Senator Clinton Announces Bill to Help Returning Veterans Succeed in College
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) today announced introduction of legislation developed with Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to help returning veterans transition into colleges and universities and provide support to help them succeed in higher education. The Supporting Education for Returning Veterans Act will provide grants to institutions of higher education to establish one-stop centers to provide services and support to veterans on campus. Representative Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) has introduced similar legislation in the United States House of Representatives.
"We should do everything we can to support our servicemembers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and help them transition successfully to civilian life. For many, that will mean going back to school and we owe it to our veterans to give them the support they need to succeed. That means making college affordable for veterans by providing financial support like I have proposed in my 21st Century GI Bill and it means proactively addressing the unique needs of our veterans on campus to make sure they thrive. I was proud to work closely with Senator Sherrod Brown to develop this legislation and look forward to working with him toward Senate passage," said Senator Clinton.
The Supporting Education for Returning Veterans Act will authorize the Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, to establish a grant program for support of veterans at institutions of higher education. The grants will be awarded to provide and coordinate services that address the academic, financial, physical and social needs of returning veterans.
Academic institutions participating in the grant program will be required to establish on campus a Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success that provides a single point of contact to coordinate comprehensive support services for veterans who are students, including admissions, registration, financial aid, veterans benefits, academic advising, student health, personal or mental health counseling, career advising and disability services. Academic institutions will also be required to establish a support team for veterans who are students, including representatives from the student veteran association and veteran service office of the institution if any, and provide a coordinator for the program. Institutions of higher education participating in the grant program will be required to monitor veterans' rates of enrollment, progress and completion of programs of education.
Under the grant program, colleges and universities will have the option to provide additional services for veterans, including outreach and recruitment of veterans, supportive instructional services for veterans including personal, academic and career counseling, tutoring, and assistance with special admissions and transfer of credit from previous postsecondary education or experience. Academic institutions will also have the option to provide veteran students with assistance in obtaining student financial aid, housing support, classes that are limited to veterans to help them fulfill general education requirements, activities designed to ease the transition of veterans to life on campus, coordination of academic advising and admissions counseling with military bases and National Guard and Reserve bases in the area and other support services to aid veterans in achieving their educational and career goals.