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Vets interested in STEM degrees could get more GI Bill money in 2019

Natalie Gross | Military Times

Some college degrees in science, technology, engineering and math fields take longer than four years to complete, which is why the new Forever GI Bill authorizes an additional school year of GI Bill funds on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Scholarships of up to $30,000 will be available for eligible GI Bill users starting in August 2019. Only veterans or surviving family members of deceased service members are eligible for this scholarship — not dependents using transferred benefits.

“As technology continues to change the landscape of work and education we must keep our policies up to date to provide our veterans the opportunity to obtain necessary skills for the 21st century," said House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., before the law was passed last year. He said veterans are prime candidates for positions in the technology industry because they have been trained to work under pressure and in a team.

In fiscal 2019, the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship, named for one of the first women to serve in Congress, will have $25 million in funds available for students in STEM programs, including those who need a teaching certification after completing a degree in one of these fields. That total allotment will increase to $100 million by 2023.

To qualify, students must have completed at least 60 semester hours toward a degree that requires more than 128 semester hours, or 90 and 192 quarter hours, respectively.

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