Rosendale Applauds Veterans Education Bill Being Signed Into Law
Washington, September 6, 2022
Washington, D.C. – Last week, S. 4458, the Ensuring the Best Schools for Veterans Act of 2022, was signed into law. This bill is the Senate companion to a House of Representatives, Veterans Affairs education bill that originated due to the hard work of Representative Rosendale. The Congressman issued the following statement:
“The VA’s education benefits are made to help student veterans, but current regulations have made it needlessly complicated for schools and institutions to provide those benefits. Under the most recent rule, veterans would have been left with few options, with some having to switch schools mid-program or drop out altogether as programs shut down due to onerous and unnecessary requirements.
“Well, no longer. With the passage of this bill, schools will be freed from archaic regulatory burdens. I would personally like to thank the universities, colleges, and educational institutions of Montana who have been working with my office on this issue since I’ve been in Congress. It is their dedication to student veterans that has made this possible.”
S. 4458 clarifies certain requirements for a rule known as “85/15.” This rule prohibits educational institutions from receiving VA funds if more than 85% of its students are considered a “covered student” who receives aid or benefits. The Department of Veterans Affairs has struggled to define “covered” in a consistent manner, creating a large paperwork burden for educational programs that often operate on small margins.
The 85/15 rule has prevented many educational programs from accepting or re-enrolling student veterans, leaving some veterans to change their program or even abandon their course of study.
This new law eliminates ambiguity over what constitutes a “covered student” and will exempt the majority of institutions from 85/15 calculations if certain requirements are met. In short, this bill is a commonsense step to ensure that student veterans receive the education benefits they have earned without unnecessary government regulations getting in the way.