The Isakson and Roe Act enhances and expands education benefits and programs for Veterans, Service members, families, and survivors. Check out the descriptions below to understand how the provisions impact GI Bill® and Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) benefits.
GI Bill students as well as VR&E beneficiaries may be eligible to receive their Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) at their original rate for up to a total of four weeks if their school was negatively impacted by COVID-19 and took any of the following actions between March 1, 2020 and December 21, 2021.
● Closed (permanently or temporarily)
● Reduced the number of credit hours you could attend
● Shortened semesters periods
● Was delayed
● Converted to online training
● Disapproved or canceled a program
GI Bill students who were enrolled full-time on March 1, 2020 will be able to maintain that status for a subsequent period of enrollment, regardless of their actual rate of pursuit, if their school closed (fully or partially) due to COVID-19.
GI Bill students are also allowed to continue in a program that was disapproved because it was modified due to COVID-19.
GI Bill entitlement and payment allowances will not be charged for up to a total of four weeks for the time a student’s payments are continued after their school closes or suspends operations due to COVID-19.
Views a student’s withdrawal from school due to COVID-19 as a covered reason under mitigating circumstances.
If a Veteran is using GI Bill benefits (Montgomery GI Bill, Post-9/11, or VR&E), the expiration date of their benefits will automatically be extended 661 days if their school closed (temporarily or permanently) due to COVID-19 between March 1, 2020 and December 21, 2021. There is no limitation for the use of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for:
● Veterans who were released from Active Duty on or after January 1, 2013, or
● Surviving spouses using Fry Scholarship benefits, or
● Surviving children using Fry Scholarship benefits based on a death occurring on or after January 1, 2013.
The expiration date for a child using transferred benefits cannot be automatically extended 661 days but rather will be extended for the period of time they are prevented from training as a result of the closure.
VA will pay MHA based on the maximum hours offered by a program if the OJT or apprenticeship program has reduced the number of hours offered to work due to COVID-19 AND the trainee is no longer able to fulfill the 120-hour requirement.
The rate of pursuit and MHA will be calculated based on the number of hours the trainee is offered to work. Additionally, trainees can now roll over any hours worked in excess of 120 from one month to the next. Note: This provision also applies to VR&E beneficiaries.
Clarifies that earlier legislation (Public Laws 116-128 and 116-140) affording COVID-19 protections equally applies to students enrolled in “training establishments” (OJT and apprenticeship programs) in addition to “educational institutions.”
Amends the Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 to ensure that a student’s entitlement and payment allowances are not charged for the time the student’s payments are continued after the closure or program hiatus (4-week payments).
Requires schools and training programs, instead of the student, to be financially responsible for any overpayment of education-related benefits paid directly to the educational institution.
This applies to tuition and fee payments and Yellow Ribbon Program payments under the Post-9/11 GI Bill (including under the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship) and to advance payment of benefits under the various GI Bill programs.
Provides restoration of benefits for participants in a VR&E program under Chapter 31 in the event of a closure of an educational institution, to provide parity between these individuals and individuals who are provided this restoration under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Expands the eligibility for dependents to whom Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits can be transferred. Eligibility now includes certain unmarried children placed in the legal custody of the Service member for at least 12 months as a result of a court order.
Expands eligibility under the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship programto allow scholarships for:
● Students enrolled in dual secondary degrees, when one of the programs meets the program criteria.
● Health care professionals completing clinical training to become licensed to practice in a state or locality.
Ensures the Rogers STEM Scholarship program is not subject to the 48-month entitlement limitation on aggregate benefits (using Chapter 33 benefits in conjunction with chapters 30 and 1606) or the 81-month entitlement limitation (Chapter 35). For more information on the program, visit the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship webpage.
Terminology has been updated to provide consistency across other sections of law. The Yellow Ribbon Program can help you pay for higher out-of-state, private school, or graduate school tuition that the Post-9/11 GI Bill doesn’t cover. To find out if your school participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, you can use our tool to find a Yellow Ribbon school and visit our Yellow Ribbon webpage for additional information. As a result of this update, some foreign schools will be eligible to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Expands Veteran Employment through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) pilot programeligibility to include transitioning Service members within 180 days of their separation. Additionally, it increases the annual funding for the program from $15M to $45M, due to the high demand and usage of the program. Learn more about the program and your eligibility.
Institutions that convert from a for-profit education institution to a nonprofit are required to receive annual risk-based surveys for a period of three years after the conversion.
Codifies that SAAs can conduct outreach activities. SAAs are already authorized to conduct these activities and routinely do so.
SAAs may not be located within a university or university system whose courses or programs of education are subject to their approval, in order to prevent any conflicts of interest.
Expands eligibility for the Fry Scholarship to include those whose parent or spouse died on or after September 11, 2001:
● While serving on duty other than active duty as a member of the Armed Forces, or
● From a service-connected disability while a member of the Selected Reserve.
Students who work in congressional offices may now qualify for Work Study allowances if certain outreach activities are performed, such as distributing information to members of the Armed Forces, Veterans, and their dependents about government benefits and services.
Students whose schools were closed or disapproved and were unable to transfer at least 12 credits to a new school, may still receive a restoration of GI Bill entitlements for their entire program of education. This applies to VR&E beneficiaries as well.
Note: This restoration of entitlement is only available to beneficiaries whose schools closed or had programs disapproved after August 1, 2021, but before September 30, 2023.
Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty, and VR&E beneficiaries are no longer required to enroll at a public institution of higher learning within a three-year period after leaving the service in order to benefit from in-state tuition and fees. The VA website will feature a database with information on any public institution’s requirements to receive in-state tuition.
Requires students to verify their enrollment at school on a monthly basis in order to continue receiving their Post-9/11 GI Bill monthly housing allowance (MHA). Schools will also be required to certify the student’s enrollment after the add-drop date.
If a student fails to verify their enrollment status for two consecutive months, VA will withhold MHA payments until the student has verified their enrollment.
Explains that a school that is at risk of losing accreditation would no longer be approved to receive Post-9/11 GI Bill funds.
Requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide SAAs with notice of any punitive actions being taken against an educational institution. SAAs will then be required to conduct a risk-based survey and if necessary, take additional punitive action against the institution. If any actions are taken against an institution, SAAs are required to provide VA and other SAAs with notice.
Requires institutions to be eligible for participation in the Federal Student Aid program through Title IV of the Higher Education Act in order to be eligible to receive GI Bill funds. A Title IV school is an institution that processes U.S. federal student aid.
Clarifies that law schools must be accredited by a specialized accrediting agency in order to qualify for GI Bill funds. Currently, only the American Bar Association can provide accreditation for legal education.
If a school is unaccredited, students will be unable to utilize GI Bill funds at the institution.
Allows for a course to be disapproved if the institution does not comply with a risk-based survey by an SAA.
Adds requirements for schools to provide students with certain financial information and other requirements. Schools must comply with the requirements in order to qualify for GI Bill funds. This requirement also applies to VR&E beneficiaries. This provision goes into effect on June 15, 2021 and applies to educational institutions beginning August 1, 2021.
Limits the type of advertising, sales, and marketing that schools can undertake and remain eligible for GI Bill funds. This is to safeguard students against misrepresentation by schools on matters ranging from accreditation, availability of educational offerings, and financial aid.
Schools that do not comply will be penalized and placed in a process with SAAs and VA to come back into compliance.
Students on active duty who serve at least 30 continuous days will no longer be eligible to receive a MHA through Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, as they will receive a housing allowance through the Department of Defense. Effective: August 1, 2022.
Requires the Secretary of Veteran Affairs to work with SAAs to develop a comprehensive program to conduct risk-based surveys. Effective: October 1, 2022
Changes the period for election to receive benefits under Montgomery GI Bill® (MGIB) from the time of initial entry on active duty to a 90-day period following 180 days after the date on which an individual entered initial training. Effective: January 5, 2023
In September 2030, the All-Volunteer Educational Assistance Program (Montgomery GI Bill; MGIB) will be phased out. Those eligible for the program prior to September 30, 2030 would retain that eligibility until ten years after they leave service. Effective: September 30, 2030