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Rubio, Cornyn, Manchin, Sinema Introduce Bill to Broaden GI Benefits for Veterans in STEM Fields

Jun 28, 2019 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C.  — Today, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), John Cornyn (R-TX), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced the Veteran STEM Scholarship Improvement Act, a bill that will help veterans to take full advantage of the scholarship provided to study science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM fields). 
“The future of work in America’s 21st century economy will be dominated by STEM careers, and our veterans are uniquely positioned to excel in these positions,” Rubio said. “I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to help more veterans take advantage of this great scholarship.” 
“Unfortunately, these scholarships benefit no one if the requirements to use them exclude many of the very programs we aim to promote,” Cornyn said. “By broadening this scholarship to apply to more of the STEM programs offered in veterans’ communities, I hope we will encourage more veterans to take advantage of this benefit.  Making it easier to cash in on the benefits offered is one small way we can say thank you for your service.”  
The Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship, created by the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, provides an additional nine months of GI bill eligibility or $30,000 in benefits to student veterans pursuing a STEM degree.  Current law mandates that for a veteran to utilize the Nourse Scholarship they must be enrolled in a STEM program that exceeds 128 required credit hours. However, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has found that there are only three states where the average STEM degree exceeds 128 required credit hours.This bill would reduce the credit hour requirement to ensure that more student veterans pursuing STEM degrees are able to qualify for the Nourse scholarship.
A companion bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on June 24, 2019.