How to Help Your Students Access Isakson-Roe Benefits
As a VP of Enrollment Management at a university, it's important to be aware of the Isakson and Roe amendment and the role it plays in financial aid compliance.
The Isakson and Roe amendment, also known as Section 484B of the Higher Education Act, requires institutions to not only provide net price calculators (NPCs) on their websites to give prospective students and their families an estimate of their potential cost of attendance, but, more specifically, it mandates that NPCs incorporate VA benefits into the final cost of attendance estimate. The idea is that higher education institutions should help veterans and their dependents to understand and access the aid available to them.
Here at Meadow, we’re fully onboard with that.
We consistently hear from universities that many students do not fully understand or fully take advantage of the benefits available to them. For some students, it’s about not filling out the FAFSA. For others, it’s about not knowing the benefits they might receive as a veteran or dependent. We understand why - it can be difficult for universities to summarize these benefits, as well as difficult for students to understand them.
The issue at hand is both communications and compliance. If you’re looking for ways to help eligible students access their VA benefits, consider sharing a resource that covers the most common forms of VA benefits in student and family-friendly language. Below, check out some other Isakson and Roe tips that range from how to be compliant to how to be clear.
Step One: Input VA Benefits into Your School’s NPC
A good NPC, like the one offered by Meadow, can help ensure compliance with the Isakson-Roe amendment by providing accurate and user-friendly cost estimates that take into account VA benefits.
These include (among others):
- Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill)
- Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment)
- Chapter 35 (Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance)
Chapter 35 is particularly important for dependents, as it provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans —- and many students don’t even know about it. Sharing information about it on your website and in your NPC can make a big difference.
While helping students access VA benefits takes time and care, it can have a positive impact on enrollment outcomes. That’s because prospective students and their families will have a clearer understanding of the costs associated with attending your institution and how VA benefits can help offset those costs.
Step Two: Get the Most Out of Your NPC
Including VA benefits in your institution's NPC is only the first step in empowering veteran students and veteran dependents. Here are some practical tips for ensuring compliance with the Isakson-Roe amendment and optimizing your NPC:
- Make sure your NPC is prominently displayed on your website and easily accessible to prospective students and their families.
- Ensure that your NPC is up-to-date and accurately reflects the most recent information on costs and financial aid, including VA benefits.
- Provide clear and detailed instructions on how to use your NPC, including what information is required and how the cost estimates are calculated.
- Regularly review and update your NPC to ensure that it’s running smoothly and accurately.
- Consider reaching out to veterans and dependents groups to make sure they’re aware of your NPC and how it can help them make informed decisions about college.
Staying One Step Ahead
By being compliant with the Isakson-Roe amendment and offering a user-friendly NPC, you can help prospective students and their families make more informed decisions about college. This, in turn, can lead to increased enrollment and a more diverse student body.