RENO, NV – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions, met with student veterans from the University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College to hear first-hand the challenges they face related to school, COVID-19, and veterans’ educational benefits. They also discussed Senator Rosen’s recently introduced Veteran Education Empowerment Act, bipartisan legislation to create, maintain, and operate Student Veteran Centers at universities and colleges across the nation to help student veterans transitioning from military to civilian life.
“The heroic men and women who serve our nation in uniform are deserving of our immense gratitude, and we owe it to our veterans to make sure that when they return home, they are taken care of, including in their continued educational pursuits,” said Senator Rosen. “Today, I met with student veterans from the University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College, and had the chance to discuss the important role that Student Veteran Centers play in their educational success. Unfortunately, these centers are often underfunded and don’t receive the support that they should. My recently introduced bipartisan legislation – the Veteran Education Empowerment Act – would provide funding and support these centers and help them implement important programs. I will continue working in Congress to deliver positive results for Nevada’s veteran community.”
BACKGROUND: Over 200,000 veterans live in Nevada.
Student veterans often face unique challenges enrolling in and attending college. They may have been away from school for long periods or struggle with service-related disabilities, and many are older than their peers with families to support. These hurdles can lead to high dropout rates and limit potential job opportunities.
The bipartisan, bicameral Veteran Education Empowerment Act would reauthorize and improve a grant program, through the Department of Education, designed to help institutions of higher education establish and operate Student Veteran Centers. These centers provide a one-stop-shop for student veterans to find academic support, networking opportunities, peer mentorship, financial assistance, and career services. Grants would authorize up to $500,000 to eligible colleges and universities.
The Veteran Education Empowerment Act is endorsed by over a dozen veteran service organizations including the Student Veterans of America, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, United Way’s Mission United, and Veterans’ Trust.
Last Congress, Senator Rosen introduced the bipartisan Hire Student Veterans Act (S. 537). The Hire Student Veterans Act would expand the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to ensure that all student veterans using their GI benefits can take advantage of valuable paid internships or work opportunities while in school.