WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA)  and Chris Coons (D-Del.) today introduced bipartisan legislation to provide more veterans an opportunity to translate their military training into college credit, which is important to helping increase veteran graduation rates. The Military Learning for Credit Act allows all veterans to use veterans education assistance funds to cover portfolio assessments and fees for standardized examinations that can be translated into college credit at thousands of institutions of higher education. 

“Our servicemembers and their families deserve the opportunity to use their military training educational assistance for college credit. Allowing all veterans to use veterans education assistance funds to cover portfolio assessments and fees for standardized examinations will reduce the expenses covered by federal funding, while simultaneously increasing veteran graduation rates,” said Senator Ernst.

“Our veterans receive intense and thorough training as servicemembers, often during the years when other Americans are attending college.  The least we can do is ensure that once they enroll in college, veterans have every opportunity to translate their military training into college credit. Permitting all veterans to take credit exams and receive portfolio assessments for free will save our veterans’ time and money while working toward a degree while also reducing federal funding expenditures through the GI bill.  It truly is a win for all,” said Senator Coons.

Colleges and universities are actively recruiting veterans and receiving $10 billion a year in funding that veterans use through the GI bill.  However, schools are not required to grant any credit for prior military learning—and, research shows many colleges and universities do not.  The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) has found that a student who is able to receive prior learning credits is two and a half times more likely to graduate than a student who has no prior credits.  

A one-pager on the bill is available here.

The bill text is available here.