MANCHIN BILL TO EXPAND GI BILL FOR STUDENT VETERANS TO BE SIGNED BY PRESIDENT
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), today applauded the Senate passage of his bill, the Veteran STEM Scholarship Improvement Act. This legislation, which passed the House of Representatives in June, will expand the GI Bill for Veterans seeking careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The bill changes the hourly requirements for student Veterans earning STEM degrees to help them fully utilize their scholarships.
“It is great to see the Senate and the House of Representatives pass this important legislation to expand GI Bill programs for STEM Veteran students so they can take full advantage of their hard-earned scholarships. GI Bill programs are a small way to thank our Veterans for defending our freedoms and sacrificing so much for our country. I am proud to have introduced this legislation with Senator Cornyn and am proud to see it pass the Senate today and head to President Trump’s desk for signing,” said Senator Manchin.
“West Virginia University applauds the passage of the Veteran STEM Scholarship Improvement Act and appreciates the efforts of Senators Manchin and Cornyn on this legislation. When this measure is enacted into law, over 200 student veterans at WVU will have the opportunity to complete their STEM degrees or related teaching certification without having to find alternative financial resources. Not only is this a win for our student veterans, but also for our nation by incentivizing more veterans to pursue STEM professions,” said Jerry Wood, Director, Center for Veteran, Military and Family Programs at West Virginia University.
The Nourse STEM Scholarship, created by the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, provides an additional nine months or $30,000 of GI Bill eligibility to student Veterans pursing a STEM degree. Current law mandates that eligible STEM programs exceed 128 required credit hours; however, most programs in the United States require less than 128 credit hours. This bill will reduce that requirement in the Nourse STEM Scholarship to reflect that STEM programs should exceed 120 required credit hours so that more Veterans are able to take advantage of the scholarship.
A companion bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on June 24, 2019.
Other cosponsors include Senators Cornyn (R-TX), Rubio (R-FL), Sinema (D-AZ), and Cruz (R-TZ).
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