Butterfield Discusses Veterans' Education Equity Act with ECU Student Veterans Group

Sep 17, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) today met with students from East Carolina University’s (ECU) Pirate Veterans organization to discuss and underscore student veteran issues including the need to equalize veterans’ tuition benefits under the Post 9-11 GI Bill.

In February, Congressman Butterfield introduced H.R. 595, the Veterans’ Education Equity Act of 2013, to reward equal educational benefits to veterans whether they choose to attend a private or public institution of higher learning.  The bill would change an inequity in existing law which allots more education funds to veterans enrolled in private colleges than those in public institutions.  Currently, the Post 9-11 Veterans’ Educational Improvements Assistance Act capped the education benefit amount for veterans who enroll in private schools at $18,077.50 and limited the education benefit for those who enroll in public schools to the amount charged for in-state tuition and fees.  The Veterans’ Education Equity Act of 2013 would remedy this inequality and allow all veterans to receive up to $18,077.50 in education benefits.

“Our veterans deserve access to affordable education to help them succeed in their transition back to civilian life,” said Butterfield.  “One way we can support veterans is to eliminate the inequity in tuition benefits for student veterans enrolled at private universities versus public universities.  Equalizing tuition benefits for veterans would increase affordability and access to education at exceptional state institutions like East Carolina University.”

ECU’s Pirate Veterans serves as the voice for student veterans with regard to veterans’ issues at the university.  The Pirate Veterans Organization provides a civic, educational, and social network for student veterans and their families to connect and share information and experiences.  One important goal of the group is to make it easier for veterans to attend college.

The Veterans’ Education Equity Act has received the support of the American Council on Education, the Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the Association of American Universities, the American Association of Community Colleges, the University of North Carolina System, and the North Carolina Community College System.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced the companion bill, S. 262, in the Senate.