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Sen. Sherrod Brown Introduces Bill Help Vets Get a Degree Before Benefits Run Out

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio
Credit TIm Rudell / WKSU
Sen. Sherrod Brown says the two new pieces of legislation will help veterans and their families complete college before G.I. benefits run out.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown has introduced a bipartisan bill to help veterans finish school before their G.I. benefits run out.

The new Veterans Priority Enrollment Act is sponsored by Brown, a Democrat, and Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina. It would extend priority enrollment for college courses to veterans and eligible dependents. Brown says the goal is to allow people to plan their semesters so that they can finish their degrees before their benefits expire. 

“At many colleges, general education requirements and pre-requisite courses fill up quickly. It takes several semesters to secure a place in the most in-demand classes. But waiting for a spot in the required course is a luxury that many veterans don’t have.”

All public colleges in Ohio offer priority registration for veterans. The bill would expand the program nationwide and would include private schools with existing priority registration programs. The bill has also been introduced in the House, co-sponsored by Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan.

Brown and Tillis are also co-sponsoring The Yellow Ribbon Improvement Act, along with Republican Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. The bill would expand eligibility for the program to spouses and children of service members who died in combat.

“They often don’t go back to school right away. And by the time they are positioned to be able to do that, their G.I. Benefits may have run out. The Yellow Ribbon Program helps students avoid out-of-pocket tuition and fees for education programs that cost more than the G.I. Bill’s allowance.”

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