The U.S. Senate on Friday passed a bipartisan bill that aims to address part of the 85-15 reporting rule changes recently enacted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Higher Ed Dive reported.
The 85-15 rule forbids students from using VA education benefits to pay for programs in which more than 85 percent of students enrolled receive GI Bill benefits or other VA aid. However, the rule exempts institutions with student populations with less than 35 percent veterans enrolled.
Under the VA's recent policy update, though, institutions must resubmit proof of their exemption and submit calculations for each of their programs.
The Ensuring the Best Schools for Veterans Act, sponsored by Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) would make the 35 percent exemption explicit in the law, and clarify the statute's requirements.
"No veteran should ever cut through bureaucratic red tape to access their hard-earned education benefits, and I urge my House colleagues to follow in the Senate's footsteps and pass this bill without delay," Tester said in a statement.
AACRAO and other higher education associations have been urging Congress to advance this legislative fix, expressing concern that the current rules place a significant burden on institutions.
The Senate-approved measure now moves to the House where it is expected to pass when the chamber plans to meet during the August recess to vote on the Inflation Reduction Act.
U.S. Senator Jon Tester's Press Release
Higher Ed Dive