would change that at the last minute,” Burns said.

Burns has one semester left at UNCW and hopes to finish up next December. He hopes he will be available for in-state tuition in August.

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28 Comments on "ONLY ON 3: UNCW student on Post 9/11 GI Bill told to pay up"

2015 years 8 months ago

You seem to know a lot about how ‘the majority’ of democrats think. I can tell you as someone who converted from republican to liberal democrat a long time ago that ‘the majority’ of us DO NOT think of any one in the military as ‘inferior’. I don’t know any of us who do not completely support and admire the men and women who are willing to risk their lives for something they believe is right. It is very very possible to disagree (despise) a war and still support the human beings involved.
You seem to be an intelligent person. If you ever have a chance to sit down and talk to one of us crazy liberal democrats and really listen without coming into the conversation with your mind already made up, I promise you would see how ‘the majority’ of us really feel. I think you’d be surprised.. :)

2015 years 8 months ago

As long as you adhere to a philosophy that defends progressive income taxation and the redistribution of wealth, you are no different than the thief who broke into my house many years ago. You want to steal what is not yours.

As long as you would deprive me of the means to defend myself against that thief, and take that .45 from my hand, you are his accomplice in crime.

As long as you consider the Constitution to have some “good ideas,” but believe it’s a living, changeable document and not the basic law of the land, then you want to substitute political whim as the basis of all law.

As long as you view the federal government as all powerful, and the states as nothing more than vassals to carry out the will of the federal government, then I have to wonder if you ever read the Constitution.

As long as you believe that an individual “right” may require funding from taxpayers, you have no idea what a “right” is.

Now I don’t know how liberal you are, and if you adhere to all those points I offered, but you evidently proudly wear the label of “liberal” and I find that most who do are “checklist liberals.”

Hate the rich and punitively tax them, check.

Outlaw guns, check.

Ignore the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, check.

Believe that society has an obligation to carry the lazy, incompetent, scamming, or just plain unlucky losers in life, check.

Thanks for complimenting my intelligence. You were once a Republican who became a liberal Democrat. I was once a Republican who became a Libertarian.

Accordingly I will not compliment your intelligence. No one who has an even rudimentary knowledge of the Constitution, economics, and history could possibly be a liberal.

2015 years 8 months ago

I totally agree with this law. Although I think the veterans deserve their edcuation to be paid for, and as I read this, it still will be but it would be at an in-state public school. I can’t imagine that there is not a college in each veterans home state that cannot provide an education for them. We need to cut expenditures, out-of-state and private school tuitions is one way of doing it. The education benefit is not being abandoned for veterans.

2015 years 8 months ago

I see your point, but it makes a better argument against the administration to make it seem like they’re not paying for their education at all instead of saying they want them to attend an in-state public school to save money.

2015 years 8 months ago

I usually don’t post on here but I had to open my mouth on this one. True there are A LOT of people who abuse the pell grant system, that goes without saying but please don’t generalize.
When I was 28 my husband passed away which left my son and I broke and terrified. I received a pell grant a year later that allowed me to return to college and graduate with my RN. I have now worked as a pediatric oncology nurse for almost 12 years–without this grant my son and I would not be in the best shape right now….there are just as many people like me that got a chance from a pell grant as there are who abuse the system–maybe even more.
So think about that before you speak against this particular ‘entitlement program’. Medicaid too for that matter, many of the children dying with cancer I have treated were covered by it after their families lost everything when their child got sick. Try to look at both sides of the story–we are all one step away from disaster at any moment.

2015 years 8 months ago

Yeah, it certainly is Hard to Believe that you MISSED the point. If you would have read the threads all the way through, you would have understood.
A previous post to mine said something like, I wish others would begin attacking abusers of the “system”, instead of abusing veterans who use the G.I. Bill.

Please re-read what I wrote when commenting to that previous blog…

“And, I too, am with you for attacking ALL OF THOSE who have been abusing the “system” for Generation after Generation.”

1.) Did you abuse the system at all??? No!

2.) Did generation after generation in your family abuse it? NOOOO!

We need to question the numbers of students who apply for Pell grants, get them with NO INTENT to do anything but Drop out when ther check arrives.

You didn’t do that either, did you? I wasn’t talking about PEOPLE who HONESTLY apply for and use the money to further their education.

When it comes to blogging, there is such a thing called Deductive Reasoning and I am noticing that there are some people that take everything so literally or are still a believer in P.C.

I didn’t think I had to be sooooo politically correct to be compelled to qualify TRUTHFUL statements about one very unacceptable abuse.

2015 years 8 months ago

If you are so disgusted, you pay for his bill. You want people who have nothing to do with the law to just pony up and pay someones bill? UNCW has always treated Vets with great care…I had several friends who were vets and they would agree, as they all went through the UNCW system and always talk about how well they were treated!

2015 years 8 months ago

When a person serves our country in the Armed Forces, they should be entitled to go to whatever school they want to get a 4 year degree for free!, SHAME ON CONGRESS for making this DISGUSTING TWEAK in the G.I Bill!

and SHAME ON UNCW if the overpaid Adminstrators and Coaches (I’m mostly disgusted with Buzz Peterson’s $500 K salary) can’t somehow come up with 6 Grand so that Mr. Burns can finish his degree!!

2015 years 8 months ago

Clipping an article you know nothing about is interesting. The big change is for out of state students which the TV article focused on. These students lose the difference between in-state tuition and out-of-state tuition or $10,000 per year.

2015 years 8 months ago

From the VA page explaining the new benefits law:

Effective August 1, 2011

The Post-9/11 GI Bill will now pay all public school in-state tuition and fees; this includes graduate training, etc.
For students attending private institutions of higher learning or foreign schools, the tuition and fee reimbursement is capped at the lesser of net out-of-pocket cost or $17,500 annually — however the Yellow Ribbon Program still exists
College fund payments will now be paid on a monthly basis instead of a lump-sum at the beginning of the term. Those training at ½ time or less are now eligible for college fund payments
Reimbursement is now available for multiple Licensing and Certification Tests
Reimbursement is now available for fees paid to take national examinations used for admission to an institution of higher learning (e.g. SAT, LSAT, ACT, GMAT, etc)
Vocational Rehabilitation participants may now elect the higher housing allowance offered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill if otherwise eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill
Break or interval pay is no longer payable under any VA education benefit program unless under an Executive Order of the President or due to an emergency situation such as a natural disaster or strike. Entitlement which previously would have been used for break pay will be available for use during a future enrollment.
This means that if your semester ends December 15 your housing allowance is paid for the first 15 days of December only. Your benefits will begin again when your new semester begins (e.g. January 15) and you will be paid for the remaining days of that month and term.
Students using other VA education programs are included in this change. Monthly benefits will be prorated in the same manner.
NOAA and PHS personnel are now eligible to transfer their entitlement to eligible dependents
Effective October 1, 2011

If you are training at greater than ½ time your housing allowance is now prorated according to the training time you are enrolled in, i.e. full housing allowance for you is $1000, you are attending ¾ time — your housing allowance would be $750 (¾ of $1000)
Housing allowance is now payable to students enrolled solely in distance learning [This Includes Online Education], the housing allowance is ½ the national average BAH for an E-5 with dependents (the rate would be $673.50 for 2011)
Non-college degree programs, on-the-job training, and flight training programs are now covered under the Post-9/11 GI Bill
The book stipend is now payable to active duty members

Read more:
Military Education Blog

2015 years 8 months ago

Guest 12354,

I’m with you for supporting THOSE who have earned benefits, like our veterans.

And, I too, am with you for attacking ALL OF THOSE who have been abusing the “system” for Generation after Generation.

One such abuse that is rampant is to apply for a Pell Grant.

Easily given the “FREE MONEY” because the person doesn’t work, and their family does not work, and so they EASILY claim poverty and have a subsidized housing address and every member of the FAMILY ON MEDICAID to PROVE their wanton poverty. They lie about the desire to want to go to school and break the cycle of abuse. They get and cash the check. Drop out of school. Buy what they want. No need to pay back the Pell GRANT. It was “Free Money”.

Don’t worry about me teaching others how to do it, the people who abuse the system are so proud that they taught me how it’s done.

LET’s GROW THE GOVERNMENT!!! The Left is looking Pretty Stupid.

2015 years 8 months ago

How about looking at attacking all the people that abuse the free benefits of the Gov’t for years instead of those that have earned it. If you drive through some of the neighborhoods in Wilmington on a weekday, everyday looks like a federal holiday because no one works.

2015 years 8 months ago

It may have improved by now, but a 2008 report by the Army’s IG reported half of the Army artillery batallions “incapable of accomplishing primary mission” because the troops were deploying without artillery, to fill infantry and guard duty billets in Iraq.

I’m all for reducing the size of our military, especially the Air Force and my old alma mater, the Marine Corps.

I’m also willing to accept the people’s demand for me to be Emperor of America, and only use the military when it is needed, and in a manner in which it should be used.

This Democracy thing isn’t working. We keep electing idiots and people intent on destroying America. Since I don’t trust either of my kids with the reins of power, you can go back to having elections when I die.

2015 years 8 months ago

i think having an infantry marine or even better army Ranger emperor for awhile would be amusing. please just don’t have any of those ridiculous royal weddings….

2015 years 8 months ago

….do you think I’d be so stupid as to get married ever again?

2015 years 8 months ago

you make some good points, we should go after the “worthless scum” that produce medicaid recipients. Those of us that have been or are in the military will tell you that 99% of the time its a d&%#n good gig. Realize that many of our vaunted USMC & Big Army units haven’t even been in a fight. The rest of the world that we provide military services for, needs to chip in. We’re not on a war footing at all, this country is half heartedly fighting an antique enemy. This country has fought no military with air, armor or artillery power in over fifty years.

2015 years 8 months ago

Listen the last thing I would do is out a soldier. If I were stuck somewhere and I pissed one of them off, I wouldn’t want to be left because of my choices in words. But this simply must be said, you were paid to do a job, you got bonuses if you were deployed, half of the jobs are not even dangerous or even difficult for the amount of pay hourly you receive. Your food is paid for, the G.I Bill covered soo much shit its unreal. I am a hard working student and professional and have never been given a handout. I have completed my associates degree and I paid for it. The school did not pay me for coming to school so the military pays you to sign your contracts, they pay you to go to school and the pay you for the rest of your life if you just so happen to get hurt even in the smallest way. I had a close friend break his elbow really bad in the army playing flag football, the government is writing him an 800 dollar check every month for the rest of his life. I lost respect for him and he is glad I didn’t shoot him in the face when all of us are suffering just to find a damn job. Kiss my ass, all the kid did was walk a dog around like a park looking for bombs. You could pay internationally 7 dollars an hour for someone without education to do that. I commend the kid on being consistent in his years as military, but he wasn’t special forces, he didn’t save my life. Its bullshit he believes the government owes him everything even after they paid him. It is obscure to think we owe anyone anything. I did my job, I served my country by being employed and helping out the economy in monetary terms. You don’t see me lining up at doors asking for money because I signed a contract letting me know what the hell I was going to be doing. It is not fair, I am even more upset that the kid went to my school. Also, back in world war II, you had to do some amazing selfless shit to commend a PURPLE HEART< Today, they give them away like pieces of candy. The country is still in turmoil, our country is number one in GDP but we owe more money than any other country and we are outsourcing our shit all the time making absolutely nothing here. So yeah, we have real life shit to do with, not worrying about some kid asking to pay 5500 for school. I have paid 22,000 since at UNCW and still paying as a state f.. resident. Such a selfish thing to make a complaint about when others are hurting far worse. Stop getting drunk at the bars and buying trucks and maybe you can use some of that saved money in the military for more important things like the rest of us have to. I LOVE and ADMIRE the soldiers and friends I have that actually make life decisions and sacrifices but for the ones who stayed on base, never did anything productive or in danger, i feel nothing for you if you bitch. But you deserve your paycheck.


Angry UNCW Student.

2015 years 8 months ago

The law was signed by Obama 1/4/2011 before the new Republican house majority was seated. Thank the Democrats for following their strategy of weakening our military. As a vet I find this treatment abhorrent but expected from them!

2015 years 8 months ago

The majority of Democrats despise and look down upon military members as somehow inferior. They know nothing about what they do and want nothing to do with them. Even the Hospital CORPSE-men. (With a nod to our Commander-in-Chief.)

I recall how the Clintons thought it was just wonderful to use their military attaches to serve hors d’oeuvres during official functions – Majors and Lieutenant Colonels being used as waiters.

One of the reasons that I vote for McIntyre is that he does NOT fall into that category.

Keith G
2015 years 8 months ago

This is just another prime example of how our veterans get treated by the US Government which they served. I would love, just for once, to see our Congress pass legislation that says, ” Hey we aren’t doing our job so we don’t get paid this year” when they don’t get it done. Our service members sacrifice a great deal to serve their country, both at home and abroad. I don’t think it’s asking too much for our leaders to give our service members what was promised. They give free benefits to people that aren’t even from this country, or are citizens of this country. Then want to go and back out on a promise they made to a veteran. It’s high time we as American Citizens start acting like we give a hoot about how the people in our legislature are destroying our country. Spoken as a vet…..

Steven Rowland
2015 years 8 months ago

As a Veterans Claims Examiner for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, I can say that the out of state tuition has been an issue from the beginning. Originally, we went by the maximum in state tution per credit hour and maximum fees charged in state. Some schools were less expensive to go to, so that even after the out of state charges were added, they were still under the in state maximum.

2015 years 8 months ago

If so, it’s the first time in history they’ve ever done it. Vets have ALWAYS been covered by the “G.I. Bill” that was in force during their term of service, and if there was an overlap during their active duty the individual usually had a choice to slect which program he or she wanted. Once discharged or retired, you were covered by that plan until the benefits were consumed or expired.

They’ve never before broken promises regarding educational benefits, so I’d certainly contact McIntyre’s office for confirmation before I took UNCW’s word for it.

2015 years 8 months ago

It is not UNCW’s word to take. It is the law. It can be confirmed on the GI Bill website at The VA will now only pay up to the school’s in-state tuition and fees. So for an out-of-state student they must now pay the difference. The VA did not do away with the program, they just changed it.

2015 years 8 months ago

I could not agree more with the previous comments! Totally irresponsible
of “our” lawmakers. HHmmm…maybe we need to pass a law (or bill,or whatever tag needs to be on it)that we can cut back on the pay that the lawmakers receive and maybe cut it when they most need the pay.

2015 years 8 months ago

is spent on the military. All services need to be a lot leaner & meaner. Our young men need jobs that pay back into the system rather than burden the system. While its politically incorrect to say this, its time to have that conversation.

2015 years 8 months ago

Yes, the benefits are very expensive. A real burden. The GI Bill alone can cost tens of thousands of dollars per individual. Let the guy retire after twenty years and he can easily make a million dollars in retainer and pension before he dies. Then you have to add in VA health benefits, VA disability, and the cost of Tricare for retirees.

Do away with those benefits and you will certainly get LEANER, fast. Absolutely NO ONE will re-enlist. Who do you think is going to volunteer to get killed, be away from their family for months or even years at a time, live (and smell) like a feral dog for weeks at a time and know that an injury can get you discharged, unless those benefits are in place?

So why zero in on the benefits for men and women who have EARNED them? Why not go after the worthless scum who serve no purpose than to produce another Medicaid recipient? Why not phase out Medicaid, put REAL time limits on TANF, food vouchers/debit cards and public/Section 8 housing, and send out the message that you have to EARN what you have in life?

2015 years 8 months ago

Can you direct me to the passage that states that no one is grandfathered under the old program?

2015 years 8 months ago

To reiterate here, UNCW’s treatment of veterans and it’s VA rep are nothing less than excellent. The issue at hand is the passing of new GI Bill rules that alter veterans benefits mid-course, while they are already enrolled in a particular program. This affects out-of-state students as well as those attending private schools. There is currently legislation in the works (H.R. 1383, the “Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011″) that seeks to rectify this by grandfathering-in students currently enrolled in their respective programs.