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Following Push from Senator Hassan, National Guard and Reserve Members Can Use Both Tuition Assistance and GI Bill Education Benefits

WASHINGTON – Following a push from U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, the Office of the Secretary of Defense has signed a memorandum enabling members of the National Guard and Reserves to concurrently use Federal Tuition Assistance and GI Bill benefits to fund their education, similar to active duty service members. This comes after Senator Hassan joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers in urging the Secretary of Defense to take the final steps in restoring these benefits. The policy change will achieve the goals of the Montgomery GI Bill Parity Act, bipartisan legislation that Senator Hassan previously joined in introducing with Senators John Hoeven (R-ND), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and additional Senators.


“New Hampshire National Guard and Reserve service members have earned and deserve full access to affordable higher education, which can play a big role helping them to thrive and get good-paying jobs,” said Senator Hassan. “I am pleased that the Defense Department heeded our bipartisan call to change a misguided policy denying these service members some of their education benefits, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both side of the aisle to further strengthen service members’ access to education.”


Senator Hassan is working to ensure that veterans in New Hampshire and across the country have access to the resources and services that they need and have earned. Senator Hassan recently joined Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to introduce the bipartisan Recognizing Military Service in Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Act, which would allow service members who pause their student loan payments while deployed or on extended active duty orders to count that period of time toward their student loan forgiveness – which is currently not allowed. The American Rescue Plan that Senator Hassan helped pass into law strengthens veterans’ health care services, including to support mental health and telehealth, and also includes significant funding for job training to help veterans get good-paying jobs. Senator Hassan also helped secure key priorities for Granite State veterans in the bipartisan veterans package that was signed into law earlier this year, including the Deborah Sampson Act, which Senator Hassan joined in introducing to eliminate barriers to care and services that many women veterans face. The bipartisan package also included a number of other measures cosponsored by Senator Hassan, including supporting veterans experiencing homelessness, helping veterans safely dispose of unwanted medication, and helping address the high rate of unemployment among veterans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.