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Madden Bill Would Establish ‘Troops To College’ Program

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Fred H. Madden, which would assist veterans in making the transition from the armed services into college was unanimously approved today by the Senate Education Committee.

“This goal of this program is to provide information and resources to help make veterans aware of the programs and benefits available to them in their efforts to further their education,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester. “For many of our men and women in uniform, it’s been quite a few years since they graduated from high school, and this program would help educate them about financial aid, campus veterans’ assistance, and other resources designed to help our vets earn their degrees.”

Senator Madden’s measure, S-2171, would require the State Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) to consult with the Commission on Higher Education to establish the “Troops to College” program. The program would assist the State’s institutions of higher education in coordinating services for veterans looking to attend college.

The DMVA would be responsible for posting relevant and useful information about the program, including contact information for campus veterans’ assistance officers and other beneficial programs, on its website.

California introduced a similar program in 2006, to provide educational opportunities and assistance to active duty service members and veterans, said Senator Madden.

This year President Bush signed the “Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act,” which covers the full cost of education at any public college or university in the nation, and many private schools as well. In order to qualify, a veteran would have to have served at least 90 days of active duty post-9/11 and have remaining entitlement, said Senator Madden.

This measure now heads to the full Senate for approval.