House Sends Ranking Member Bost’s GI Bill Reporting Fix to the President’s Desk, Honors the Service of Late Rep. Jackie Walorski
Today, Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, released the following statement after the House passed S. 4458, the Ensuring the Best Schools for Veterans Act of 2022, companion legislation to H.R. 8198, which Ranking Member Bost introduced in the House to codify and streamline reporting requirements for colleges and universities participating in the GI Bill. The House also passed a bipartisan resolution to rename the VA clinic in Mishawaka, Indiana the ‘Jackie Walorski VA Clinic’ in honor of late Rep. Jackie Walorski’s commitment to veterans and their families.
“I am thrilled to see the House pass my bill, the Ensuring the Best Schools for Veterans Act, today,” said Ranking Member Bost. “This bill will clarify the 85/15 reporting requirements for colleges and universities who use the GI Bill to ensure that student veterans are able to access the education program they want this year. It will also improve oversight to prevent fraudulent programs from taking advantage of veterans. This way schools will spend less time filling out government paperwork, and more time helping student veterans achieve their education goals. I thank Reps. Miller-Meeks and Rosendale, Senators Tester and Moran, and higher-education advocacy organizations the American Council on Education (ACE), Association of Public Land Grant Universities (APLU), and National Association of Veteran Program Administrators (NAVPA) for their work on this bill. I urge President Biden to sign this vitally important measure into law as soon as possible before the start of the fall semester.
Ranking Member Bost continued, “I was also proud to support my friend Rep. Jim Banks’ bipartisan resolution to rename the Mishawaka VA clinic after our dear colleague, the late Rep. Jackie Walorski, who passed away last week and was laid to rest yesterday. Jackie served for two terms on our Committee, and often told her staff that serving veterans well was always one of her top priorities in Congress. She fought hard to secure funding for the Mishawaka VA clinic in her district to guarantee that her constituents had access to the care and services they’ve earned. I can think of no better tribute to that commitment to our service men and women than to have this clinic bear her name.”
Under current law, in order for colleges and universities to accept the GI Bill, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) requires that an education program must have at least 15% of its students paying for tuition from non-GI Bill sources, or have their tuition paid in part by the school. A school can be exempted from making this calculation if up to 35% of their students are not receiving GI Bill benefits. The rule is a good check on schools and has been in place since the 1960s. However, VA’s current interpretation of the 35% waiver has placed burdensome red tape on schools and has put many schools’ ability to enroll veterans in programs of their choosing in jeopardy. The Ensuring the Best Schools for Veterans Act of 2022 will clarify the requirements of the 85/15 rule, ensuring education programs can continue accepting veterans while maintaining oversight to prevent fraudulent programs from taking advantage of student veterans.