Mar 17 2020

Legislation Would Protect GI Bill Benefits for Student Veterans Who Move to Online Classes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, the U.S. Senate passed 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 took swift action to move to online classes in response to coronavirus, and I was proud to work with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to protect the GI Bill benefits for students who bravely served our nation and prevent any unintended consequences,” said Senator Tillis. “While North Carolina colleges and universities are taking necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of students and staff, no veteran should lose their GI benefits in the shuffle. Supporting veterans will remain my top priority and I look forward to the House’s consideration of this common-sense bill.”

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 lose or have their benefits cut. This bill would allow these student veterans to continue to receive full benefits even if the universities they attend move classes online due to COVID-19.

The bill will now head to the House for consideration.