H.R. 5047, Protecting Veterans' Educational Choice Act of 2016

H.R. 5047

Protecting Veterans' Educational Choice Act of 2016

Sponsor
Rep. Jody Hice

Date
November 29, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
John Huston

Floor Situation

On­­­­ Tuesday, November 29, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 5047, the Protecting Veterans’ Educational Choice Act of 2016, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 5047 was introduced by Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) on April 25, 2016, and was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, which ordered the bill reported by voice vote on September 21, 2016.

Bill Summary

H.R. 5047 would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to include information on articulation agreements when it provides educational and vocational counseling to veterans. Articulation agreements are arrangements between institutions of higher learning regarding how those institutions will grant academic credit for course work pursued at other institutions.

Background

Since the inception of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill in 2009, over 1.5 million beneficiaries have received benefits through this program, which subsidizes student veterans’ and their eligible dependents’ attendance at a variety of institutions of higher learning, whether it be public, private, for-profit schools, etc. According to the Committee, many student veterans do not use all of their benefits at just one school and transfer to another school or program at some point in their educational career. If they do transfer schools, their previously earned credits can play a large role in determining the length of time it may take for students to complete their program at their new school, and in some cases, not all earned credits may transfer over.[1]

The Committee believes that “veterans or servicemembers planning to use their education benefits should have a full understanding of their school’s credit transfer policies with other schools before attending such institution. To help students understand the transfer of credits, most schools have set up articulation agreements. These agreements outline a school or training program’s policy for accepting students’ credits earned from another institution, and they are used to specify the acceptability of certain courses towards meeting degree, certificate, or program requirements. Knowledge of the school’s articulation agreements would empower student veterans to make the right choice about a school or program that appropriately provides them credit for previous coursework or training.”[2]

According to the bill sponsor, “For generations, our veterans have answered the call to serve our Nation while asking for very little in return. H.R. 5047, the Protecting Veterans’ Educational Choice Act of 2016, gives Congress the opportunity to support our heroes as they determine the best way to apply their hard-earned benefits. Too often, our veterans are misled and exploited, and end up exhausting their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits at institutions that don’t have agreements in place to allow credits to transfer to other schools – or that lack accreditation altogether.”[3]

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[1] See House Report 114-813 at 2.
[2] Id.
[3] See Rep. Jody Hice Press Release, “Hice Introduces Legislation to Protect Veterans’ Educational Choice,” April 29, 2016.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the cost of collecting the necessary information from educational institutions, as required by the bill, would be less than $500,000 over the 2017-2021 period; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact John Huston with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-5539.