Bipartisan Legislation Introduced by Representatives Levin and Barr to Expand Veterans’ Access to STEM Scholarships Passes House

June 25, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Representatives Mike Levin (D-CA) and Andy Barr (R-KY) to expand veterans’ access to the Edith Nourse Rogers Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Scholarship program passed the House of Representatives.

The Edith Nourse Rogers STEM scholarship program was enacted as part of the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, also known as the Forever GI Bill. Current law prohibits many student veterans from using this scholarship as there are very few undergraduate programs that meet the current requirement that a program require more than 128 credit hours for completion. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, only three states – Colorado, Oklahoma, and Nebraska – have programs that currently qualify. The legislation would ensure that student veterans enrolled in a STEM degree program are able to fully utilize their educational benefits, regardless of the current 128 credit hour requirement.

“Student veterans deserve every opportunity to pursue STEM careers that are the future of our economy, and I am glad to see my bipartisan legislation to expand those opportunities pass the House,” said Representative Levin. “Reducing the credit hour requirement for veterans enrolled in STEM programs is a common sense step to ensure that veterans can fully capitalize on their GI Bill benefits. As Chair of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, I will continue to work with my colleagues across the aisle to improve education benefits for our nation’s heroes.”

H.R 2196 would ensure that the scholarship program Congress provided for student veterans in STEM programs can be used in the way Congress intended and - more importantly - ensure that student veterans in these important degree programs receive the support they need to pursue their dreams. This program helps student veterans who often need to take additional credit hours to brush up on critical math or science skills necessary for success in a STEM program.

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