From: The Honorable Patrick Murphy
Sent By: michal.kaufer@mail.house.gov
Date: 11/20/2014

Cosponsor H.R. 4793, The Reducing Barriers for Veterans Education Act

Supported by: The American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America, the Association of the United States Navy and the Retired Enlisted Association

Cosponsors (80): Reps Luke Messer (Original Cosponsor), Michele Bachmann, Ron Barber, Joyce Beatty, Tim Bishop, Madeleine Bordallo, Corrine Brown, Julia Brownley, Cheri Bustos, Bradley Byrne, Andre Carson, Matt Cartwright, Donna Christensen, Judy Chu, David Cicilline, Howard Coble, Steve Cohen, Gerry Connolly, John Conyers, Kevin Cramer, John Delaney, Scott DesJarlais, Ted Deutch, Mario Diaz-Balart, Keith Ellison, Lois Frankel, Pete Gallego, John Garamendi, Raúl Grijalva, Alcee Hastings, Brian Higgins, Rubén Hinojosa, Mike Honda, Steve Israel, Sheila Jackson Lee, Hank Johnson, Walter Jones, Robin Kelly, Ron Kind, Peter King, Ann Kirkpatrick, Doug LaMalfa, Barbara Lee, Daniel Lipinski, Frank LoBiondo, Alan Lowenthal, Doris Matsui, Carolyn McCarthy, Tom McClintock, Jim McDermott, Jim McGovern, Jerry McNerney, Grace Meng, Mick Mulvaney, Beto O’Rourke, Bill Owens, Frank Pallone, Ed Perlmutter, Jared Polis, Mike Quigley, Nick Rahall, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Charles Rangel, Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, Bobby Rush, Tim Ryan, Aaron Schock, Allyson Schwartz, Austin Scott, David Scott, José Serrano, Kyrsten Sinema, Albio Sires, Eric Swalwell, Mark Takano, Mike Thompson, David G. Valadao, Marc Veasey, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and John Yarmuth.

Dear Colleague:

The cost of college applications often stands between veterans and their ability to access their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. That is why I ask you to join in cosponsoring the Reducing Barriers for Veterans Education Act (H.R.4793), bipartisan legislation that would allow veterans to use the educational benefits they have earned towards college application fees.

While the Post 9/11 GI Bill provides an important earned educational benefit for service members, it does not cover the cost of applications to colleges, graduate schools, and technical and vocational schools. According to National Association for College Admission Counseling, the average college application cost is almost $40, with some undergraduate applications running as high as $90.  Graduate school applications are even more expensive, with some costing as much as $275.

These costs have been steadily rising — imposing a real burden on some veterans wishing to attend school.

For a service member returning from overseas combat who hopes to attend school, these unexpected costs pose an unnecessary barrier to education.  Congress can tear down this barrier without any new spending.

This bill would cover the cost of applications to colleges, universities, graduate schools, as well as technical and vocational schools under the Post 9/11 GI Bill.  It would cover fees up to $750 by offsetting Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility by the amount used.

Making application fees part of eligible Post 9/11 GI Bill expenses would remedy a significant financial burden standing between our heroes and their education without increasing the cost of the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

Our veterans have tremendous discipline, responsibility, and leadership ability to offer businesses. By having better access to educational opportunities, veterans will have the means to keep their job skills up to date and stay competitive in today’s evolving job market. To cosponsor or for more information, please contact Michal Kaufer at Michal.Kaufer@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

 

Patrick E. Murphy

MEMBER OF CONGRESS