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“Defining and Improving Success for Student Veterans”

National Student Clearinghouse President and CEO, Rick Torres, Testifies Before the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

HERNDON, VA, MAY 8, 2014 – In today’s testimony before the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, National Student Clearinghouse President and CEO, Rick Torres, outlined steps to take in supporting veterans as they move toward their desired educational goals.

Mr. Torres spoke on the complexities involved as returning veterans separate from service. He outlined processes and procedures that could be greatly simplified as student veterans enroll in school. To this end, the Clearinghouse could be utilized as a one-stop data home to help facilitate school enrollment. Working from the highly successful recent Student Veterans of America Million Records Project (MRP), which the Clearinghouse supported along with the Veterans Administration, Mr. Torres also spoke on supporting further research with more details and greater focus to determine which veteran support programs, both qualitative and financial, best serve the needs of veterans today and which need to be improved or modified. The MRP, which was released in March, made available, for the first time, comprehensive national statistics on the benefit recipients of the Montgomery and Post 9/11 GI Bills. It looked at postsecondary outcomes, including degree completion, time-to-degree, and field of study preferences.

Another important step outlined in Mr. Torres’s testimony is to transform the administrative work required of both veterans and schools with regard to financial aid, course work, and reporting requirements. For example, the Meteor™ financial aid service, from the Clearinghouse, can provide student veterans with a view of their individual debt and benefits.

“We firmly believe when it comes to improving veteran success in pursuit of their education goals, eliminating the extra hurdles that student veterans must overcome to enroll with benefits and maintain receipt of benefits that are in sync with their chosen educational pathways would be a great start,” stated Mr. Torres.

Read full copies of the oral testimony and the written testimony.

About the National Student Clearinghouse®
The National Student Clearinghouse (a nonprofit formed in 1993) is the trusted source for and leading provider of higher education verifications and electronic education record exchanges, handling more than 700 million verification requests and over 250 million education record exchanges annually. The Clearinghouse serves as a single point of contact for the collection and timely exchange of accurate and comprehensive enrollment, degree, and certificate records on behalf of its more than 3,600 participating higher education institutions, which represent 98 percent of all students in public and private U.S. institutions. The Clearinghouse also provides thousands of high schools and districts with continuing collegiate enrollment, progression, and completion statistics on their alumni.

Through its verification, electronic exchange, and reporting services, the Clearinghouse saves the education community cumulatively nearly $500 million dollars annually. Most Clearinghouse services are provided to colleges and universities at little or no charge, including enhanced transcript and research services, enabling institutions to redistribute limited staff and budget resources to more important student service efforts. Clearinghouse services are designed to facilitate an institution’s compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, The Higher Education Act, and other applicable laws.

In addition, the Clearinghouse provides accurate, timely enrollment and degree verifications to student loan providers, employers, student credit issuers, the U.S. Department of Education, and others who access its registry more than half a billion times annually.

For more information, visit www.studentclearinghouse.org.

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