Jim Absher is a Military.com's benefits columnist.
The VA's popular VET TEC GI Bill program has received a new round of funding designed to keep the program running through the end of the fiscal year.
In an announcement on its Facebook page Friday, the Department of Veterans Affairs said the popular program received an additional $125 million in funding designed to last through the end of FY 22 on Sept. 30. That more than doubles the annual funding from last year.
The planned five-year pilot program, which began Oct. 1, 2019, was originally limited to $15 million in annual funding by law. That was increased to $45 million in 2020, but in the past two years, the money ran out long before years' end.
The Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) program is designed to help veterans learn the cutting-edge skills they need to succeed in today's high-tech industries.
The additional funding for 2022, which will provide more training opportunities for veterans, comes with passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022, which President Joe Biden signed on Tuesday.
About the VET TEC Program
The program is specially designed to train veterans in high-tech skills that lead to well-paid jobs in fields such as information science, computer programming, data processing, media applications, computer software or the ever-popular "coding boot camps."
To be eligible for the program, veterans must be eligible for the GI Bill, with at least one day of eligibility remaining. Those using the VET TEC program will not be charged any GI Bill entitlement under the program.
You can see a listing of schools that participate in the VET TEC program on the VA's GI Bill website. Schools listed as "preferred providers'' will refund tuition payments to the VA if you don't get meaningful employment within six months of graduation.
According to the VA, more than 1,200 of the approximately 2,000 veterans who have participated in the program since it began found employment in their fields within 67 days of graduation, with an average starting salary of more than $57,000.
Keep Up With Your Education Benefits
Whether you need a guide on how to use your GI Bill, want to take advantage of tuition assistance and scholarships, or get the lowdown on education benefits available for your family, Military.com can help. Subscribe to Military.com to have education tips and benefits updates delivered directly to your inbox.