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Department of Veterans’ Affairs expands Educational Bridge Grant Program’s reach to support Oregon veterans

Oregon – The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs has broadened the scope of the Oregon Veteran Educational Bridge Grant Program, significantly expanding eligibility for financial assistance for veterans aiming to complete their education or vocational training.

Initially established by the Oregon Legislature in 2019, the program is designed to offer financial grants of up to $5,000 to eligible veterans. These funds are intended to ease the financial burden during periods when required courses or training hours are not available, ensuring veterans can continue their education or apprenticeship training without interruption.

A significant legislative development came with the enactment of House Bill 2271 in 2023, which widened the eligibility criteria for the program. Under the new provisions, veterans who are not eligible for federal GI Bill® benefits but reside in Oregon and meet the state’s definition of a “veteran” according to ORS 408.225, can now seek financial aid through the Veteran Educational Bridge grant.

Moreover, the grant’s reach has been extended to include any career school licensed by the Oregon Higher Education & Coordinating Commission, apprenticeships registered with the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries, and on-the-job training programs offered by public employers. One of the most important updates is that the program now allows eligible veterans to use this grant money to settle outstanding debts on student accounts that prevent them from enrolling 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. 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 diverse challenges they may encounter on their paths to success,” said Dr. Nakeia Council Daniels, director of the Oregon Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

The program also introduces the possibility of retroactive funding under certain conditions. Veterans who believe they meet the updated requirements are encouraged to apply. For more details about the Veteran Educational Bridge Grant Program or to start the application process, veterans can visit the Oregon Department of Veteran’s Affairs website or contact the program coordinator at [email protected].

Orion Hargrove


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