Veterans’ Educational Bridge Grant is for Veterans in Diverse Degree, Certificate, Apprenticeship and OTJ Programs

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The Veterans’ Educational Bridge Grant (VEBG) is a program administered by ODVA that awards grants of up to $5,000 to individual veterans enrolled in an academic or training program who find their progress interrupted due to the inability to schedule courses or training hours.

The program is part of ODVA’s commitment to helping Oregon student veterans achieve their academic and vocational goals and ensure they have the opportunity to thrive in our state.

To be eligible for the grant, veterans must demonstrate all of the following in their application:

  • meet the definition of a veteran (per ORS 408.225)
  • be eligible to receive GI Bill® benefits
  • be an Oregon resident
  • be enrolled in a GI Bill® approved, Oregon-based program of education or training
  • be unable to progress in their degree or training program due to unavailability of courses or training hours
  • have a demonstrated financial need

Note: GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

The VEBG program launched in May 2020, which coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic. A large number of schools and training programs temporarily paused in-person learning for academic programs. On-the-job training hours were also halted in apprenticeships and other employer-led training programs. Shutdowns resulted in an urgent need for Bridge Grants.

The VEBG helped several veterans meet their household financial obligations while they waited for COVID restrictions to ease so they could resume their courses or training and once again receive the education benefit payments many count on to supplement their household income.

By now, most schools and training programs have resumed pre-COVID schedules but some veterans still may be experiencing barriers to their academic or training progress. Veterans in apprenticeship and other On-The-Job Training (OJT) programs, in particular, might be delayed in their progress due to ongoing supply chain issues that appear to be affecting work in trades.

Veterans in these programs can be especially vulnerable to financial difficulties when there are no training hours available in their program because not only will they not receive their GI Bill® benefit payments but they also won’t receive their training wages. Additionally, their scheduled progress to journey worker status, and subsequent higher wages, is delayed.

ODVA recognizes the challenges for veterans who rely on VA benefit payments and/or OJT wages when they encounter interruptions to their program. We want to ensure that any veteran who may be eligible for the VEBG knows of its availability.

The VEBG is open year-round for applications, so if you or a veteran you know can benefit from a Veterans Educational Bridge Grant, please refer to our website to access the application and program information.

Established in 1945, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs is dedicated to serving Oregon’s diverse veteran community that spans five eras of service members. ODVA administers programs and provides special advocacy and assistance in accessing earned veteran benefits across the state. Learn about veteran benefits and services, or locate a local county or tribal veteran service office online at oregon.gov/odva.

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