Booker pushes to allow vets more time to complete education

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NEW BRUNSWICK -

Sen. Cory Booker says that he wants to see laws change in order to allow veterans more time to complete their education.

Veterans currently have 36 months of in-class time to complete their college degrees under the GI Bill. But for some, this is not enough time.

Rutgers University junior Matthew Kelly says that he has only seven months left to complete his computer science degree under the current bill. He says that like many veterans, there was a long gap between high school and college, so he has to take some remedial courses.

Navy veteran Dennis Penny says that he had a similar experience.

“I hadn't been in high school for 10 years when I got out [of the Navy]. I was 29,” he says. “So I had to take three or four semesters of remedial classes and that took away time also from my GI Bill."

Sen. Booker joined veterans at Rutgers Monday to address the situation. He says that he wants to give veterans more time for their education.

“We are boosting both their employment rate and their earning potential after graduation,” he says.

The senator says he will introduce legislation that would extend assistance for an additional 15 months for qualified veterans. He says that he hopes there is enough bipartisan support to pass the bill this year.

Some veterans say that this would go a long way toward bettering themselves.

“You’ll have veterans dropping out of school because they’re not going to be able to come up with the money to pay for their own education,” says Army veteran Justin Sasso.

The bill also includes measures to make it possible for more veterans to transfer their education benefits to a dependent.

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