Expanded Grant Eligibility Provides Additional Opportunities for Veterans

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Oregon Veteran Educational Bridge Grant Eligibility Expanded for Veterans Pursuing Educational or Vocational Training

Effective January 2024, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs has expanded the Oregon Veteran Educational Bridge Grant Program, greatly broadening financial assistance eligibility for veterans completing their educational or vocational training.

The program was established by the Oregon Legislature in 2019 to provide financial assistance grants up to $5,000 to eligible veterans to alleviate the financial stress during a gap period when required courses or training hours are unavailable, allowing them to remain enrolled in school or their apprenticeship training.

With the passage of House Bill 2271 in 2023, the Legislature expanded the program’s eligibility to include veterans not eligible to receive federal GI Bill® benefits, meaning any veteran who is an Oregon resident and meets the definition of “veteran” defined in ORS 408.225, may now qualify for financial assistance using the Veteran Educational Bridge grant.

Legislators also expanded the grant eligibility to include any career school licensed by the Oregon Higher Education & Coordinating Commission, any apprenticeship registered with the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries, and any on-the-job training program offered by a public employer.

The final and most significant addition was the option for eligible veterans to use funds from this grant to pay off debt on a student account that is preventing them from registering for future terms. 

“This grant is an empowering option for veterans actively pursuing education or training after military service. Whether you are eligible to receive federal GI Bill® benefits or not, Oregon’s VEBG funds can now help ensure the continuation of training and remove significant barriers to completing educational goals,” said Dr. Nakeia Council Daniels, director of the Oregon Department of Veteran’s Affairs. “These eligibility expansions reflect our state’s collective dedication to providing comprehensive support to veterans in their pursuit of education and vocational training, recognizing and addressing the diverse challenges they may encounter on their paths to success.”

Veterans may also be eligible for retroactive funding in certain circumstances. Any veteran who believes they may meet the new eligibility requirements is encouraged to apply. For more information about the Veteran Educational Bridge Grant Program or to apply, visit the Oregon Department of Veteran’s Affairs website or email the program coordinator at ebg@odva.oregon.gov.

Established in 1945, the Oregon Department of Veteran’s Affairs is dedicated to serving Oregon’s diverse veteran community that spans five eras of service members. The department administers programs and provides special advocacy and assistance in accessing earned veteran benefits across the state. Visit the ODVA website to learn about veteran benefits and services, or locate a local county or tribal veteran service office.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Visit the department’s official website for more information about education benefits offered by the VA.

About Author

Tyler Francke is the Community and Media Relations Coordinator with the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs.

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