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Schatz, Rounds Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill To Protect Education Benefits For Veterans

Bill Would Help Student Veterans Learn About Where To Use Benefits And Improve Transparency Of Higher Education Institutions

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) reintroduced the Student Veterans Transparency and Protection Act. The bipartisan legislation would improve veterans’ access to information about higher education and allow the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to restore benefits that veterans use at schools subject to civil enforcement.

“The G.I. Bill benefit has helped open the doors to higher education for many veterans who otherwise would not be able to access it. But bad actors in the education community have taken advantage of those who have served, robbing them of the full value of their education benefits,” said Senator Schatz,  a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. “Our bill will ensure that veterans who have been deceived are able to recoup their benefits. It will also help veterans learn more about different schools and their benefits so that they have the information they need to find the right program.”

“Our veterans and service members deserve full access to the educational benefits they have earned,” said Senator Rounds. “This bipartisan legislation would give the VA authority to reinstate veterans’ benefits taken by predatory institutions now subject to civil enforcement. It would also improve the GI Bill Comparison Tool to better inform eligible individuals in South Dakota, and nationwide, about their educational benefits and opportunities. Through timely data publication, this tool will help veterans and service members steer clear of predatory institutions and select the best programs available.”

Along with providing VA the ability to reinstate benefits used at schools, the bill requires VA to provide veterans up-to-date student outcome and financial information for all eligible institutions through its G.I. Bill Comparison Tool, and it requires all VA education counselors to be trained in using this tool to help beneficiaries so that veterans can make the best choices about where to use their education benefits.

The bill is supported by Student Veterans of America, AMVETS, Blinded Veterans Association, Gold Star Wives, Military Officers Association of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Tragedy Assistance Program For Survivors, Disabled American Veterans, The Institute for College Access & Success, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, National Association for College Admission Counseling, Wounded Warrior Project, the American Legion, and Higher Learning Advocates.

The full text of the bill is available here.