Representative Sherrill Expands Education Opportunities for Veterans


Representative Sherrill Expands Education Opportunities for Veterans

New legislation would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to update its current payment system to allow veterans using their GI Bill benefits to attend universities overseas

Washington DC- Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) is working to improve educational opportunities for veterans by introducing the GI Bill on Electronic Payments at Foreign Institutions. Rep. Sherrill is leading this effort to update the current GI bill settings after hearing concerns from veterans in her community.

“The GI Bill and other educational benefits enable veterans to succeed in the civilian workforce and contribute to their communities and the economy. After serving overseas, many veterans hope to continue their education at universities overseas. But due to a technical issue with how educational assistance payments can be transferred to universities, veterans can’t use those earned benefits at certain schools they want to attend. After hearing about this issue from veterans in my community, I am proud to introduce this legislation today that will update the VA payment system and expand educational opportunities for veterans,” said Representative Sherrill.

Currently, the VA payment system requires that in order for institutions to receive payment, they must have an employee identification number. Many foreign universities do not have an EIN because they do not file taxes in the United States. The bill would require the VA to update its current payment system so that an employee identification number is no longer required for the VA to issue a payment and allow veterans to broaden their horizons in the universities around the world.

“As a veteran who knows the benefits of an international perspective in helping Americans, I have chosen to continue my graduate studies abroad. After completing my doctorate, I plan to return to the United States to begin a career in academia. However, due to the current structure of the VA, I have not been able to use the GI Bill to which I am entitled. This has resulted in unnecessary financial strain and mental stress. The adoption of the Foreign Schools GI Bill Payment Act will help overseas veterans like me get access to the benefits we deserve, so we can continue our education without hindrance and use our experiences to make an even greater contribution to the society “,said Christian Pierce, a U.S. Army veteran and NJ-11 voter.

The full text of the bill is available here.

The GI Bill Foreign Institution Electronic Payments Act requires that within 90 days of its enactment, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs update the Department of Veterans Affairs’ payment transfer system to allow for the electronic transfer of education aid funds .

Representative Sherrill is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and served in the Navy for nearly 10 years as a helicopter pilot and Russian political officer. As a Russian political officer, she worked on the implementation of our obligations under the nuclear treaty and oversaw relations between the United States Navy and the Navy of the Russian Federation. She now sits on the House Armed Services Committee, where she sits on the Tactical Air and Ground Forces and Intelligence and Special Operations subcommittees.

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