Congressman Simpson Introduces Two Bills to Improve Veterans Education Benefits
Washington, D.C. - Veterans pursuing higher education would receive improved options for work-study and fair access to financial aid under two new bills recently introduced by Congressman Mike Simpson. H.R. 1206, the Veterans Education Affordability Act and H.R. 1207, the Department of Veterans Affairs Work Study Act will make it easier for veterans to pursue higher education and improve many of the programs that already exist.
"When our brave military men and women return from serving our nation, we need to make sure they can afford to attend a college or vocational school of their choice," said Simpson. "By improving how we calculate financial aid and by expanding work-study programs, we will make higher education more affordable."
H.R. 1206, the Veterans Education Affordability Act, would exclude Montgomery GI Bill Benefits from the calculation of financial aid for veterans pursuing a college education. This would permit veterans to receive the same financial aid as their non-veteran classmates without decreasing aid because of the payments they receive for their military service as a part of the Montgomery GI Bill.
H.R. 1207, the Department of Veterans Affairs Work Study Act, would expand work-study opportunities for veteran-students. The work-study program provides veteran-students an opportunity to earn additional funds each semester while gaining valuable work experience. Current law authorizes a work-study program for any student receiving VA education or vocational rehabilitation benefits, but the program is limited to a VA facility, such as VA regional offices, medical centers, national cemeteries or college and university veterans' affairs offices.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Work Study Act would expand these opportunities to include positions with Reserved Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) programs, Transition Assistance Program and Disabled Transition Assistance Program (TAPs). It would also create a 5-year pilot program to test expanding the scope of acceptable work-study services a step further, to include employment positions in academic departments and in student services, subject to the approval of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.