Press Releases

Under Larsen-Messer Bill, Veterans Could Use Post 9/11 GI Benefits to Cover Higher Education Application Fees

Reps. introduce bipartisan Reducing Barriers for Veterans Education Act of 2017

Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) and Republican Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) are working to reduce the financial burden on veterans seeking higher education by making application fees eligible under the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

“Veterans should not miss out on higher education because of the cost of application fees,” said Larsen, a senior member on the House Armed Services Committee. “This bill will ensure application fees do not prevent veterans from taking full advantage of educational opportunities made possible by the Post 9/11 GI Bill.” 

“College application fees can quickly add up and pose an unexpected financial barrier to education,” Messer said. “Our goal is to give veterans as much flexibility and as many options as possible to help them transition from serving our country to earning a degree. This is one small way to do that.”

While the Post 9/11 GI Bill provides important educational benefits, the cost of applications to colleges, graduate schools, and technical and vocational schools – which can run into the hundreds of dollars – are not covered. Larsen and Messer’s bipartisan H.R. 1206, the Reducing Barriers for Veterans Education Act of 2017, would allow the Post 9/11 GI Bill to cover up to $750 of applications to colleges, universities, graduate schools, as well as technical and vocational schools. 

Larsen has a track record of working across the aisle to deliver results for veterans and championing veterans issues. Last year, Larsen and Republican Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02) teamed up to pass the FAA Veteran Transition Improvement Act which expanded paid sick leave benefits for veterans hired by the Federal Aviation Administration.

And after years of Larsen’s advocacy, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in January announced that veterans wounded in the line of duty are now able to access in vitro fertilization through the VA.