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

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

The VEBG 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 Veterans Educational Bridge Grant.

Legislators also expanded the grant eligibility to include any career school licensed by Higher Education and Coordinating Commission (HECC), any apprenticeship registered with BOLI, and any On-The-Job Training (OTJ) program offered by a public employer.

The final and most significant addition was the option for eligible veterans to use Bridge Grant funds 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 ODVA Director Dr. Nakeia Council Daniels.

“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 distinct challenges they may encounter on their paths to success.”

Veterans may also be eligible for retroactive funding (i.e., funding for a past term or training period) in certain circumstances. Any veteran who believes they may meet the new eligibility requirements is encouraged to apply.

For more information about the Veterans Educational Bridge Grant Program or to apply, visit the ODVA website at https://www.oregon.gov/odva/agency-programs/grants/Pages/Educational-Bridge-Grant.aspx or email the program coordinator at ebg@odva.oregon.gov.

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.

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

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