VA's High Tech Training Program Runs Out of Money -- For Now

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A Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) high tech job training program introduced by the VA last year has run out of money and won’t return until its funding is replenished in October, VA officials announced today.

The Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) program, which was created as part of the Forever GI Bill (Public Law 115-48) is meant to help veterans get the cutting-edge skills they need to succeed in today's high-tech industries.

The five year long pilot training program is limited to $15 million in annual funding by law. The program began paying benefits on Oct. 1, 2019. As of May 21 the money allocated for fiscal year 2020 is gone, the VA announced.

But that doesn’t mean veterans interested in using the program later need not apply. Instead, VA officials said the future money will be most likely be used on a first come, first served basis, starting with any backlog of applicants who didn’t send in their applications in time for the fiscal 2020 funding. If you’re thinking about enrolling, they said, you should apply as soon as possible.

The program has proved very popular and money will most likely run out again before the end of the upcoming fiscal year. VA is urging potential students to submit their applications for future training covered by the VET TEC program, including information science, computer programming, data processing, media applications, computer software or the ever-popular "coding bootcamps," as soon as possible.

The VET TEC program pays tuition for a high-tech training program as well as a Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) while you are enrolled in the program, just like the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

The MHA rules are the same as for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, if you attend your training in person, you receive MHA equal to the monthly military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents based on the location of your training. If your program is designed to be taught totally online, you get half of the BAH rate for your training location while enrolled in training. If you participate in an online program, your stipend will be half of the BAH national average for an E-5 with dependents.

Anyone currently eligible to use their GI Bill benefits -- Montgomery or Post-9/11 -- is qualified for the program as long as they haven't passed the time limit to use their benefits and have at least one day of benefits remaining.

Your GI Bill entitlement will not be charged for any training you receive under this program. It is essentially free money, so if you are interested in the program, apply as soon as possible.

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