Mar 21 2020

Student Veterans in North Carolina were at risk of reduced GI Bill benefits due to move to online classes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President Trump signed into law bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) that will allow veterans on the GI Bill to continue receiving full benefits as colleges and universities move classes online to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There were more than 34,000 student veterans using their GI Bill benefits in North Carolina, including more than 6,000 in the UNC System, as of the 2017-2018 academic year.

“The UNC system, Duke, and other North Carolina schools made the right decision to move to online classes in response to coronavirus, but this resulted in an unintended consequence of student veterans potentially facing reduced GI Bill benefits,” said Senator Tillis. “I am proud we were able to work in a bipartisan manner and quickly pass this legislation to protect these much-deserved benefits for students who served our nation.”

The GI Bill determines student veterans’ benefits based on whether or not they attend a physical university in person versus an online program. As colleges and universities close campuses to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, veterans on the GI Bill could have lost or had their benefits cut. This bill ensures that these student veterans continue to receive full benefits even if the universities they attend move classes online due to COVID-19.