Kiggans Introduces Legislation to Improve GI Bill

WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) announced she has introduced H.R. 5956, the GI Bill Improvement Act of 2023. H.R. 5956 would amend current law to improve transparency and provide more resources for those looking to use GI Billbenefits. The GI Bill Improvement Act would ensure this information is available through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Following her ten-year career as a Navy helicopter pilot, Congresswoman Kiggans used her GI Bill benefits to obtain a nursing degree from Old Dominion University in Virginia before serving her community as a primary care geriatric nurse practitioner.

“The GI Bill has been life-changing for millions of our nation’s former servicemembers – myself included,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “Expanding the GI Bill Comparison Tool will allow our veterans to be well-informed when making the important decision of where to use their well-deserved benefits. I’m confident that my bill will increase educational opportunities for our nation’s heroes!”

BACKGROUND

The GI Bill Comparison Tool allows veterans and GI Bill beneficiaries to access information about educational institutions, including the number of complaints a school has received, how much the GI Bill can be used to fund education, and what the veteran population of the institution is. H.R. 5956 would expand on that information by providing access to:

  • retention rates;
  • transfer rates;
  • graduation rates;
  • credentials;
  • certificates;
  • average duration of degrees;
  • student loan default rates, and;
  • student loan repayment rates.

By providing this additional information, H.R. 5956 allows those seeking to use their GI Bill benefits to attain education to make the most informed choice possible.

Additionally, H.R. 5956 requires the VA Secretary and key department stakeholders to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding, ensuring that agencies share relevant data with the VA.

In 2022, more than 800,000 veterans used their GI Bill benefits. Every school who accepts benefits offers the GI Bill Comparison Tool to their prospective students; however, the tool hasn’t been updated for years, highlighting its need for modernization. 

The full text of H.R. 5956 is available here.

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