Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                       Calendar No. 638
111th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     111-346

======================================================================



 
   POST-9/11 VETERANS EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE IMPROVEMENTS ACT OF 2010

                                _______
                                

 October 26 (legislative day, October 1), 2010.--Ordered to be printed

Filed, under authority of the order of the Senate of September 29, 2010

                                _______
                                

          Mr. Akaka, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 3447]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs (hereinafter, ``the 
Committee''), to which was referred the bill (S. 3447), to 
amend title 38, United States Code (hereinafter, ``U.S.C.''), 
to improve educational assistance for veterans who served in 
the Armed Forces after September 11, 2001, and for other 
purposes, reports favorably thereon with an amendment in the 
nature of a substitute, and recommends that the bill, as 
amended, do pass.

                              Introduction

    On May 27, 2010, Chairman Daniel K. Akaka introduced 
S. 3447, the proposed ``Post-9/11 Veterans Educational 
Assistance Improvements Act of 2010,'' to amend title 38 to 
improve educational assistance for veterans who served in the 
Armed Forces after September 11, 2001, and for other purposes. 
Later, Ranking Member Richard Burr and Senators Baucus, Begich, 
Bennet, Boxer, Burris, Dodd, Gillibrand, Inouye, Johnson, 
Kaufman, Landrieu, Lautenberg, Lincoln, McCaskill, Merkley, 
Murkowski, Murray, Rockefeller, Sanders, Schumer, Snowe, 
Stabenow, Tester, Udall (NM), and Webb were added as 
cosponsors.
    On July 21, 2010, the Committee held a hearing on pending 
legislation, including S. 3447. Testimony was offered by: Keith 
Wilson, Director, Education Service, Department of Veterans 
Affairs; Robert E. Clark, Assistant Director for Accession 
Policy, Department of Defense; Eric A. Hilleman, National 
Legislative Director, Veterans of Foreign Wars; Tim Embree, 
Legislative Associate, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of 
America; Terry Hartle, Senior Vice President, American Council 
on Education; Judy Flink, Executive Director, Student Financial 
Services, University of Illinois; and Gerard M. Farrell, 
Captain, U.S. Navy (Ret.), Executive Director, Commissioned 
Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service.

                           Committee Meeting

    After carefully reviewing the testimony from the foregoing 
hearing, including written testimony submitted for the record 
of the hearing, the Committee met in open session on August 5, 
2010, to consider, among other legislation, S. 3447 with an 
amendment in the nature of a substitute. The Committee voted, 
without dissent, to report favorably S. 3447 as amended.

                     Summary of S. 3447 as Reported

    The bill as reported (hereinafter, ``the Committee bill'') 
would amend title 38 to improve educational assistance for 
veterans who served in the Armed Forces after September 11, 
2001, and for other purposes. It consists of two titles, as 
follows:

           TITLE I--POST-9/11 VETERANS EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

Section 101

     Would amend the definition of active duty for 
purposes of eligibility for benefits under the Post-9/11 
Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (hereinafter, 
``Post-9/11 GI Bill'') in order to align full-time National 
Guard duty with the Reserve active duty under the provisions of 
section 12301(d) of title 10, U.S.C., thereby correcting the 
inadvertent omission of eligibility for two distinct types of 
full-time National Guard duty, both of which qualify for the 
current Montgomery GI Bill (hereinafter, ``MGIB''): (1) Active 
Guard Reserve (hereinafter, ``AGR'') duty under title 32, 
U.S.C., and (2) individuals ordered to full-time National Guard 
duty by the President or the Secretary of Defense under section 
502(f) of title 32, U.S.C.
     Would clarify that specialized types of training 
proprietary to the Department of the Army and to the Coast 
Guard (One Station Unit Training and A School Training, 
respectively) should be considered to be active duty for 
training and thus should count towards eligibility for Post-9/
11 GI Bill benefits only in certain circumstances.
     Would clarify that, in order to be eligible for 
Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, individuals receiving certain other 
than traditional discharges (such as ``existed prior to 
service'' or hardship discharges) must receive discharges 
characterized as honorable.
     Would align the eligibility of individuals 
attending the Coast Guard Academy with those attending the 
other three military academies so that eligibility for Post-9/
11 GI Bill benefits would only begin to accrue following the 
completion of any obligated period of service required by 
virtue of completion of a program of education at the Academy.

Section 102

     Would provide that the amount of assistance paid 
on behalf of an individual enrolled in a degree program at a 
public institution of higher learning would be up to the actual 
cost of in-State tuition and fees (less any waiver or reduction 
of tuition or fees or any amount provided directly to the 
institution on behalf of an eligible student for the sole 
purpose of defraying tuition and fees).
     Would provide that the amount of assistance paid 
on behalf of an individual enrolled in a degree program at a 
non-public or foreign institution of higher learning would be 
up to the lesser of an annualized rate of $20,000 (adjusted 
annually by increases in the cost of education) or the actual 
cost of tuition and fees (less any waiver or reduction of 
tuition or fees or any amount provided directly to the 
institution on behalf of an eligible student for the sole 
purpose of defraying tuition and fees).
     Would provide that the living stipend payable to 
individuals training on more than a half-time basis would be 
adjusted based on actual training time rounded to the nearest 
tenth.
     Would provide that the maximum living stipend 
payable to individuals enrolled more than half-time in training 
courses consisting entirely of distance learning would be fifty 
percent of the national average of the monthly amount of the 
basic allowance for housing payable under section 403 of title 
37 for a member with dependents in pay grade E-5, adjusted 
based on the actual training time.

Section 103

     Would provide that the amount of assistance paid 
on behalf of an individual enrolled in training while on active 
duty would be up to the lesser of an annualized rate of $20,000 
(adjusted annually by increases in the cost of education) or 
the actual cost of in-State tuition and fees (less any waiver 
or reduction of tuition or fees or any amount provided directly 
to the institution on behalf of an eligible student for the 
sole purpose of defraying tuition and fees).
     Would provide for up to a $1,000 annual book 
allowance to be paid to individuals training while on active 
duty.

Section 104

     Would clarify the amount of assistance payable to 
individuals enrolled in training on a half-time-or-less basis.

Section 105

     Would provide that Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits may 
be used at institutions other than institutions of higher 
learning.
     Would provide that the amount of assistance paid 
to an individual enrolled in a program of education not leading 
to a college degree would be up to the lesser of an annualized 
rate of $20,000 (adjusted annually by increases in the cost of 
education) or the actual cost of in-State tuition and fees 
(less any waiver or reduction of tuition or fees or any amount 
provided directly to the institution on behalf of an eligible 
student for the sole purpose of defraying tuition and fees).
     Would provide that the living stipend payable to 
individuals enrolled on more than a half-time basis in a 
program of education not leading to a college degree would be 
adjusted based on actual training time rounded to the nearest 
tenth.
     Would provide for the payment of up to a $1,000 
annual book allowance to individuals enrolled in programs of 
education not leading to a college degree.
     Would provide that the maximum payment of the 
living allowance to individuals enrolled in full-time programs 
of apprenticeship or on-job training would be 100 percent of 
the otherwise applicable allowance for the first six months, 80 
percent for the second six months, 60 percent for the third six 
months, 40 percent for the fourth six months, and 20 percent 
for any subsequent periods of training.
     Would provide for the payment of up to a $1,000 
annual book and supplies allowance to individuals enrolled in 
programs of apprenticeship or on-job training.
     Would provide that the maximum amount of 
assistance paid on behalf of an individual enrolled in a 
program of flight training would be the lesser of an annualized 
rate of $12,000 (adjusted annually by increases in the cost of 
education) or the actual cost of in-State tuition and fees 
(less waiver or reduction of tuition or fees or any amount 
provided directly to the institution on behalf of an eligible 
student for the sole purpose of defraying tuition and fees).
     Would provide that the maximum amount of 
assistance paid on behalf of an individual enrolled in a 
program of training exclusively by correspondence would be the 
lesser of an annualized rate of $10,000 (adjusted annually by 
increases in the cost of education) or the actual cost of 
tuition and fees (less any waiver or reduction of tuition or 
fees or any amount provided directly to the institution on 
behalf of an eligible student for the sole purpose of defraying 
tuition and fees).
     Would specify the timing and frequency of payments 
for other than traditional programs of education.
     Would provide for the charge to entitlement for 
individuals pursuing other than programs of education leading 
to a degree based on the amount paid as a percentage of the 
otherwise applicable annual rate.

Section 106

     Would provide that increases in the living stipend 
would take effect on August 1 of each year.

Section 107

     Would remove provisions that limit use of Post-9/
11 GI Bill benefits to a single licensing or certification test 
and do not provide for a charge to entitlement for the pursuit 
of a certificate or licensing test; it would instead allow 
unlimited use of benefits to pay for licensing and 
certification tests with a charge to entitlement for each such 
test.

Section 108

     Would permit individuals to use Post-9/11 GI Bill 
benefits for the purpose of taking certain national tests with 
a charge to entitlement for each such test.

Section 109

     Would clarify that individuals who receive 
recruitment or retention kickers from the Department of Defense 
(hereinafter, ``DOD'') under the MGIB or the Montgomery GI 
Bill--Selected Reserves may convert that assistance into Post-
9/11 GI Bill benefits.
     Would permit DOD to pay the Department of Veterans 
Affairs (hereinafter, ``VA'') for such kickers from funds 
deposited in the Department of Defense Education Benefits Fund.

Section 110

     Would permit certain members of the U.S. Public 
Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration to transfer Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to their 
dependents (following the completion of minimum duty 
requirements).
     Clarifies that the purpose of the transferability 
feature is to promote recruitment and retention and that the 
individual Secretary concerned (e.g., Secretary of the Army, 
Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of Health and Human Services, 
and others) may exercise the authority when authorized by the 
Secretary of Defense because to do so is in the national 
security interests of the United States.

Section 111

     Would bar duplication of certain VA benefits to 
individuals in receipt of benefits under the Marine Gunnery 
Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship Assistance program.
     Would prohibit a dependent from concurrently using 
transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits from more than one 
individual.
     Would bar duplication of benefits based on a 
single event or period of service.

Section 112

     Would make a series of technical and conforming 
amendments.

             TITLE II--OTHER EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE MATTERS

Section 201

     Would permit a tolling of the delimiting date for 
use of education benefits by otherwise eligible individuals who 
are designated caregivers of disabled veterans or 
servicemembers and who, by virtue of that caregiving, were 
unable to pursue a program of education.

Section 202

     Would add the National Call to Service program to 
the list of programs under which duplication of benefits is 
prohibited.

Section 203

     Would provide that certain programs of education 
that are accredited by agencies or associations recognized by 
the Secretary of Education or approved by other Federal 
agencies or States could be considered to be approved for VA 
purposes without the need for approval by a State approving 
agency (hereinafter, ``SAA'').
     Would provide that the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs may use the services of SAAs for such compliance and 
oversight purposes as the Secretary considers appropriate.
     Would provide that either the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs or SAAs may approve accredited programs 
offered by for-profit institutions.
     Would provide that a course that does not meet VA 
requirements will be disapproved either by the Secretary or by 
SAAs.

Section 204

     Would provide for an increase in the amount of 
reporting fees paid to institutions and would add a requirement 
that fees be used to support certifying activities or other 
activities that support veterans.

Section 205

     Would permit service-connected disabled veterans 
enrolled in a program under chapter 31 of title 38 (veterans' 
rehabilitation and training) who also have eligibility under 
the Post-9/11 GI Bill to elect under what chapter to receive 
either the applicable subsistence allowance or the living 
allowance.

Section 206

     Would reduce to four weeks in any academic year 
the amount of interval pay available to individuals between 
breaks in education training programs.

                       Background and Discussion

    With the enactment of Public Law 110-252, the Supplemental 
Appropriations Act, 2008, a new program of educational 
assistance was established for veterans who have served in the 
Armed Forces since September 11, 2001. Title V of that law put 
in place a new program for such veterans under chapter 33 of 
title 38, U.S.C. Since the circumstances leading to the 
enactment of the new program were outside the framework of the 
usual Committee process for development and consideration of 
legislation, it became clear early on that there were a number 
of issues with the new program that required a legislative 
remedy. In addition, early experiences with the new program 
demonstrated that, in a number of instances, the new program 
was extraordinarily complex, was difficult to understand, and 
resulted in inequities.
    Background. The new chapter 33 program officially became 
effective on August 1, 2009. However, even before that date, 
the Committee had undertaken oversight activities relating to 
the new benefits through frequent meetings with VA officials 
and with representatives from veterans service organizations 
(hereinafter, ``VSOs''), various student groups, school 
certifying officials, and others involved in implementing and 
administering the new benefit. In addition, oversight visits to 
two of the four Regional Processing Offices were conducted by 
Committee staff in the Fall of 2009 and the Spring of 2010. 
Finally, the Committee held three informational briefings for 
Senators and their staffs to explain the various complexities 
and issues prior to the new program becoming effective.
    On April 21, 2010, the Committee held an oversight hearing 
on the implementation of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. During this 
hearing, the Committee heard from VA, DOD, VSOs, and 
stakeholders about the problems that had been encountered--such 
as delayed processing issues, emergency payments and their 
recovery, overpayments, and the implementation of an entirely 
new information technology solution designed to resolve many of 
the issues.
    In addition, the Committee received considerable input from 
individuals eligible for the new program and those responsible 
for administering it at various levels, which helped show the 
need to develop a streamlined, less complex, and fairer program 
as well as to expand certain opportunities for training and 
education.

           TITLE I--POST-9/11 VETERANS EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

Sec. 101. Modification of Entitlement to Educational Assistance.

    Section 101 of the Committee bill, which is derived from 
S. 3447 as introduced, would make a number of modifications and 
clarifications with respect to entitlement for the Post-9/11 GI 
Bill under chapter 33 of title 38, U.S.C.
            Active Duty for Guard and Reserve Members
    Background. Under current law, certain members of Guard and 
Reserve units are eligible for benefits under the Post-9/11 GI 
Bill when called to active duty under title 10, U.S.C., for 
national security purposes by the President or the Secretary of 
Defense. In addition, certain other members of the Guard and 
Reserve are eligible for benefits under chapter 30, MGIB, and 
chapter 1607 of title 10, Reserve Educational Assistance 
Program (hereinafter, ``REAP''). These include individuals 
serving in the Army National Guard or the Air National Guard 
under the authority of section 502(f) of title 32, U.S.C., when 
called to active duty by the President or the Secretary of 
Defense to respond to a national emergency.
    Individuals who serve in this capacity under title 32 are 
those performing full-time National Guard Duty under the Active 
Guard Reserve program and were generally assigned to Operation 
Jump Start, which assisted U.S. Customs and Border Patrol 
agents with logistics and observation activities beginning in 
2006, and Operation Noble Eagle, which provided security for 
airport and airspace operations following the events of 
September 11, 2001.
    Due to an inadvertent oversight in the original Post-9/11 
GI Bill, this group of title 32 Guard members who had 
established eligibility for the MGIB or REAP were omitted.
    Committee Bill. Subsection (a)(1) of section 101 of the 
Committee bill would amend section 3301 of title 38 to correct 
this oversight and make these Guard members eligible for the 
Post-9/11 GI Bill. This change would take effect retroactively 
on August 1, 2009, as if included in Public Law 110-252.
            Definition of Basic Training
    Background. Under current law, section 3311 of title 38, 
individuals who complete specified periods of service are 
eligible for chapter 33 benefits. These specified periods 
consist of active duty and, once an individual has served on 
active duty for at least 2 years, includes active duty for 
entry level and skill training. Section 3301(2) defines the 
term entry level and skill training as it pertains to the 
various branches of the Armed Forces.
    For the purposes of the Department of the Army, Basic 
Combat Training and Advanced Skill Training are considered 
entry level and skill training; for the purposes of the Coast 
Guard, Basic Training is so considered. However, there are two 
types of entry level or skill training proprietary to the Army 
and the Coast Guard that are not specified in current law: 
``One Station Unit Training'' (initial entry training) in the 
case of the Army and `` `A' School Training'' (skill training) 
in the case of the Coast Guard.
    Committee Bill. Subsections (a)(2) and (3) of section 101 
of the Committee bill would amend section 3301(2) of title 38 
to clarify that One Station Unit Training and ``A'' School 
Training are included in the definition of entry level and 
skill training in the case of the Army and the Coast Guard, 
respectively. These changes would take effect on the date of 
enactment and apply with respect to individuals entering 
service on or after that date.
            Honorable Discharge Requirement
    Background. Current law, section 3311(c) of title 38, 
generally requires that, in order to be eligible for 
educational assistance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, a 
servicemember must receive an honorable discharge. However, due 
to an inadvertent error, there are a number of specific types 
of discharges for which the required nature of the discharge 
are not specified. These include a discharge or release for a 
pre-existing medical condition, for hardship, or for a physical 
or mental condition (not characterized as a disability) that 
interferes with an individual's performance of duty.
    Committee Bill. Subsection (b) of section 101 of the 
Committee bill would amend section 3311(c)(4) to clarify that, 
in the case of a discharge or release for a pre-existing 
medical condition, for hardship, or for a physical or mental 
condition (not characterized as a disability) that interferes 
with an individual's performance of duty, the service would be 
required to be characterized as honorable to qualify for Post-
9/11 GI Bill benefits. This change would take effect on the 
date of enactment and apply with respect to discharges and 
releases from active duty that occur on or after that date.
            Service in connection with Attendance at the Coast Guard 
                    Academy
    Background. Section 3311(d) of title 38 prohibits an 
individual from using certain periods of active-duty service 
for purposes of calculating eligibility for Post-9/11 GI Bill 
benefits, including an obligated period of service required in 
exchange for attendance at the United States Military Academy, 
the United States Naval Academy, and the United States Air 
Force Academy. Current law, however, inadvertently omitted an 
obligated period of service required as a result of attendance 
at the United States Coast Guard Academy.
    Committee Bill. Subsection (c) of section 101 of the 
Committee bill would correct this omission by amending section 
3311(d)(2) of title 38 to exclude an obligated period of 
service required in connection with attendance at the Coast 
Guard Academy. This change would take effect on the date of 
enactment and apply with respect to individuals entering into 
agreements for obligated periods of service on after that date.

Sec. 102. Amounts of Assistance for Programs of Education Leading to a 
        Degree Pursued at Public, Non-Public, and Foreign Institutions 
        of Higher Learning.

    Section 102 of the Committee bill, which is derived from 
S. 3447 as introduced, would revise various payment formulas in 
order to streamline, simplify, and make more equitable certain 
payments.
            Programs of Education Leading to a Degree
    Background. Section 3313(c) of title 38 provides for the 
payment of educational assistance to an institution of higher 
learning on behalf of an eligible individual pursuing a program 
of education. The amount of the payment is based on a 
percentage, as determined by length of active-duty service, of 
the amount of tuition and fees charged, not to exceed the most 
expensive in-State public undergraduate institution of higher 
education in the same State.
    This payment scheme has resulted in benefits that are 
confusing, unpredictable and, in some cases, inequitable. 
Tuition and fees were calculated separately in order to take 
into account simultaneous enrollments at multiple institutions. 
In some cases, so-called ``boutique'' or ``niche'' courses with 
extraordinarily high fees (such as a pharmaceutical or a flight 
training course) pushed allowed fees in some States much higher 
than anticipated. In other cases, for States where tuition at 
public schools was low or non-existent, students attending 
private-sector institutions were penalized since their tuition 
payments were based on the public institutions' maximum rates.
    The following VA chart of tuition and fee maximums for the 
2009-2010 academic year illustrates the confusion, complexity, 
and inequities of the payment structure.

                                       Table last updated January 25, 2010
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 State                     Maximum Charge per Credit Hour        Maximum Total Fees per Term
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama...............................                             $291.67                           $13,328.00
Alaska................................                             $159.00                           $13,429.00
Arizona...............................                             $657.00                           $15,000.59
Arkansas..............................                             $200.40                            $1,811.40
California............................                             $335.75                            $2,165.25
Colorado..............................                             $497.00                           $45,387.50
Connecticut...........................                             $516.00                            $2,508.50
Delaware..............................                             $356.00                              $523.00
District of Columbia..................                             $197.92                              $620.00
Florida...............................                             $295.00                           $62,000.00
Guam..................................                             $190.00                              $245.00
Georgia...............................                             $433.58                          $15, 215.00
Hawaii................................                             $282.00                            $1,449.40
Idaho.................................                             $259.00                            $2,821.30
Illinois..............................                             $575.08                           $12,836.00
Indiana...............................                             $321.75                           $12,438.00
Iowa..................................                             $324.25                           $11,817.00
Kansas................................                             $393.95                            $3,804.00
Kentucky..............................                             $430.30                           $11,235.00
Louisiana.............................                             $430.00                            $2,622.70
Maine.................................                             $329.17                            $2,805.00
Maryland..............................                             $458.13                            $2,380.00
Massachusetts.........................                             $330.00                           $17,787.00
Michigan..............................                             $990.00                            $9,792.20
Minnesota.............................                             $750.00                            $4,493.86
Mississippi...........................                             $449.00                              $805.00
Missouri..............................                             $269.00                            $9,863.00
Montana...............................                             $205.40                            $4,250.16
Nebraska..............................                             $236.75                            $1,574.00
Nevada................................                             $136.00                            $2,839.00
New Hampshire.........................                             $932.54                            $4,977.00
New Jersey............................                             $450.67                            $5,736.00
New Mexico............................                             $212.58                           $11,342.00
New York..............................                           $1,010.00                           $12,697.00
North Carolina........................                             $494.00                            $2,163.90
North Dakota..........................                             $409.56                           $25,928.00
Ohio..................................                             $477.00                           $15,134.00
Oklahoma..............................                             $151.00                           $11,546.30
Oregon................................                             $438.00                           $22,190.00
Pennsylvania..........................                             $886.00                            $6,391.00
Puerto Rico...........................                              $90.00                              $537.00
Rhode Island..........................                             $343.00                            $2,020.00
South Carolina........................                             $484.00                            $4,305.50
South Dakota..........................                              $93.40                            $4,748.31
Tennessee.............................                             $248.00                           $13,190.00
Texas.................................                           $1,471.00                           $12,130.00
Utah..................................                             $208.86                           $63,576.50
Vermont...............................                             $488.00                            $2,511.00
Virgin Islands........................                             $120.00                              $563.00
Virginia..............................                             $326.00                            $3,840.00
Washington............................                             $380.00                           $14,444.50
West Virginia.........................                             $266.92                            $4,029.67
Wisconsin.............................                             $663.00                           $30,979.00
Wyoming...............................                              $94.00                            $4,335.00
Overseas..............................                             $408.09                           $10,502.97
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Committee Bill. Subsection (a) of section 102 of the 
Committee bill would eliminate the current State cap system and 
replace it with a two-tiered structure that should 
substantially reduce confusion. If the eligible student attends 
a public institution of higher learning in pursuit of a degree, 
VA will reimburse the full cost of in-State tuition and fees 
charged by the institution less any waiver or reduction of 
tuition and fees for which the student is eligible or any 
Federal, State, institutional or employer-based funds provided 
directly to the institution which are designated for the sole 
purpose of defraying tuition and fees (not including loans or 
Pell grants). In the case of an individual enrolled in a non-
public or foreign institution of higher learning in pursuit of 
a degree, the amount paid would be the lesser of the actual net 
cost, as provided for public institutions, or an annualized 
amount of $20,000. The $20,000 amount would be indexed to 
increases in the cost of education as provided under the MGIB 
in section 3015(h) of title 38 and would be adjusted on August 
1 of each year. These changes would take effect on August 1, 
2011, and would apply with respect to amounts payable for 
educational assistance for pursuit of programs of education on 
or after that date.
            Amounts of Monthly Stipends
    Background. In addition to payments for tuition and fees, 
individuals using Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits may be eligible 
for a monthly living stipend. Section 3313(c) of title 38 
provides that the maximum allowance paid is equivalent to the 
monthly amount of the basic allowance for housing payable under 
section 403 of title 37 for a servicemember with dependents in 
pay grade E-5 (hereinafter, ``BAH E-5''). The allowance is paid 
based on the ZIP code area in which the educational institution 
is located.
    Currently, those enrolled in training on more-than-a-half-
time basis may be eligible to be paid the full housing 
allowance. As a result, individuals pursuing training on a 51 
percent basis may be paid the same allowance as those enrolled 
full-time. This means that an eligible student attending school 
just over half-time enrollment (for example, at the rate of 7 
credits per term) could receive up to 72 months of the living 
allowance payments.
    Existing law does not specify the amount of the living 
allowance for individuals pursuing programs of education in 
foreign countries and does not permit the payment of a living 
allowance for those pursuing a program of education solely by 
distance learning.
    Committee Bill. Subsection (b) of section 102 of the 
Committee bill would provide that the maximum monthly living 
allowance for more than half-time study in pursuit of a degree 
would be equal to the BAH E-5 amount multiplied by the lesser 
of 1.0 or the rate of pursuit rounded to the nearest multiple 
of ten. Therefore, under the Committee bill, an individual 
enrolled on a 61 percent basis would receive up to 60 percent 
of the applicable living allowance; an individual enrolled on a 
76 percent basis would receive up to 80 percent of the 
allowance.
    Further, subsection (b) of section 102 of the Committee 
bill would provide that the monthly living allowance for 
individuals pursuing a program of education in a foreign 
country would be calculated based on the national average BAH 
E-5 amount and adjusted based on rate of pursuit.
    Finally, this section of the Committee bill would provide 
for the payment of a living allowance in the case of 
individuals pursuing a program of education on more than a 
half-time basis solely by distance learning at the rate of up 
to 50 percent of the national average BAH E-5, adjusted based 
on rate of pursuit. For example, an individual enrolled at 62 
percent rate of pursuit would be eligible for up to 50 percent 
of 60 percent of the BAH E-5 national average rate.
    The Committee recognizes that the trend in higher education 
appears to be toward the so-called ``blended'' learning 
experience where there are components of both classroom 
instruction and distance learning. This blended experience is 
provided for under current policies and procedures since VA 
considers a combination of classroom and even one distance 
learning course as entirely classroom training.
    The Committee understands that, for some individuals, 
pursuit of a program of education solely by distance learning 
may be the only manner available to them and that payment of 
some portion of the living allowance is appropriate. However, 
since one of the basic purposes of the living allowance is to 
offset the cost of housing away from home and since most 
distance learning is pursued from home, the full allowance does 
not appear supported at this time.
    The changes made by this subsection would take effect on 
August 1, 2011, and would apply with respect to amounts payable 
for educational assistance for pursuit of programs of education 
on or after that date.

Sec. 103. Amounts of Assistance for Programs of Education Leading to a 
        Degree Pursued on Active Duty.

    Section 103 of the Committee bill, which is derived from 
S. 3447 as introduced, would provide for rates of assistance 
and charges to entitlement for programs of education pursued by 
individuals who are on active duty.
    Background. Under current law, title 38 is silent as to the 
maximum amounts of educational assistance under the Post-9/11 
GI Bill that VA may provide on behalf of individuals who pursue 
educational programs while on active duty. Therefore, VA policy 
and procedures are that these individuals are not subject to 
any State caps that generally govern the maximum amounts of 
tuition and fees VA may pay under that education program. In 
addition, individuals training while on active duty are not 
eligible for the $1,000 annual payment for books.
    Committee Bill. Section 103 of the Committee bill would 
amend section 3313(e) of title 38 to provide that individuals 
who are on active duty and who are enrolled in a program of 
education leading to a degree would be eligible for up to the 
lesser of an annualized rate of $20,000 (adjusted annually by 
increases in the cost of education) or the actual cost of in-
State tuition and fees (less any waiver or reduction of tuition 
or fees or any amount provided directly to the institution on 
behalf of an eligible student for the sole purpose of defraying 
tuition and fees). It would further provide for the payment of 
the book allowance to active-duty servicemembers in the same 
manner as this allowance is paid to veterans under the Post-9/
11 GI Bill program.
    In addition, this section of the Committee bill would make 
a conforming amendment to title 38 and would provide that the 
amendments made by this section would take effect 60 days after 
the date of enactment of the Committee bill and would apply to 
individuals who commence pursuit of a program of education on 
or after that date.

Sec. 104. Educational Assistance for Programs of Education Pursued on 
        Half-time Basis or Less.

    Section 104 of the Committee bill, which is derived from 
S. 3447 as introduced, would clarify certain provisions 
relating to pursuit of programs of education on a half-time-or-
less basis.
            Clarification of Availability of Assistance
    Background. Subsection (f) of section 3313 of title 38 
provides that educational assistance is available for the 
pursuit of programs of education on a half-time-or-less basis.
    Committee Bill. Subsection (a) of section 104 of the 
Committee bill would amend section 3313(f) of title 38 to 
clarify that payment of educational assistance is available to 
individuals training on a half-time-or-less basis whether it is 
on active duty, it is a program leading to a degree, or it is a 
program of education other than a degree program. Since 
programs not leading to a degree might not be eligible for 
educational assistance under the chapter 33 program and since 
current law is silent on pursuit of a program while on active 
duty, this section of the Committee bill would clarify that 
assistance is available for such study on a half-time-or-less 
basis.
            Amount of Assistance
    Background. Section 3313(f)(2) of title 38 provides that 
the amount of educational assistance that may be paid on behalf 
of an individual pursuing a program of education on a half-time 
or less basis is the lesser of the amount that a similarly 
enrolled non-veteran would be required to pay or the 
appropriately reduced maximum amount calculated for the pursuit 
of a program of education (such as taking into account the 
State caps or the percentage tier of benefits to which the 
individual is entitled).
    Committee Bill. Subsection (b) of section 104 of the 
Committee bill would provide that, for the purposes of 
calculating the maximum amount of educational assistance for 
students pursuing a program of education on a half-time or less 
basis, the actual net cost provisions discussed above in 
section 102(a) would apply.

Sec. 105. Educational Assistance for Programs of Education Other Than 
        Programs of Education Leading to a Degree.

    Section 105 of the Committee bill, which is derived from 
S. 3447 as introduced, would provide for the payment of 
educational assistance for pursuit of a program of education 
other than one leading to a college degree.
            Approved Programs of Education at Institutions Other Than 
                    Institutions of Higher Learning
    Background. Under current law, section 3313(b) of title 38 
provides for the payment of educational assistance on behalf of 
individuals enrolled in approved programs of education only at 
institutions of higher learning. As a result, individuals 
pursuing programs at trade and technical schools, flight 
training schools, correspondence schools and others are not 
eligible for assistance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill program.
    Committee Bill. Subsection (a) of section 105 would amend 
section 3313(b) of title 38 to remove the requirement that an 
approved program for purposes of the Post-9/11 GI Bill be 
offered by an institution of higher learning.
            Assistance for Pursuit of Programs of Education Other Than 
                    Programs of Education Leading to a Degree
    Background. Under current law, an individual enrolled in a 
program of education not leading to a degree is eligible for 
assistance only if that program is offered by an institution of 
higher learning as discussed in connection with subsection (a) 
above. Thus, individuals enrolled in certain programs of 
technical training, apprenticeship and on-job training, flight 
training, and correspondence training are not eligible for 
assistance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill program. However, these 
types of training are eligible for assistance under the MGIB 
and Montgomery GI Bill--Selected Reserve (hereinafter, ``MGIB-
SR'') program.
    Committee Bill. Subsection (b) of section 105 of the 
Committee bill would authorize assistance to be paid on behalf 
of an individual enrolled in certain specified programs of 
education not leading to a degree. It would further provide 
that the amount of educational assistance for pursuit of non-
degree programs offered in residence would be up to the lesser 
of the actual net cost of the program or the $20,000 adjusted 
cap (as discussed above in connection with section 102. In 
addition, it would provide for a payment to an enrolled 
individual of a living allowance and a book allowance in a 
manner consistent with such payments to individuals enrolled in 
degree-level programs at institutions of higher learning.
    Subsection (b) would further provide for the payment of 
assistance to an individual enrolled in a full-time program of 
apprenticeship or other on-job training according to the 
following formula:


First six-month training period:        100 percent of the living
                                         allowance otherwise applicable
                                         based on the ZIP code of the
                                         employer
Second six-month training period:       80 percent of the living
                                         allowance otherwise applicable
                                         based on the ZIP code of the
                                         employer
Third six-month training period:        60 percent of the living
                                         allowance otherwise applicable
                                         based on the ZIP code of the
                                         employer
Fourth six-month training period:       40 percent of the living
                                         allowance otherwise applicable
                                         based on the ZIP code of the
                                         employer
Fifth and any subsequent training       20 percent of the living
 periods:                                allowance otherwise applicable
                                         based on the ZIP code of the
                                         employer.



    In addition, a monthly stipend equivalent to the annualized 
amount of the book allowance would be paid to individuals 
enrolled in programs of apprenticeship or other on-job training 
in order to help cover the costs of supplies, equipment, and 
other items.
    In the case of an individual enrolled in a program 
consisting entirely of flight training (regardless of the 
institution offering such a program), subsection (b) of this 
section would provide for the payment of an amount up to the 
lesser of the actual net cost of the program or an annually 
adjusted maximum cap of $12,000 (as increased annually based on 
increases in the cost of education).
    Finally, in the case of an individual enrolled in a program 
pursued entirely by correspondence (regardless of the 
institution offering such a program), subsection (b) of this 
section would provide for the payment of an amount up to the 
lesser of the actual net cost of the program or an annually 
adjusted maximum cap of $10,000 (as increased annually based on 
increases in the cost of education).
    So as to align the MGIB programs and the Post-9/11 GI Bill 
program more closely, subsection (b) of this section of the 
Committee bill would set forth frequency of payments and 
charges to entitlement for these types of training as they 
apply to the current MGIB and Post-9/11 GI Bill programs.
            Payment of Amounts to Educational Institutions
    Background. Section 3313(g) of title 38 specifies that 
payments of established charges are to be made directly to 
educational institutions.
    Committee Bill. Subsection (c) of section 105 would amend 
section 3313(g) (as now redesignated) to provide that payment 
of established charges would be made directly to educational 
institutions in the case of certain non-degree programs, flight 
training, and correspondence training. The payment of benefits 
in the case of apprenticeship and on-job training would be 
directly to the individual enrolled in such training.
    Subsection (d) of section 105 would provide that the 
amendments made by this section of the Committee bill would 
take effect on August 1, 2011, and apply with respect to 
pursuit of programs of education on or after that date.

Sec. 106. Determination of Monthly Housing Stipend Payments for 
        Academic Years.

    Section 106 of the Committee bill would provide for an 
annual effective date for adjustments in the amount of the 
monthly living allowance.
    Background. Throughout chapter 33, there are a number of 
references to the BAH E-5 rate and that the amount of the 
living allowance paid under the Post-9/11 GI Bill is to be 
based on that rate. While BAH rates are calculated by DOD and 
are adjusted annually on January 1, chapter 33 is silent on 
when such adjustments should be applied to the living 
allowance.
    Committee Bill. Section 106 of the Committee bill would 
amend section 3313 of title 38 to provide that adjustments to 
the living allowance would be made annually on August 1. This 
change would take effect on August 1, 2011. This new provision 
is designed to coincide with adjustments made based on 
increases in the cost-of-education index discussed above. It 
further would align increases generally with what is 
customarily considered the start of the school year.
    The Committee believes that the fewer times per year VA is 
required to adjust rates of any benefits, the interest of 
timely and accurate benefits is served.

Sec. 107. Availability of Assistance for Licensure and Certification 
        Tests.

    Section 107 of the Committee bill, which is derived from 
S. 3447 as introduced, would eliminate provisions that limit 
use of Post-
9/11 GI Bill benefits to a single licensing or certification 
test with no charge to entitlement and instead permit unlimited 
use of benefits for such tests with a charge to entitlement.
    Background. Under current law, section 3315 of title 38 
permits individuals to receive a one-time payment of up to 
$2,000 for the purposes of completing a licensure or 
certification test. There is no charge to the individual's 
entitlement for this payment and it is in addition to any other 
educational assistance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
    Committee Bill. Section 107 of the Committee bill would 
remove the one-time limit on the use of benefits for purposes 
of completing a licensure or certification test. This would 
permit individuals to use Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for 
multiple licensure and certification tests. It would, however, 
provide that entitlement would be charged for such use at the 
rate equivalent to one month for each $1,667 paid (as adjusted 
annually based on increases in the cost of education and 
described in section 102, discussed above). The changes made by 
this section of the Committee bill would be effective on August 
1, 2011.

Sec. 108. National Tests.

    Section 108 of the Committee bill, which is derived from 
S. 3447 as introduced, would authorize the use of entitlement 
and benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill for the purposes of 
completing certain national tests required for purposes of 
pursuing higher learning.
    Background. Current law makes no provision for payment of 
Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for the purposes of national tests. 
However, for purposes of other VA education programs, benefits 
may be used to pay for these types of tests.
    Committee Bill. Section 108 of the Committee bill would add 
a new section 3315A, National tests, to title 38. This new 
section would permit the payment of educational assistance 
benefits for two types of national tests: (1) those required 
for admission to an institution of higher learning and (2) 
those providing an opportunity for course credit at an 
institution of higher learning.
    The Committee bill would provide that the amount of 
assistance paid for such tests would be the lesser of the cost 
of the test or the amount of entitlement available at the time 
of the test. It would further provide that the charge to 
entitlement would be determined in the same manner in which 
entitlement is charged for licensure and certification tests 
discussed in section 107 above. The changes made by this 
section of the Committee bill would be effective on August 1, 
2011.

Sec. 109. Continuation of Entitlement to Additional Educational 
        Assistance for Critical Skills or Specialty.

    Section 109 of the Committee bill, which is based on 
discussions with VA and DOD officials, would provide a means of 
allowing individuals who have received additional amounts of 
educational assistance from DOD under the MGIB or the MGIB-SR 
programs to transfer and use those so-called ``kickers'' under 
the Post-9/11 GI Bill program.
    Background. Under current law, DOD has authority under both 
the MGIB and the MGIB-SR to make available additional amounts 
of educational assistance or kickers in order to recruit or 
retain certain individuals or for certain critical skills. 
However, the Post-
9/11 GI Bill does not specify how those kickers are to be paid 
to individuals who elect to receive benefits under the Post-9/
11 GI Bill program instead of under the MGIB program or MGIB-
SR.
    Committee Bill. Section 109 of the Committee bill would 
amend section 3316 of title 38 by adding a new subsection (c) 
that would provide that individuals who are entitled to the 
payment of kickers and who elect to participate in the Post-9/
11 GI Bill program continue to be eligible for the payment of 
kickers. It would further specify that the monthly rate of 
increased assistance payable would be based on the rate of 
monthly assistance that would have otherwise been paid under 
the MGIB or MGIB-SR programs and the rate of pursuit of a 
program of education.
    The Committee bill would further clarify that funds for the 
payment of kickers would be made available from the Defense 
Education Benefits Fund established under section 2006 of title 
10 or from appropriations made available to the Department of 
Homeland Security for such a purpose.
    The amendments made by this section of the Committee bill 
would be effective August 1, 2011.

Sec. 110. Transfer of Unused Education Benefits.

    Section 110 of the Committee bill, which is derived from 
S. 3447 as introduced, would amend section 3319 of title 38, to 
make certain changes with respect to the availability to 
transfer educational assistance benefits to spouses and 
children.
            Availability of Transfer Authority for Members of PHS and 
                    NOAA
    Background. Under current law, section 3319 of title 38 
restricts the ability to transfer benefits to certain members 
of the Armed Forces. However, current policies and procedures 
of VA have made members of the uniformed services eligible for 
benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. As a result, members of 
the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service and the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may establish 
eligibility for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits but are unable to 
transfer those benefits to their spouses or children.
    Committee Bill. Subsection (a) of section 110 of the 
Committee bill would amend section 3319 of title 38 to provide 
that members of the uniformed services are eligible to transfer 
Post-9/11 GI Bill educational assistance benefits to their 
spouses and children under the terms and conditions prescribed 
therein.
            Scope and Exercise of Authority
    Background. Subsection (a) of section 3319 of title 38 
permits the Secretary of Defense to authorize each of the 
Secretaries of the various branches of the Armed Forces, in 
order to promote recruitment and retention of members, to 
permit eligible individuals to transfer Post-9/11 GI Bill 
educational assistance to one or more dependents.
    Committee Bill. Subsection (b) of section 110 of the 
Committee bill would add a new paragraph (2) to subsection 
3319(a) of title 38 to reemphasize that the purpose of 
providing for transferability of benefits to dependents is to 
promote recruitment and retention in the uniformed services and 
to provide that the Secretary concerned may exercise the 
authority for that purpose when authorized by the Secretary of 
Defense in the national security interests of the United 
States.
    Subsection (c) of section 110 of the Committee bill would 
provide that the provisions of this section would take effect 
on August 1, 2011.

Sec. 111. Bar to Duplication of Certain Educational Assistance 
        Benefits.

    Section 111 of the Committee bill, which is based on 
discussions with officials from VA and others, would amend 
title 38 to bar duplication of certain educational assistance 
benefits and other VA benefits.
            Bar to Concurrent Receipt of Transferred Education Benefits 
                    and Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry 
                    Scholarship Assistance
    Background. Section 1002 of Public Law 111-32, the 
Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009, amended the Post-9/11 GI 
Bill to make eligible for assistance the children of 
servicemembers who die in line of duty after September 10, 
2001. This benefit, the so-called ``Master Gunnery Sergeant 
John David Fry Scholarship'' (hereinafter, ``Fry 
Scholarship''), became effective on August 1, 2009, and 
eligible children attending school may receive up to the 
highest public in-State undergraduate tuition and fees, plus a 
monthly living stipend and book allowance. An eligible child is 
entitled to the equivalent of 36 months of full-time benefits 
and has 15 years to use the benefits beginning on the child's 
18th birthday or up until the child turns 33 years of age.
    Under other provisions of current law, such children may 
have eligibility for other educational assistance programs, may 
have had benefits transferred to them, or may have established 
eligibility for educational assistance based on their own 
service in the Armed Forces.
    Committee Bill. Subsection (a) of section 111 of the 
Committee bill would add a new subsection 3322(e) of title 38 
to require children who have eligibility for both the Fry 
Scholarship program and who have had Post-9/11 GI Bill 
education benefits transferred to them by a parent to elect 
under which program to receive benefits.
            Bar to Receipt of Compensation and Pension and Marine 
                    Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship 
                    Assistance
    Background. Under existing law, the children of certain 
veterans are eligible for educational assistance under the 
Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance program. If a 
child begins a program of education using those benefits, that 
constitutes a bar to any subsequent compensation, dependency 
and indemnity compensation, or pension based on the death of 
that child's veteran-parent. It also constitutes a bar to 
additional amounts of compensation, dependency and indemnity 
compensation, or pension based on that child. However, similar 
bars to duplication of benefits were not included when the Fry 
scholarship was enacted.
    Committee Bill. Subsection (b) of section 111 of the 
Committee bill would add a new subsection 3322(f) of title 38 
that would provide that, if a child begins a program of 
education using Fry Scholarship benefits, that constitutes a 
bar to any subsequent compensation, dependency and indemnity 
compensation, or pension based on the death of that child's 
veteran-parent. It also constitutes a bar to additional amounts 
of compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation, or 
pension based on that child.
            Bar to Concurrent Receipt of Transferred Education Benefits
    Background. Under section 3319 of title 38, certain 
servicemembers may transfer to their spouses and children some 
or all of their entitlement to educational assistance. However, 
current law is silent on how such transferability is to be used 
in the case of an individual receiving transferred benefits 
from more than one individual.
    Committee Bill. Subsection (c) of the Committee bill would 
add a new subsection 3322(g) of title 38 that would bar 
concurrent receipt of transferred benefits based on the service 
of two different individuals and would require the transferee 
to elect under which source to utilize assistance at any one 
time.
            Bar to Duplication of Eligibility Based on a Single Event
    Background. Under current law, an individual entering 
active duty may establish eligibility for the MGIB, the Reserve 
Educational Assistance Program, and the Post-9/11 GI Bill based 
on the same period of service. For example, an individual, who 
entered into service on September 1, 2002, and who completed 
three years of service, could have established eligibility for 
36 months of educational assistance under the MGIB in addition 
to eligibility for 36 months of educational assistance under 
the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Subject to the 48-month limitation on 
aggregate months of assistance under two or more programs 
provided for in section 3695 of title 38, this means that an 
individual, who exhausts entitlement to 36 months of training 
under the MGIB, can subsequently enroll and receive an 
additional 12 months of entitlement under the Post-
9/11 GI Bill based on the same period of service.
    In addition, the child of an individual who dies while on 
active duty may be eligible for up to 45 months of educational 
assistance under chapter 35 of title 38, Survivors' and 
Dependents' Educational Assistance. This assistance would be in 
addition to assistance available under the Fry Scholarship 
program and any assistance transferred to the child by the 
servicemember.
    Committee Bill. Subsection (d) of the Committee bill would 
add a new subsection 3322(h) of title 38 that would require 
that individuals who establish eligibility under two or more 
chapters of title 38 or under chapters 1606 and 1607 of title 
10, to elect under which authority to credit a period of 
service. In addition, it would provide that, if the child of a 
member of the Armed Forces is eligible for benefits under both 
the Fry Scholarship and Survivors' and Dependents' Educational 
Assistance program by reason of the death of the child's 
parent, the child must elect under which program to receive 
educational assistance.
    Subsection (e) of the Committee bill would provide that the 
amendments made by section 111 would be effective on August 1, 
2011.

Sec. 112. Technical Amendments.

    Section 112 of the Committee bill would make a series of 
technical and conforming amendments to chapter 33 of title 38.

             TITLE II--OTHER EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE MATTERS

Sec. 201. Extension of Delimiting Dates for use of Educational 
        Assistance by Primary Caregivers of Seriously Injured and 
        Veterans and Members of the Armed Forces.

    Section 201 of the Committee bill, which is derived from 
VA's draft bill, the Veterans Benefit Programs Improvement Act 
of 2010, as transmitted to the Congress on May 26, 2010, would 
amend title 38 to permit the extension of delimiting dates for 
eligible individuals who could not pursue or had to interrupt a 
program of education in order to act as the primary caregiver 
for a veteran or servicemember who was seriously injured while 
on active duty on or after September 11, 2001.
    Background. Under current law, individuals eligible for the 
MGIB or the Post-9/11 GI Bill are eligible for an extension of 
time during which benefits may be used (the so-called 
``delimiting date'') by virtue of certain disabilities which 
prevented the pursuit of a program of education. In the case of 
a child who is eligible for benefits under the chapter 35 
program (Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance 
program), a delimiting date may be extended if the child 
suspends training for reasons beyond the control of the child; 
however, the child must have interrupted a program in order to 
be eligible for the extension.
    On May 5, 2010, Public Law 111-163, the Caregivers and 
Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, established a 
program under which family members may be appointed primary 
caregivers of certain seriously injured veterans and 
servicemembers injured while on active duty on or after 
September 11, 2001. Such family members are eligible for a 
monthly stipend as well as a program of comprehensive 
assistance including mental health services, ongoing technical 
support, counseling, and lodging and subsistence while 
accompanying the injured veteran or servicemember for VA 
medical care.
    Committee Bill. The Committee bill would amend chapters 30, 
33, and 35 of title 38 to provide that, in addition to the 
existing authorities for extensions, an extension of the 
applicable delimiting date may be available for a period of 
time equal to the time a primary caregiver was unable to pursue 
or had to interrupt a program of education because of that 
individual's status as a primary caregiver under Public Law 
111-163. These changes would take effect on August 1, 2011, and 
would apply with respect to preventions or suspensions of 
programs of education that commence on or after that date.
    The Committee believes that such extensions would give 
individuals the flexibility to complete their educational goals 
while still meeting the needs of the veteran or servicemember 
for care.

Sec. 202. Limitations on Receipt of Educational Assistance under 
        National Call to Service and other Programs of Educational 
        Assistance.

    Section 202 of the Committee bill, which is derived from 
S. 3447 as introduced, would amend title 38 to limit concurrent 
receipt of educational assistance under the National Call to 
Service (hereinafter, ``NCS'') program and other programs of 
educational assistance.
    Background. Under current law, sections 3322(a) and 
3681(b)(2) of title 38, concurrent receipt of educational 
assistance under certain programs of educational assistance is 
prohibited. The prohibition applies to programs provided for by 
chapters 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, and 35 of title 38, as well as 
those under chapters 1606 and 1607 of title 10. It also 
includes programs authorized by section 903 of the Department 
of Defense Authorization Act, 1981, the Hostage Relief Act of 
1980, and the Omnibus Diplomatic Security and Antiterrorism Act 
of 1986.
    Section 531 of the Bob Stump National Defense Authorization 
Act for Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-314) established a new 
enlistment option under which all service branches were 
required to develop a shortened enlistment program by October 
1, 2003, under the NCS Initiative. Following a shortened 
active-duty commitment, individuals were required to re-enlist 
on active duty or serve two years in the active National Guard 
or Reserves. Following this second period of obligated service, 
individuals were then required to complete the eight-year total 
commitment by re-enlisting or serving in the Selected or 
Inactive Reserves.
    In exchange for this service, individuals were eligible to 
receive one of the following:

     Payment of a bonus in the amount of $5,000
     Payment in an amount not to exceed $18,000 of 
outstanding principal and interest on qualifying student loans
     An ``Education Allowance'' which is equal to full 
MGIB education rates for up to 12 months of education
     An ``Education Allowance'' which is equal to 1/2 
monthly MGIB rates for up to 36 months of education.

    Committee Bill. Section 202 of the Committee bill would 
amend sections 3322(a) and 3681(b)(2) of title 38 to clarify 
that duplication and concurrent receipt of education benefits 
under more than one education program is also prohibited with 
respect to the NCS program.

Sec. 203. Approval of Courses.

    Section 203 of the Committee bill, which is also derived 
from VA's draft bill, the Veterans Benefit Programs Improvement 
Act of 2010, as transmitted to the Congress on May 26, 2010, 
would amend various sections of chapter 36 of title 38 to 
expand VA's authority regarding approval of courses for the 
enrollment of veterans (and other eligible persons) who are in 
receipt of VA-administered educational assistance programs and 
to better utilize the services of SAAs.
    Background. Under current law, section 3671 of title 38, 
each State is requested to appoint an SAA for the purposes of 
approving programs of education and training and VA enters into 
contracts with each SAA. Section 3672 of title 38 provides that 
eligible individuals may only receive educational assistance 
allowances if the course of education they are taking is 
approved by the applicable SAA or, in the case of a prOgram 
offered by the Federal Government or an apprenticeship program 
where the training establishment is directly engaged in 
interstate commerce, by the Secretary. Chapter 36 of title 38 
also contains additional provisions relating to the approval of 
accredited programs, non-accredited programs, apprenticeship 
training programs, other on-the-job training programs, 
correspondence programs, and flight training programs.
    A U.S. Government Accountability Office (hereinafter, 
``GAO'') report (GAO-07-384, March 2007) recommended that VA 
take action to reduce the overlap of SAA functions with 
functions performed by the Departments of Labor and Education 
in approving education and training programs.
    Committee Bill. The Committee bill would amend current law 
to provide greater authority for the Secretary to utilize the 
SAAs more effectively and to reduce overlap with other 
agencies. It would deem various programs and courses to be 
approved for VA purposes if they are approved by other agencies 
for programs under their jurisdiction. It would further 
specifically authorize the disapproval of any course by the 
Secretary if it is found that the approval criteria set forth 
in chapter 36 are not met. It would further authorize the 
Secretary to utilize the resources of the SAAs for additional 
compliance and oversight activities that are deemed 
appropriate.
    The Committee concurs in VA's belief that these amendments 
will contribute to streamlining the administration of 
educational assistance benefits and improve the delivery of 
benefits to veterans, reservists, and other eligible 
individuals. The Committee further believes that the SAAs 
represent a valuable resource for VA as the implementation of 
the new Post-9/11 GI Bill continues, particularly as they might 
identify issues and problems that may arise regarding the 
possible misuse of benefits and instances of fraud, 
misrepresentation, and abuse. Finally, the Committee recognizes 
the role of the SAAs as a link between educational institutions 
and VA that assist institutions in providing education and 
training opportunities to eligible students, as well as 
representing an important outreach tool.
    The Committee intends to monitor the approval process very 
closely as these new procedures are set in place and to respond 
quickly and appropriately should the need arise.

Sec. 204. Reporting Fees.

    Section 204 of the Committee bill, which is derived from 
S. 3447 as introduced, would increase the amount of reporting 
fees paid by VA to educational and training institutions and 
would require that any fees paid be used by the institutions 
solely for the making of certifications required by title 38 or 
for supporting programs for veterans.
    Background. Section 3684(c) of title 38 provides for the 
payment of reporting fees to educational and training 
facilities based on the number of veterans or other eligible 
students enrolled. Current law provides that the amount paid 
per eligible student is $7 or, in the case of an institution 
that accepts advance payments from VA, $11 per student.
    Under current law, fees received by institutions are not 
restricted in any way and may be used by schools and training 
establishments for any purpose.
    Committee Bill. The Committee bill would amend section 
3684(c) so as to increase the reporting fees paid from $7 and 
$11 to $12 and $15, respectively. This change would take effect 
on August 1, 2011.
    The last time these fees were increased was in 1977 when 
the GI Bill Improvements Act became Public Law 95-202. The 
Committee believes that the increased fees are not only 
justified by virtue of not having been increased in more than 
30 years but also by the increased, complex, and complicated 
certifications institutions are required to submit to VA.
    Nevertheless, the Committee is concerned that these fees 
could be used by institutions for purposes other than meeting 
the needs of veteran-students. Therefore, the Committee bill 
would require that fees received by schools and training 
establishments be used to offset the cost of certifications or 
to support other veteran programs on campus.

Sec. 205. Election for Receipt of Alternate Subsistence Allowance for 
        Certain Veterans with Service-Connected Disabilities Undergoing 
        Training and Rehabilitation.

    Section 205 of the Committee bill, which is derived from 
S. 3447 as introduced, would permit veterans who have 
eligibility for both vocational rehabilitation and training 
under chapter 31 of title 38 and under the new Post-9/11 GI 
Bill, to elect under which program to receive a living or 
subsistence allowance.
    Background. Under VA's chapter 31 program of training and 
rehabilitation for veterans with service-connected 
disabilities, veterans enrolled in training may be eligible to 
receive a subsistence allowance. Section 3108(b) of title 38 
sets forth the rate for these allowances and their periodic 
increase based on increases in the cost-of-living index.
    Based on current law, the subsistence allowance payable to 
a single veteran living in Portland, OR, and enrolled in a 
program of training and rehabilitation at a public institution 
of higher learning on a full-time basis would be $547.54 per 
month. Under the chapter 33 Post-9/11 GI Bill, that same 
veteran enrolled in the same program would be eligible to 
receive a living allowance of $1,299 monthly.
    Committee Bill. The Committee bill would amend section 
3108(b) of title 38 so as to permit individuals who have 
eligibility for both the chapter 31 program and the chapter 33 
program to elect whether to receive the chapter 31 subsistence 
allowance or the chapter 33 living allowance. This change would 
take effect on August 1, 2011.
    The Committee is concerned that the greater benefit 
available under the chapter 33 program provides a disincentive 
for service-connected disabled veterans to enroll in the 
chapter 31 program, which means they would forego the important 
and valuable benefits, services, counseling, and employment 
assistance support that are available under the chapter 31 
program of training and rehabilitation. By permitting eligible 
veterans to select the higher allowance, this disincentive 
would be removed.

Sec. 206. Modification of Authority to Make Certain Interval Payments.

    Section 206 of the Committee bill, which is derived from 
S. 3447 as introduced, would modify VA's authority to make 
certain payments between breaks in programs of education.
    Background. Under current law, section 3680(a) of title 38 
permits individuals enrolled in programs of education and 
training under all programs of VA educational assistance to 
receive payments during specified periods when pursuit is 
interrupted. These include periods of time when schools are 
temporarily closed due to an emergency situation, during 
periods of time during consecutive enrollments when students 
are transferring from one institution to another, and during 
periods between enrollment periods not exceeding eight weeks.
    Committee Bill. The Committee bill would amend section 
3680(a) of title 38 so as to reduce the period of time between 
enrollment periods during which an interval payment could be 
made from eight weeks to four weeks during any one year.
    The Committee is concerned that, since the months of 
educational assistance available to eligible veterans and 
others is, in most cases, equal to the number of months needed 
to attain an educational objective, using entitlement for 
months during which a student is not actively pursuing an 
educational goal unnecessarily uses months of entitlement that 
could be otherwise utilized and results in the student's 
inability to complete an educational objective with available 
assistance.

                      Committee Bill Cost Estimate

    In compliance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee, based on 
information supplied by the CBO, estimates that enactment of 
the Committee bill would, relative to current law, increase 
spending by $X million 20XX and by $X million over the 20XX-
20XX period. Enactment of the Committee bill would not affect 
direct spending or receipts and would not affect the budget of 
State, local or tribal governments.
    The cost estimate provided by CBO, setting forth a detailed 
breakdown of costs, follows:

                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                   Washington, DC, October 6, 2010.
Hon. Daniel K. Akaka,
Chairman,
Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 3447, the Post-9/11 
Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is William Ma.
            Sincerely,
                                      Douglas W. Elmendorf,
                                                          Director.

  Enclosure.

S. 3447--Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 
        2010

    Summary: S. 3447 would modify existing education benefits 
offered to active-duty servicemembers, reserve members, 
veterans, and qualifying dependents of those who served in the 
Armed Forces on or after September 11, 2001. If enacted, CBO 
estimates this bill would increase direct spending for veterans 
readjustment benefits by about $1.3 billion over the 2011-2015 
period and about $2.3 billion over the 2011-2020 period.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Different time periods are relevant for enforcing the current 
pay-as-you-go rules in the Senate and the House of Representatives. CBO 
estimates that enacting S. 3447 would increase direct spending by about 
$1 billion over the 2011-2014 period and by about $2.1 billion over the 
2011-2019 period.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting the 
legislation would affect direct spending. Enacting the bill 
would not affect revenues and would have no significant impact 
on spending subject to appropriation.
    S. 3447 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 3447 is shown in Table 1. The costs of 
this legislation fall within budget function 700 (veterans 
benefits and services).

                 Table 1.--Estimated Budgetary Impact of S.3447, The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                       By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020  2011-2015  2011-2020
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING

Expansion of Educational Programs
    Estimated Budget Authority..............................     63    190    304    315    311    307    304    300    296    293     1,183      2,683
    Estimated Outlays.......................................     63    190    304    315    311    307    304    300    296    293     1,183      2,683
Payments for Education Assistance
    Estimated Budget Authority..............................     34   -173   -178   -190   -210   -231   -244   -250   -253   -257      -717     -1,952
    Estimated Outlays.......................................     34   -173   -178   -190   -210   -231   -244   -250   -253   -257      -717     -1,952
Eligibility for Post-9/11 GI Bill Education Benefits
    Estimated Budget Authority..............................    137    164    177    172    165    158    150    145    149    154       815      1,571
    Estimated Outlays.......................................    137    164    177    172    165    158    150    145    149    154       815      1,571
Other Provisions
    Estimated Budget Authority..............................      5     -1     -2     -1     -2     -3     -4     -5     -5     -5        -1        -23
    Estimated Outlays.......................................      5     -1     -2     -1     -2     -3     -4     -5     -5     -5        -1        -23
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Changes in Direct Spending
        Estimated Budget Authority..........................    239    180    301    296    264    231    206    190    187    185     1,280      2,279
        Estimated Outlays...................................    239    180    301    296    264    231    206    190    187    185     1,280      2,279
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Basis of estimate: S. 3447 would modify the eligibility 
requirements for receiving benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill 
and adjust the amount of education assistance available to 
current and future beneficiaries. This estimate is based on 
information from the Department of Defense (DOD), the 
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the National Guard Bureau, 
the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Center for Education 
Statistics, and the College Board. CBO assumes the bill will be 
enacted by the end of calendar year 2010.

Expansion of Educational Programs

    Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, only veterans attending 
programs offered by degree-granting institutions of higher 
learning may receive education assistance. Several provisions 
in S. 3447 would expand eligibility to cover other forms of 
education and training, including certificate programs, 
apprenticeships, on-the-job training, flight training, and 
correspondence training. If enacted, CBO estimates that the 
following provisions would increase direct spending by $2.7 
billion over the 2011-2020 period (see Table 2).

                         Table 2.--Impact of S.3447 on Educational Programs Eligible for Assistance  Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Outlays, by fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020  2011-2015  2011-2020
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Certificate and Non-Degree Programs.........................      2     21     35     51     54     57     59     62     65     69      163         475
Apprenticeship and On-the-Job Training......................     11     67     67     62     55     48     42     35     28     21      262         436
Flight Training.............................................      *      1      1      1      1      1      2      2      2      2        4          13
Montgomery GI Bill Contributions............................     50    101    201    201    201    201    201    201    201    201      754       1,759
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Changes in Direct Spending........................     63    190    304    315    311    307    304    300    296    293    1,183       2,683
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding; * = less than $500,000.

    Certificate and Non-Degree Programs. Section 105 would 
expand the definition of approved education programs to include 
certificate and non-college degree programs. CBO estimates this 
provision would result in about 6,000 additional veterans using 
the Post-
9/11 GI Bill per year, with each using approximately $8,000 a 
year in education benefits. Over the 2011-2020 period, CBO 
estimates the payment of tuition, fees, housing stipends, and 
annual book allowances to qualifying individuals would increase 
direct spending by about $475 million.
    Apprenticeship and On-the-Job Training. Section 105 also 
would expand the definition of approved programs to include 
apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs. CBO estimates 
that the number of individuals receiving Post-9/11 GI Bill 
benefits would increase by about 4,700 in 2011 and almost 6,800 
by 2020 if those provisions were enacted. In addition, we 
estimate that amounts payable under section 105 for those 
programs would be about 30 percent and 55 percent greater than 
amounts currently paid under the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) and 
the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP), 
respectively, in 2011. (While significantly higher in 2011, we 
expect that those differences would decrease over time as both 
the current and newly proposed rates are tied to different 
inflation indices.) CBO estimates the increase in users and 
benefit amounts and the migration of MGIB and REAP users 
seeking the higher Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit would increase 
direct spending by about $436 million over the 2011-2020 
period.
    Flight Training. Section 105 would expand the definition of 
approved education programs to include flight training. The 
amount of assistance payable would equal the actual cost of 
tuition and fees or $12,000, adjusted annually for inflation, 
whichever is less. That rate is comparable to the amount 
currently paid for flight training under MGIB, but is greater 
than the amount currently paid for such training under REAP. 
CBO estimates that about 160 REAP flight trainees each year 
would benefit from this provision. In 2011, we estimate those 
trainees would each use an average of $8,000 in education 
benefits. After taking into consideration annual increases in 
tuition costs, we estimate the average benefit would grow to 
$13,000 by 2020. In total, CBO estimates this provision would 
increase direct spending by about $13 million over the 2011-
2020 period.
    Correspondence Training. Finally, section 105 would expand 
the definition of approved education programs to include 
correspondence training. Assistance for correspondence courses 
would equal the lesser of the actual cost of tuition and fees 
or $10,000, adjusted annually for inflation. An average of 780 
MGIB users over each of the past three years participated in 
correspondence training at an average annual cost of $210 per 
user. With the increased availability of other forms of 
distance education opportunities, CBO assumes the number of 
correspondence students will decline from about 700 users in 
2011 to about 270 users in 2020. Thus, we estimate the total 
increase in direct spending for correspondence students would 
be less than $500,000 over the 2011-2020 period.
    Montgomery GI Bill Contributions. Section 109 would 
authorize DOD to use the Education Benefits Fund to pay 
supplemental educational assistance offered under the Post-9/11 
GI Bill. DOD currently offers such assistance through the MGIB 
program to support the recruitment and retention of individuals 
with specialized skills. This assistance provides up to $950 
per month in addition to the basic educational assistance to 
which an individual is otherwise entitled and is drawn from the 
DOD Education Benefits Fund. Under current law, supplemental 
assistance offered under the Post-9/11 GI Bill cannot be paid 
from that fund. Instead, servicemembers must enroll in MGIB and 
contribute $1,200 through payroll deductions to receive the 
supplemental assistance. They are then allowed to transfer to 
the more generous Post-9/11 GI Bill and retain entitlement to 
the supplemental benefit.
    Under section 109, servicemembers would no longer be 
required to enroll in MGIB to receive supplemental educational 
assistance. CBO believes this provision, combined with the 
provisions that expand the programs eligible for assistance 
under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, would eliminate any remaining 
incentive for servicemembers to enroll in MGIB. CBO estimates 
the loss of those MGIB contributions (currently counted as 
offsets to direct spending) would increase direct spending by 
about $1.8 billion over the 2011-2020 period.

Payments for Education Assistance

    Sections 102, 103, 104, and 106 would modify amounts 
payable for tuition, fees, housing stipends, and book 
allowances under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Section 205 would 
modify amounts payable to certain veterans with service-
connected disabilities. In addition, section 206 would modify 
the conditions under which interval payments may be paid to 
students between school terms. CBO estimates that enacting 
those provisions would, on net, decrease direct spending for 
veterans education by about $2 billion over the 2011-2020 
period (see Table 3).

                                         Table 3.--Impact of S.3447 on Amounts Payable for Education Assistance
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Outlays, by fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020  2011-2015  2011-2020
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interval Payments...........................................      0   -212   -214   -215   -220   -225   -230   -236   -244   -253     -861      -2,049
Cap on Tuition and Fees.....................................     61    140    155    167    177    188    201    215    231    247      700       1,782
Tuition and Fees, Net of Financial Assistance...............    -28    -64    -71    -78    -84    -90    -96   -103   -110   -118     -325        -842
Modifications to Monthly Housing Stipend....................     -9    -74    -87   -105   -127   -149   -165   -173   -178   -183     -402      -1,250
Housing Stipend in Lieu of Subsistence Allowance............      4     23     24     26     28     29     30     31     32     33      105         260
Allowance for Active-Duty Books and Supplies................      6     14     15     15     16     16     16     16     16     17       66         147
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Changes in Direct Spending........................     34   -173   -178   -190   -210   -231   -244   -250   -253   -257     -717      -1,952
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.


    Interval Payments. Section 206 would modify the conditions 
under which the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may make payments 
to students during the interval between consecutive school 
terms. Under current law, VA may continue to pay education 
benefits during intervals between semesters, quarters, or 
summer sessions. This section of S. 3447 would allow payment 
only during periods when schools are temporarily closed under 
an Executive Order of the President or because of an emergency 
situation. CBO estimates that an average of 260,000 students 
will receive interval payments averaging $875 per year under 
current law. Under this provision, we expect interval payments 
would be paid very rarely; thus, we estimate this provision 
would result in savings of about $2 billion over the 2011-2020 
period.
    Cap on Tuition and Fees. Under sections 102, 103, and 104, 
amounts payable to public institutions for veterans education 
would equal the actual cost of in-state tuition and fees, 
reduced by the amount of any institutional, state, federal, or 
employer-based financial assistance specifically designated to 
defray tuition and fee expenses. Amounts payable to private and 
foreign institutions would be limited to the actual cost of 
tuition and fees or $20,000, adjusted annually for inflation, 
whichever is less. Under current law, the Post-9/11 GI Bill 
pays the actual cost of tuition and fees up to the highest in-
state tuition charged by a public educational institution in 
the state where the school is located. For students enrolled at 
foreign institutions of higher learning, the Post-9/11 GI Bill 
pays the actual cost of tuition and fees up to the average 
amount of tuition and fees paid to undergraduate in-state 
students throughout the United States.
    Based on information from VA, CBO estimates that the 
national average of the highest in-state tuition and fees 
payable for Post-9/11 GI Bill users will be about $17,300 in 
2011. Under current law, students attending institutions where 
tuition and fees exceed their state's cap may be eligible for 
additional assistance under the Yellow Ribbon GI Education 
Enhancement Program. When an institution enters into a Yellow 
Ribbon Program (YRP) agreement with VA, it agrees to cover a 
portion of the student's tuition shortfall. VA then matches the 
institution's contribution to further reduce or eliminate the 
student's out-of-pocket expenses.
    The proposed $20,000 cap would result in a 16 percent 
increase in payments over amounts that would be paid using the 
formula cap under current law. The new cap also would raise the 
threshold for when a participating institution's YRP 
contributions would take effect. CBO estimates that 
approximately 105,000 students will attend private and foreign 
institutions in 2011, and about 65,000 of them will receive 
funds through the YRP. In total, CBO estimates that instituting 
a $20,000 per year cap on tuition and fees paid to private and 
foreign institutions would increase direct spending by about 
$1.8 billion over the 2011-2020 period.
    Tuition and Fees, Net of Financial Assistance. In 
estimating the net cost of tuition and fees after applying 
available financial assistance, CBO expects that total 
financial assistance received by beneficiaries of the Post-9/11 
GI Bill will be significantly less than amounts received by 
comparable nonveterans. Education institutions would realize 
that the assistance offered to eligible veterans would reduce 
the amounts paid by VA rather than by the student. Thus, they 
would allocate their limited aid dollars to other students. 
Also, we expect that few, if any, users of the Post-9/11 GI 
Bill would take the time to apply for scholarships specifically 
designated to defray tuition and fee expenses if their efforts 
result in reducing amounts paid by VA. Drawing on financial 
assistance data from the College Board, CBO estimates the 
average amount of assistance per user (other than loans and any 
funds provided under section 401(b) of the Higher Education Act 
of 1965) received by beneficiaries of the Post-9/11 GI Bill to 
be about $215--a fraction of the average amount provided to 
comparable nonveterans. Such savings would reduce direct 
spending by $842 million over the 2011-2020 period, CBO 
estimates.
    Modifications to Monthly Housing Stipend. Section 106 would 
delay the annual increase in housing stipends from January 1 to 
August 1, the beginning of the academic year. Stipend payment 
rates established on August 1 would remain effective throughout 
the entire academic year. Those payments would be further 
adjusted by section 102 to reflect whether a student is 
attending on a full-time or part-time basis. In addition, 
section 102 would provide monthly housing stipends to students 
pursuing programs entirely through distance education who are 
enrolled on more than a half-time basis and not serving on 
active duty. Under current law: annual increases in housing 
stipends go into effect January 1 of each year; students are 
paid the current monthly stipend rate regardless of the 
academic calendar; students who pursue programs of education on 
more than a half-time basis are paid the full amount of the 
stipend; and students who pursue programs of education solely 
through distance learning are not entitled to a housing 
stipend. Collectively, the proposed stipend adjustments would 
result in net savings of about $1.3 billion over the 2011-2020 
period.
    Housing Stipend in Lieu of Subsistence Allowance. Section 
205 would allow veterans with service-connected disabilities 
that participate in a program of vocational rehabilitation 
under chapter 31 of title 38 of the U.S. Code, and who are also 
entitled to Post-
9/11 GI Bill education benefits, to choose whether to receive 
the monthly housing stipend payable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill 
or a monthly subsistence allowance. Under current law, those 
veterans must withdraw from the vocational rehabilitation 
program in order to receive Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. In 
doing so, they are no longer entitled to the counseling and 
support services provided by the vocational rehabilitation 
program. Based on information from VA, CBO estimates that, on 
average, about 21,000 of the individuals who participate in the 
vocational rehabilitation program each year would choose the 
housing stipend payment over the subsistence payment. We 
estimate that the average monthly housing stipend will be about 
$600 greater than the average subsistence payment in 2011; 
after taking into consideration cost-of-living increases, we 
estimate that the difference will grow to $670 by 2020. If 
enacted, CBO estimates that section 205 would increase direct 
spending by $260 million over the 2011-2020 period.
    Allowance for Active-Duty Books and Supplies. Under section 
103, active-duty servicemembers would be eligible for an annual 
allowance of $1,000 for books and supplies. CBO estimates that 
making that allowance available to the estimated 19,000 users 
of the Post-9/11 GI Bill that are on active duty in 2011--
increasing to 25,000 by 2020--would increase direct spending by 
$147 million over the 2011-2020 period.

Eligibility for Post-9/11 GI Bill Education Benefits

    Section 101 would amend the eligibility requirements for 
the Post-9/11 GI Bill that apply to certain National Guard 
members, servicemembers receiving less than honorable 
discharges, and graduates of the Coast Guard Academy. On net, 
CBO estimates that enacting those provisions would increase 
direct spending by about $1.6 billion over the 2011-2020 period 
(see Table 4).

                                      Table 4.--Impact of S.3447 on Post-9/11 GI Bill Education Benefit Eligibility
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Outlays, by fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020  2011-2015  2011-2020
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
National Guard..............................................    158    186    199    195    189    182    175    171    176    183      927       1,814
Honorable Service Requirement...............................    -21    -22    -22    -23    -24    -24    -25    -26    -27    -28     -112        -242
Coast Guard Academy Graduates...............................      0      0      0      0      0      *      *      *      *      *        *          -1
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Changes in Direct Spending........................    137    164    177    172    165    158    150    145    149    154      815       1,571
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding; * = less than $500,000.

    National Guard. Under current law, service in the Active-
Guard Reserve Program as well as service performed by National 
Guardsmen called to duty by the President or the Secretary of 
Defense under section 502(f) of title 32, U.S. States Code, are 
not recognized as qualifying service under the Post-9/11 GI 
Bill. For servicemembers who performed such duties, education 
benefits are limited to MGIB and REAP. Section 101 would 
recognize such full-time duty as qualifying service for 
benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Based on information 
obtained from the National Guard Bureau, CBO estimates that 
under this provision, an additional 131,000 National Guardsmen 
would be immediately eligible for benefits and that each year 
8,000 additional National Guardsmen would qualify for benefits. 
The addition of this newly eligible population would result in 
about a 25 percent increase in total reservists eligible for 
benefits. Assuming a proportionate increase in usage, plus an 
estimated 5 percent increase in usage from those who are 
currently eligible but would not have otherwise used education 
benefits, CBO estimates that under this provision direct 
spending would increase by about $1.8 billion over the 2011-
2020 period.
    Honorable Service Requirement. Servicemembers discharged or 
released from active duty because of a preexisting medical 
condition, hardship, or a physical or mental condition not 
considered a disability are eligible for education benefits 
under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, regardless of the type of 
discharge they receive. Section 101 would limit eligibility for 
the Post-9/11 GI Bill for such veterans to those whose service 
was characterized as honorable. Based on information from the 
DOD, approximately 2,900 veterans per year would no longer be 
eligible for education assistance under that limitation. CBO 
estimates that, under current law, approximately half of those 
veterans will each use about $15,000 in benefits in 2011 and, 
after cost-of-living increases, about $20,000 in benefits in 
2020. If enacted, this provision would reduce direct spending 
by $242 million over the 2011-2020 period, CBO estimates.
    Coast Guard Academy Graduates. This provision would delay 
eligibility for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for graduates of the 
Coast Guard Academy, aligning their eligibility with graduates 
of the other three Military Academies. Currently, Coast Guard 
Academy graduates do not have to fulfill their service 
obligation, as is required of graduates from the other Military 
Academies, before using benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. 
Based on information from the U.S. Coast Guard, CBO estimates 
that about 105 Academy graduates, from the graduating classes 
of 2015-2020, would have each used about $8,000 in education 
benefits within their obligated service period. CBO estimates 
that this change in eligibility would reduce direct spending by 
about $1 million over the 2011-2020 period.

Other Provisions

    Several other provisions of S. 3447 would make changes to 
other education assistance programs. CBO estimates that 
enacting those provisions would reduce direct spending by $23 
million over the 2011-2020 period (see Table 5).

                                           Table 5.--Impact of S.3447 on Other Education Assistance Provisions
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Outlays, by fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020  2011-2015  2011-2020
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bar to Duplication of Benefits..............................     -1     -9    -10    -11    -10    -11    -12    -14    -15    -16      -41       -109
Transfer of Unused Education Benefits.......................      2      4      4      5      3      4      4      5      5      6       18         42
Reporting Fees..............................................      4      4      4      4      4      4      4      4      4      4       20         40
Licensure and Certification Tests...........................      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *        2          4
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Changes in Direct Spending........................      5     -1     -2     -1     -2     -3     -4     -5     -5     -5       -1        -23
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding; * = less than $500,000.


    Bar to Duplication of Benefits. Sections 111 and 202 would 
prohibit individuals from concurrently receiving benefits under 
the Post-9/11 GI Bill and under the following education 
assistance programs: the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry 
Scholarship; National Call-to-Service education assistance; and 
Survivors' and Dependents' Education Assistance benefits. 
Dependents also would not be allowed to concurrently use 
education benefits transferred from more than one 
servicemember. In addition, section 111 would reduce or 
eliminate certain dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) 
or pension payments for those receiving benefits through the 
Post-9/11 GI Bill or those whose dependents receive such 
benefits. CBO estimates those provisions would affect 
approximately 320 recipients and 1,800 surviving spouses 
receiving DIC payments in 2011 (only two months of savings 
would be realized from those affected individuals in 2011 
because of the specified effective date of August 1, 2011). 
Under current law, each of the 320 recipients of education 
benefits may receive, on average, about $11,300 in concurrent 
education benefits and each of the 1,800 surviving spouses with 
a child attending school under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John 
David Fry Scholarship may receive about $230 in additional 
monthly DIC payments. CBO estimates that prohibiting those 
payments would result in savings of $109 million over the 2011-
2020 period.
    Transfer of Unused Education Benefits. Section 110 would 
allow qualifying uniformed members of the U.S. Public Health 
Service (PHS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA) to transfer unused education benefits 
from the Post-9/11 GI Bill to their dependents. Currently, 
those uniformed members are not allowed to transfer those 
benefits. Based on information from PHS and NOAA, CBO estimates 
that under this provision 200 dependents would use about 
$10,200 in Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits in 2011 and that, by 
2020, 300 dependents would each use about $19,200 in education 
benefits. In total, we estimate that direct spending would 
increase by $42 million over the 2011-2020 period.
    Reporting Fees. Reporting fees are payable to educational 
institutions at a rate of $7 per eligible enrolled veteran or 
$11 in cases where educational institutions assume temporary 
custody of education assistance checks until the time of 
registration. Section 204 would increase the amount of those 
fees from $7 and $11 to $12 and $15, respectively. CBO 
estimates that change would increase direct spending by $40 
million over the 2011-2020 period.
    Licensure and Certification Tests. The Post 9/11 GI Bill 
provides both an entitlement to 36 months of education benefits 
and to having the fees paid for one examination related to 
licensing and certification.
    Section 107 would allow eligible individuals to have 
multiple examinations paid for, but would reduce their 
remaining entitlement by one month for every $1,667 spent on 
examination fees. Thus, while this provision would allow 
students to have more tests paid for, it would eliminate the 
current ``free,'' or non-chargeable, test. Based on an analysis 
of data about the use of MGIB funds to pay for licensure and 
certification tests, CBO estimates that, on net, this provision 
would increase direct spending by $4 million over the 2011-2020 
period.
    National Exams. Section 108 would allow eligible 
individuals to use their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to pay fees 
for exams, such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, Law School 
Admission Test, Graduate Record Exam, and Graduate Management 
Admission Test, as well as for tests providing course credit at 
institutions of higher learning, such as Advanced Placement 
exams and College-Level Examination Program tests. Like 
licensure and certification tests, all payments made for such 
exams would reduce an individual's remaining benefits by one 
month for every $1,667 spent on examination fees. Based on an 
analysis of data on the use of MGIB funds for national exams, 
CBO estimates that this provision would increase direct 
spending by less than $500,000 over the 2011-2020 period.
    Extension of Delimiting Dates. Section 201 would extend the 
availability of education benefits for individuals designated 
as caregivers of disabled veterans under section 1720G of title 
10 of the U.S. Code. The length of the extension would match 
the period of time an individual was prevented from using 
benefits while caring for a disabled veteran. CBO estimates 
that extension would increase direct spending by less than 
$500,000 over the 2011-2020 period.
    Pay-As-You-Go Considerations: The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go 
Act of 2010 establishes budget reporting and enforcement 
procedures for legislation affecting direct spending and 
revenues. CBO estimates that by modifying the eligibility 
requirements and amounts payable for current and future users 
of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, S. 3447 would increase direct 
spending for veterans' education benefits. The net changes in 
outlays that are subject to those pay-as-you-go procedures are 
shown in the following table.

          CBO Estimate of Pay-As-You-Go Effects for S.3447 as Ordered Reported by  the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs on August 5, 2010
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Outlays, by fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020  2011-2015  2011-2020
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               NET INCREASE IN THE DEFICIT

Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Impact..............................    239    180    301    296    264    231    206    190    187    185     1,280      2,279
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Estimated impact on State, local, and tribal governments: 
S. 3447 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in 
UMRA. Public institutions of higher education would benefit 
from an increase in fees paid to them for reporting enrollment 
information to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: S. 3447 contains no 
private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Readjustment Benefits: 
William Ma; Compensation, Pensions, and Burial Benefits: Dwayne 
Wright; Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Lisa 
Ramirez-Branum; Impact on the Private Sector: Elizabeth Bass.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee on Veterans' 
Affairs has made an evaluation of the regulatory impact that 
would be incurred in carrying out the Committee bill. The 
Committee finds that the Committee bill would not entail any 
regulation of individuals or businesses or result in any impact 
on the personal privacy of any individuals and that the 
paperwork resulting from enactment would be minimal.

                 Tabulation of Votes Cast in Committee

    In compliance with paragraph 7 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, the following is a tabulation of votes 
cast in person or by proxy by members of the Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs at its August 5, 2010, meeting. The 
Committee, by unanimous voice vote, ordered the Committee bill 
reported favorably to the Senate, with an amendment in the 
nature of a substitute.

                             Agency Report

    On July 21, 2010, Keith M. Wilson, Director, Education 
Service, Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of 
Veterans Affairs, appeared before the Committee and submitted 
testimony on S. 3447, among other issues. Excerpts from this 
statement are reprinted below:

 STATEMENT OF KEITH M. WILSON, DIRECTOR, EDUCATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT 
                          OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

    Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Burr, and other 
Members of the Committee. I am pleased to be here today to 
provide the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) views on 
several bills that would affect educational assistance benefits 
for Veterans, Servicemembers, and their dependents--most 
notably, S. 3447. I am accompanied today by Mr. John Brizzi of 
VA's Office of the General Counsel.
    Let me start by congratulating you, Mr. Chairman, and your 
staff, as well as the many other Senators who have worked to 
put forward legislation to make improvements to the educational 
programs VA administers on behalf of our Nation's Veterans. The 
Department appreciates your staff's consultation throughout the 
entire process. Implementation of the historic Post-9/11 GI 
Bill was, and is, a top priority for President Obama, Secretary 
Shinseki, and the entire Department. Secretary Shinseki is 
committed to making sure that all eligible student Veterans who 
are interested receive the education benefits they earned in 
defense of our Nation. Since inception of this historic new 
program, VA has issued nearly $4.0 billion in Post-9/11 GI Bill 
benefit payments to over 295,000 individuals and their 
educational institutions.

                                S. 3447

    Mr. Chairman, your bill--S. 3447, the ``Post-9/11 Veterans 
Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010''--would 
enhance certain provisions of the Post 9/11 GI Bill (chapter 33 
of title 38, United States Code), as well as make improvements 
in other VA educational assistance programs.
    Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, individuals with qualifying 
periods of active duty of 36 months or more are eligible for 
payment of tuition and fees up to the highest in-State public 
school tuition for an undergraduate degree, monthly housing 
allowances, and books and supplies stipends. Individuals with 
less than 36 months of service are eligible, in general, for 
the same benefits. However, their benefits are proportionately 
lower (ranging from 90 percent to 40 percent) based on their 
length of service. In addition, as a retention incentive, the 
Department of Defense (DOD) may permit a member of the Armed 
Forces to transfer all or a portion of his or her Post-9/11 GI 
Bill benefits to a spouse and/or children. S. 3447 would amend 
the Post-9/11 GI Bill by expanding eligibility for certain 
individuals and by modifying the amount of assistance and types 
of approved programs.
    Section 2 of the bill would amend the eligibility criteria 
under chapter 33 by modifying the definitions of qualified 
active service performed by members of the Reserve and Guard. 
The changes would: (1) clarify that Active Guard Reserve (AGR) 
members serving under title 10, United States Code, ``for the 
purposes of organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing, 
or training the reserve components of the Armed Forces,'' are 
covered, and provide that all other active service under title 
10 must be in support of a contingency operation (as defined in 
10 U.S.C. Sec. 101(a)); (2) extend coverage to include full-
time National Guard service under title 32, United States Code, 
for the purposes of organizing, administering, recruiting, 
instructing, or training the reserve components of the Armed 
Forces; and (3) extend coverage to National Guard members 
serving under section 502(f) of title 32 when ordered to active 
service by the President or the Secretary of Defense for the 
purpose of responding to a national emergency declared by the 
President and supported by Federal funds.
    This section also would clarify that an honorable discharge 
would be required to establish eligibility under the Post-9/11 
GI Bill in the case of an individual who is released from 
active duty in the Armed Forces: (1) due to a medical condition 
that preexisted service and that is not service-connected; (2) 
for hardship; or (3) for a physical or mental condition that 
was not characterized as a disability and did not result from 
an individual's own willful misconduct, but did interfere with 
the individual's performance of duty, as determined by the 
Secretary concerned in accordance with regulations prescribed 
by the Secretary of Defense.
    Finally, section 2 would amend 38 U.S.C. Sec. 3311(d)(2) to 
exclude attendance at the Coast Guard Academy as qualifying 
service under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and expand the definition 
of entry-level and skill training for the Army to include ``One 
Station Unit Training.''
    Because of their potential impact on military recruitment 
and retention, VA respectfully defers to DOD and the Coast 
Guard regarding the merits of the proposed changes to 
qualifying active-service requirements. However, we note that 
this section will generate PAYGO costs, which would require an 
appropriate and acceptable offset.
    We note that the amendments regarding qualifying title 10 
service and extending coverage to Guard members under title 32, 
United States Code, would be consistent with qualifying active 
service under the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) and the Reserve 
Educational Assistance Program (REAP). In addition, the 
proposed amendment clarifying that certain service must result 
in an honorable discharge, described above, is similar to the 
honorable discharge requirements applicable to other covered 
individuals. Last, the amendment excluding, as qualified active 
service, attendance at the Coast Guard Academy is also similar 
to existing provisions that exclude attendance at the other 
military service academies.
    Section 3 would modify the amount of educational assistance 
payable in the following areas: With regard to tuition and fee 
payments (which would still be subject to the 40-100 percent 
payment tiers in 38 U.S.C. Sec. 3313(c)), for those enrolled in 
a public institution of higher learning, VA would pay tuition-
and-fee benefits based on the charges reported. This would 
include students enrolled in graduate programs and students 
charged out-of-State tuition rates. For those enrolled in a 
private or foreign institution of higher learning, VA would 
base payment on the lesser of the charged tuition and fees or a 
maximum tuition-and-fee cap. The maximum cap would be computed 
based on figures obtained from the Department of Education's 
National Center for Education Statistics. The figure used would 
be the average of established charges at all institutions 
(public and private) in the U.S. for a baccalaureate degree for 
the most recent academic year.
    With regard to housing stipends (which would still be 
subject to 40-100 percent payment tiers in 38 U.S.C. 
Sec. 3313(c)), for individuals enrolled in institutions of 
higher learning in resident programs, the monthly housing 
stipend would be prorated based on training time. For example, 
a student training at the three-quarter-time rate would receive 
three fourths of the monthly housing stipend rather than the 
full monthly housing stipend. Students enrolled at foreign 
institutions would be subjected to the same rule. However, if 
the housing allowance based on training time is greater than 
the national average basic housing allowance, VA would pay the 
lesser amount. For students enrolled in a distance learning 
program at more than the half-time rate, VA would pay 50 
percent of the housing allowance otherwise payable.
    Section 3 would also expand benefits to include payment for 
enrollment in programs offered by vocational schools, 
correspondence school-training establishments, on-the-job 
training and apprenticeships, and flight schools. For those 
individuals pursuing programs offered by vocational schools, VA 
would pay the lesser of the established charges or a maximum 
fee cap. That cap would be computed based on figures from the 
Department of Education's National Center for Education 
Statistics. The figure used would be the average of established 
charges at all institutions (public and private) in the U.S. 
for a baccalaureate degree for the most recent academic year. 
In addition, VA would pay a monthly housing allowance based on 
the military's basic allowance for housing (BAH) of an E-5 with 
dependents based on the Zip Code of the institution.
    For those individuals pursuing a program of apprenticeship/
on-the-job training, trainees would receive two monthly stipend 
payments. One would be based on the military's basic allowance 
for housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents. VA would pay the 
lesser of the BAH rate for the Zip Code of the employer or the 
national average of BAH rates. The other payment would be based 
on one twelfth of the average established charges for tuition 
and fees at all institutions (public and private) in the U.S. 
for a baccalaureate degree for the most recent academic year. 
The figure would be obtained from the National Center for 
Education Statistics. Both payments would decrease over the 
length of program. During the first six months of training, the 
trainee would receive 75 percent of the monthly stipends. 
During the second six months, the trainee would receive 55 
percent of the monthly stipends. For the duration of the 
program, the trainee would receive 35 percent of the monthly 
stipends.
    An individual pursuing a course of flight training would 
receive assistance in an amount equal to the lesser of the 
established charges for the program or 60 percent of the 
average established charges for tuition and fees at all 
institutions (public and private) in the U.S. for a 
baccalaureate degree for the most recent academic year. The 
figure would be obtained from the National Center for Education 
Statistics.
    An individual pursuing a program of education through 
correspondence courses would receive educational assistance in 
an amount equal to the lesser of the established charges for 
the program or 55 percent of the average established charges 
for tuition and fees at all institutions (public and private) 
in the U.S. for a baccalaureate degree for the most recent 
academic year. The figure would be obtained from the National 
Center for Education Statistics. VA would charge one month of 
entitlement for each month of assistance provided.
    Finally, section 3 would provide for lump-sum payments for 
books and supplies to Servicemembers using VA education 
benefits while on active duty and to spouses using transferred 
benefits while the servicemember is on active duty. The total 
amount payable in an academic year would be $1,000.
    VA supports streamlining the tuition-and-fee benefits for 
students attending public institutions and establishing a 
maximum payment cap for students attending private 
institutions. The manner in which institutions assess charges 
varies widely from State to State and from school to school. VA 
also does not object to expansion of the program to permit 
payment for vocational, flight, correspondence, and 
apprenticeship or on-the-job training programs, subject to 
Congress identifying appropriate and acceptable offsetting 
PAYGO cost savings. However, we believe several technical 
corrections to the bill as drafted would be necessary to enable 
VA to administer this section properly. For example, it would 
be beneficial to streamline the two monthly stipends payable to 
an individual pursuing a program of on-the-job training or 
apprenticeship into a single monthly benefit. In addition, as 
drafted, the assistance proposed in section 3 for certain types 
of courses at other than institutions of higher learning would 
not be subject to the 40-100 percent tier levels that reflect 
the length of an individual's qualifying active-duty service. 
As a result, individuals pursuing programs of education under 
the new provisions apparently would receive higher housing and 
tuition benefits than students attending degree-granting 
institutions. We would be pleased to work with the Committee to 
address identified areas of concern.
    Section 4 of S. 3447 would amend 38 U.S.C. Sec. 3315 to 
permit individuals to take more than one licensure or 
certification test. Currently, individuals are eligible to 
receive a reimbursement of up to $2,000 for a single licensure 
or certification test, with no charge being made to their Post-
9/11 GI Bill entitlement. As part of the amendment to section 
3315, an individual's entitlement would be charged based on 
each reimbursement made. VA would base the entitlement charge 
on a dollar amount provided by the National Center for 
Education Statistics (NCES) that represents the average 
established charges for tuition and fees at all institutions 
(public and private) in the U.S, for a baccalaureate degree for 
the most recent academic year. VA would charge one month of 
entitlement for each reimbursement equal to one twelfth of the 
annual NCES figure. VA does not oppose this proposed amendment, 
subject to the identification of appropriate and acceptable 
PAYGO offsets for any resulting additional costs.
    Section 5 of the bill would amend 38 U.S.C. Sec. 3316 to 
provide that individuals eligible to receive supplemental 
education assistance (i.e., ``reenlistment kickers'') under the 
Montgomery GI Bill--Active Duty (MGIB-AD) or the Montgomery GI 
Bill--Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR), would remain eligible for 
such assistance if the individual elected to receive the Post-
9/11 GI Bill instead of the MGIB. The supplemental assistance 
would be paid as an increase to the monthly housing allowance, 
and based on the individual's benefit level. Thus, only 
individuals eligible for a monthly housing stipend would be 
eligible to receive such supplemental assistance. The 
Department of Defense would reimburse VA for any supplemental 
assistance paid. VA defers to DOD as to the merits of this 
section.
    Section 6 would authorize DOD to permit an individual to 
transfer his or her entitlement to benefits under the Post-9/11 
GI Bill after the individual is no longer a member of the Armed 
Forces. Under current law, DOD must approve such a transfer 
while the individual is still a member of the Armed Forces. 
This section would also extend the transfer-of-entitlement 
option to members of the Public Health Service and the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In addition, this 
amendment would require the Secretaries of Defense, Health and 
Human Services, and Commerce to reimburse VA for the amounts VA 
pays family members. Currently, VA is not reimbursed for 
payments made to family members utilizing transferred benefits. 
The Administration is still reviewing this section, and we will 
provide written views once VA completes a cost estimate for the 
entire bill.
    Section 7 of the bill would amend 38 U.S.C. Sec. 3322(a) to 
prevent individuals eligible for National Call to Service (NCS) 
incentives and the Post-9/11 GI Bill from receiving payments 
concurrently. VA supports this provision. However, we have 
identified other areas of potential duplication of benefits, 
and would be pleased to work with the Committee to include 
language that would ensure against duplication of benefits.
    Section 8 of the bill would amend 38 U.S.C. Sec. 3676(e) to 
provide that VA may not approve non-accredited courses of 
education pursued in whole or in part by distance learning. 
This change would be similar to the existing rule for courses 
of education pursued by independent study. This change is not 
necessary because current definitions of resident training and 
independent study in VA regulations encompass distance 
learning. As a result, VA currently does not approve non-
accredited distance learning programs of education. 
Nonetheless, we would not object to this amendment.
    Section 9 of S. 3447 would amend 38 U.S.C. Sec. 3684(c), 
which provides that VA may pay an annual reporting fee to any 
educational institution that furnishes education or training 
and submits reports or certifications to VA. Under current law, 
the reporting fee is computed each calendar year by multiplying 
$7 by the number of individuals enrolled in VA education and 
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment programs. In addition, 
the law also provides for the payment of $11 for each 
individual whose educational assistance checks are sent to a 
school for temporary custody and delivery at the time of 
registration. These amounts have not been increased since 
October 1, 1977. Section 9 proposes to increase the respective 
amounts for such payments from $7 to $12, and from $11 to $15.
    VA does not object to the proposed increase in the 
reporting fees, subject to Congress identifying appropriate 
offsets. In addition, however, VA believes that section 3684(c) 
should be further amended to include language requiring 
educational institutions to use the reporting fees to support 
Veteran programs and VA certifying-official activities.
    Section 10 of the bill would amend 38 U.S.C. Sec. 3108(b) 
to authorize Veterans pursuing a vocational rehabilitation 
program under Chapter 31 to elect payment of an amount equal to 
the national average of the monthly amount of basic allowance 
for housing payable under section 403 of title 37 for a member 
with dependents in pay grade E-5 in lieu of the subsistence 
allowance payable under Chapter 31. We will provide written 
views for the record regarding this section.
    Section 11 of the bill would amend 38 U.S.C. Sec. 3680(a) 
to remove VA's authority to make interval payments (payment 
between breaks in terms, quarters, or semesters). This 
amendment would apply to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery 
GI Bill, the Reserve Educational Assistance Program, the 
Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program, and 
the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program. However, 
an exception would exist to make interval payments between 
consecutive terms when a student changes schools and the break 
does not exceed 30 days. VA does not support this amendment 
because the interval payments are paid to the individuals to 
help with their living expenses during breaks between 
enrollment periods. Currently, a student is not eligible for 
interval pay if the break is more than 8 weeks. Discontinuing 
interval payment would mean a student would have to seek 
employment during the break between fall and spring semester; 
thus, we do not support this section as drafted. VA would be 
pleased to work with the Committee to identify changes to 
interval payment that would not result in a hardship to 
students.
    We note that the amendments proposed in S. 3447 would be 
effective on the date of enactment of the Act. VA is working 
aggressively on a new payment system to support the existing 
Post-9/11 GI Bill provisions. Since we have concerns about 
changes to the eligibility criteria impacting our current 
efforts as well as our ability to implement the provisions 
effective the date of enactment, we strongly recommend the 
amendments made by this bill take effect no earlier than August 
1, 2011.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    Mr. Chairman, we will provide the Committee with our 
estimate of the cost of enactment of S. 3447 for the record.
    This concludes my statement, Mr. Chairman. I would be happy 
to respond to any questions you or the other Members of the 
Committee may have.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with rule XXVI paragraph 12 of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by the 
Committee bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                         Title 10. Armed Forces

Subtitle A. General Military Law

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                    Part III. Training and Education

                    Chapter 101. Training Generally

SEC. 2006. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE EDUCATION BENEFITS FUND

    (a) * * *
    (b) * * *
          (1) The term ``armed forces education liabilities'' 
        means liabilities of the armed forces for benefits 
        under chapter 30 or 33 of title 38 and for Department 
        of Defense benefits under paragraphs (3) and (4) of 
        section 510(e) and chapters 1606 and 1607 of this 
        title, including funds provided by the Secretary of 
        Homeland Security for education liabilities for the 
        Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in 
        the Department of the Navy.
          (2) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  (D) * * *
                  (E) The present value of any future benefits 
                payable from the Fund for amounts attributable 
                to increased amounts of educational assistance 
                authorized by section 3316 of title 38.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Title 38. Veterans' Benefits

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


              Part III. Readjustment and Related Benefits

              Chapter 30. All-Volunteer Force Educational 
Assistance Program

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subchapter IV. Time Limitation for Use of Eligibility and Entitlement; 
                 General and Administrative Provisions

SEC. 3031. TIME LIMITATION FOR USE OF ELIGIBILITY AND ENTITLEMENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    [(d) In the case of an individual eligible for educational 
assistance under this chapter--
          [(1) who was prevented from pursuing such 
        individual's chosen program of education before the 
        expiration of the 10-year period for use of entitlement 
        under this chapter otherwise applicable under this 
        section because of a physical or mental disability 
        which was not the result of the individual's own 
        willful misconduct, and
          [(2) who applies for an extension of such 10-year 
        period within one year after (A) the last day of such 
        period, or (B) the last day on which such individual 
        was so prevented from pursuing such program, whichever 
        is later,
[such 10-year period shall not run with respect to such 
individual during the period of time that such individual was 
so prevented from pursuing such program and such 10-year period 
will again begin running on the first day following such 
individual's recovery from such disability on which it is 
reasonably feasible, as determined under regulations which the 
Secretary shall prescribe, for such individual to initiate or 
resume pursuit of a program of education with educational 
assistance under this chapter.]
    (d)(1) In the case of an individual eligible for 
educational assistance under this chapter who is prevented from 
pursuing the individual's chosen program of education before 
the expiration of the 10-year period for the use of entitlement 
under this chapter otherwise applicable under this section 
because of a physical or mental disability which is not the 
result of the individual's own willful misconduct, such 10-year 
period--
          (A) shall not run during the period the individual is 
        so prevented from pursuing such program; and
          (B) shall again begin running on the first day after 
        the individual's recovery from such disability on which 
        it is reasonably feasible, as determined under 
        regulations prescribed by the Secretary, for the 
        individual to initiate or resume pursuit of a program 
        of education with educational assistance under this 
        chapter.
    (2)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), in the case of an 
individual eligible for educational assistance under this 
chapter who is prevented from pursuing the individual's chosen 
program of education before the expiration of the 10-year 
period for the use of entitlement under this chapter otherwise 
applicable under this section by reason of acting as the 
primary provider of personal care services for a veteran or 
member of the Armed Forces under section 1720G(a) of this 
title, such 10-year period--
          (i) shall not run during the period the individual is 
        so prevented from pursuing such program; and
          (ii) shall again begin running on the first day after 
        the date of the recovery of the veteran or member from 
        the injury, or the date on which the individual ceases 
        to be the primary provider of personal care services 
        for the veteran or member, whichever is earlier, on 
        which it is reasonably feasible, as so determined, for 
        the individual to initiate or resume pursuit of a 
        program of education with educational assistance under 
        this chapter.
    (B) Subparagraph (A) shall not apply with respect to the 
period of an individual as a primary provider of personal care 
services if the period concludes with the revocation of the 
individual's designation as such a primary provider under 
section 1720G(a)(7)(D) of this title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3034. PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    (d) * * *
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          [(3) the flight school courses meet Federal Aviation 
        Administration standards for such courses and are 
        approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and the 
        State approving agency.]
          (3) the flight school courses are approved by the 
        Federal Aviation Administration and are offered by a 
        certified pilot school that possesses a valid Federal 
        Aviation Administration pilot school certificate.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


   Chapter 31. Training and Rehabilitation for Veterans with Service-
Connected Disabilities

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3108. ALLOWANCES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    (b)(1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (4) A veteran entitled to a subsistence allowance under 
this chapter and educational assistance under chapter 33 of 
this title may elect to receive payment from the Secretary in 
lieu of an amount otherwise determined by the Secretary under 
this subsection in an amount equal to the applicable monthly 
amount of basic allowance for housing payable under section 403 
of title 37 for a member with dependents in pay grade E-5 
residing in the military housing area that encompasses all or 
the majority portion of the ZIP code area in which is located 
the institution providing rehabilitation program concerned.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


              Chapter 33. Post-9/11 Educational Assistance

                       SUBCHAPTER I. DEFINITIONS

SEC.

3301. DEFINITIONS.

                 SUBCHAPTER II. EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

3311. EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE FOR SERVICE IN THE ARMED FORCES COMMENCING 
                    ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 11, 2001: ENTITLEMENT.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


3315. LICENSURE AND CERTIFICATION TESTS.

3315A. NATIONAL TESTS.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                       Subchapter I. Definitions

SEC. 3301. DEFINITIONS

    In this chapter:
          (1) * * *
                  (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  (C) In the case of a member of the Army 
                National Guard of the United States or Air 
                National Guard of the United States, in 
                addition to service described in subparagraph 
                (B), full-time service--
                          (i) in the National Guard of a State 
                        for the purpose of organizing, 
                        administering, recruiting, instructing, 
                        or training the National Guard; or
                          (ii) in the National Guard under 
                        section 502(f) of title 32 when 
                        authorized by the President or the 
                        Secretary of Defense for the purpose of 
                        responding to a national emergency 
                        declared by the President and supported 
                        by Federal funds.
          (2) The term ``entry level and skill training'' means 
        the following:
                  (A) In the case of members of the Army, Basic 
                Combat Training and Advanced Individual 
                Training or One Station Unit Training.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  (E) In the case of members of the Coast 
                Guard, Basic Training and Skill Training (or 
                so-called ``A'' School).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                 Subchapter II. Educational Assistance

SEC. 3311. EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE FOR SERVICE IN THE ARMED FORCES 
                    COMMENCING ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 11, 2001: 
                    ENTITLEMENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    (c) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (4) [A discharge or release from active duty in the 
        Armed Forces] A discharge or release from active duty 
        in the Armed Forces after service on active duty in the 
        Armed Forces characterized by the Secretary concerned 
        as honorable service for--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (d) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (2) A period of service on active duty of an officer 
        pursuant to an agreement under section 4348, 6959, or 
        9348 of title 10 or section 182 of title 14.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3313. EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE: AMOUNT; PAYMENT

    (a) * * *
    (b) Approved Programs of Education.--A program of education 
is an approved program of education for purposes of this 
chapter if the program of education [is offered by an 
institution of higher learning (as that term is defined in 
section 3452(f)) and] is approved for purposes of chapter 30 
(including approval by the State approving agency concerned).
    (c) [Amount of Educational Assistance.] Programs of 
Education Leading to a Degree Pursued at Institutions of Higher 
Learning on More Than Half-time Basis.--The amounts payable 
under this subsection for pursuit of an approved program of 
education leading to a degree at an institution of higher 
learning (as that term is defined in section 3452(f)) are 
amounts as follows:
          (1) In the case of an individual entitled to 
        educational assistance under this chapter by reason of 
        section 3311(b)(1) or 3311(b)(2), amounts as follows:
                  [(A) An amount equal to the established 
                charges for the program of education, except 
                that the amount payable under this subparagraph 
                may not exceed the maximum amount of 
                established charges regularly charged in-State 
                students for full-time pursuit of approved 
                programs of education for undergraduates by the 
                public institution of higher education offering 
                approved programs of education for 
                undergraduates in the State in which the 
                individual is enrolled that has the highest 
                rate of regularly-charged established charges 
                for such programs of education among all public 
                institutions of higher education in such State 
                offering such programs of education.]
                  (A) An amount equal to the following:
                          (i) In the case of a program of 
                        education pursued at a public 
                        institution of higher learning, the 
                        actual net cost for in-State tuition 
                        and fees assessed by the institution 
                        for the program of education after the 
                        application of--
                                  (I) any waiver of, or 
                                reduction in, tuition and fees; 
                                and
                                  (II) any scholarship, or 
                                other Federal, State, 
                                institutional, or employer-
                                based aid or assistance (other 
                                than loans and any funds 
                                provided under section 401(b) 
                                of the Higher Education Act of 
                                1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070a)) that is 
                                provided directly to the 
                                institution and specifically 
                                designated for the sole purpose 
                                of defraying tuition and fees.
                          (ii) In the case of a program of 
                        education pursued at a non-public or 
                        foreign institution of higher learning, 
                        the lesser of--
                                  (I) the actual net cost for 
                                tuition and fees assessed by 
                                the institution for the program 
                                of education after the 
                                application of--
                                          (aa) any waiver of, 
                                        or reduction in, 
                                        tuition and fees; and
                                          (bb) any scholarship, 
                                        or other Federal, 
                                        State, institutional, 
                                        or employer-based aid 
                                        or assistance (other 
                                        than loans and any 
                                        funds provided under 
                                        section 401(b) of the 
                                        Higher Education Act of 
                                        1965) that is provided 
                                        directly to the 
                                        institution and 
                                        specifically designated 
                                        for the sole purpose of 
                                        defraying tuition and 
                                        fees; or
                                  (II) the amount equal to--
                                          (aa) for the academic 
                                        year beginning on 
                                        August 1, 2011, 
                                        $20,000; or
                                          (bb) for an academic 
                                        year beginning on any 
                                        subsequent August 1, 
                                        the amount for the 
                                        previous academic year 
                                        beginning on August 1 
                                        under this subclause, 
                                        as increased by the 
                                        percentage increase 
                                        equal to the most 
                                        recent percentage 
                                        increase determined 
                                        under section 3015(h).
                  (B) A monthly stipend in an amount as 
                follows:
                          [(i) For each month the individual 
                        pursues the program of education (other 
                        than, in the case of assistance under 
                        this section only, a program of 
                        education offered through distance 
                        learning), a monthly housing stipend 
                        amount equal to the monthly amount of 
                        the basic allowance for housing payable 
                        under section 403 of title 37 for a 
                        member with dependents in pay grade E-5 
                        residing in the military housing area 
                        that encompasses all or the majority 
                        portion of the ZIP code area in which 
                        is located the institution of higher 
                        education at which the individual is 
                        enrolled.]
                          (i) Except as provided in clauses 
                        (ii) and (iii), for each month an 
                        individual pursues a program of 
                        education on more than a half-time 
                        basis, a monthly housing stipend equal 
                        to the product of--
                                  (I) the monthly amount of the 
                                basic allowance for housing 
                                payable under section 403 of 
                                title 37 for a member with 
                                dependents in pay grade E-5 
                                residing in the military 
                                housing area that encompasses 
                                all or the majority portion of 
                                the ZIP code area in which is 
                                located the institution of 
                                higher learning at which the 
                                individual is enrolled, 
                                multiplied by
                                  (II) the lesser of--
                                          (aa) 1.0; or
                                          (bb) the number of 
                                        course hours borne by 
                                        the individual in 
                                        pursuit of the program 
                                        of education, divided 
                                        by the minimum number 
                                        of course hours 
                                        required for full-time 
                                        pursuit of the program 
                                        of education, rounded 
                                        to the nearest multiple 
                                        of 10.
                          (ii) In the case of an individual 
                        pursuing a program of education at a 
                        foreign institution of higher learning 
                        on more than a half-time basis, for 
                        each month the individual pursues the 
                        program of education, a monthly housing 
                        stipend equal to the product of--
                                  (I) the national average of 
                                the monthly amount of the basic 
                                allowance for housing payable 
                                under section 403 of title 37 
                                for a member with dependents in 
                                pay grade E-5, multiplied by
                                  (II) the lesser of--
                                          (aa) 1.0; or
                                          (bb) the number of 
                                        course hours borne by 
                                        the individual in 
                                        pursuit of the program 
                                        of education, divided 
                                        by the minimum number 
                                        of course hours 
                                        required for full-time 
                                        pursuit of the program 
                                        of education, rounded 
                                        to the nearest multiple 
                                        of 10.
                          (iii) In the case of an individual 
                        pursuing a program of education solely 
                        through distance learning on more than 
                        a half-time basis, a monthly housing 
                        stipend equal to 50 percent of the 
                        amount payable under clause (ii) if the 
                        individual were otherwise entitled to a 
                        monthly housing stipend under that 
                        clause for pursuit of the program of 
                        education.
                          (iv) [(ii)] * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (e) [Programs of Education Pursued on Active Duty]Programs 
of Education Leading to a Degree Pursued on Active Duty on More 
Than Half-time Basis.--
          (1) In general.--Educational assistance is payable 
        under this chapter for pursuit of an approved program 
        of education leading to a degree while on active duty.
          (2) Amount of assistance.--[The amount] The amounts 
        of educational assistance payable under this chapter to 
        an individual pursuing a program of education leading 
        to a degree while on active duty [is the lesser of--] 
        are as follows:
                  [(i) [(A)] the established charges which 
                similarly circumstanced nonveterans enrolled in 
                the program of education involved would be 
                required to pay; or]
                  (A) Subject to subparagraph (C), an amount 
                equal to the lesser of--
                          (i) the actual net cost for in-State 
                        tuition and fees assessed by the 
                        institution of higher learning for the 
                        program of education after the 
                        application of--
                                  (I) any waiver of, or 
                                reduction in, tuition and fees; 
                                and
                                  (II) any scholarship, or 
                                other Federal, State, 
                                institutional, or employer-
                                based aid or assistance (other 
                                than loans and any funds 
                                provided under section 401(b) 
                                of the Higher Education Act of 
                                1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070a)) that is 
                                provided directly to the 
                                institution and specifically 
                                designated for the sole purpose 
                                of defraying tuition and fees;
                          (ii) the amount equal to--
                                  (I) for the academic year 
                                beginning on August 1, 2011, 
                                $20,000; or
                                  (II) for an academic year 
                                beginning on any subsequent 
                                August 1, the amount for the 
                                previous academic year 
                                beginning on August 1 under 
                                this clause, as increased by 
                                the percentage increase equal 
                                to the most recent percentage 
                                increase determined under 
                                section 3015(h); or
                          (iii) [(B)] the amount of the charges 
                        of the educational institution as 
                        elected by the individual in the manner 
                        specified in section 3014(b)(1)[.]
                  (B) Subject to subparagraph (C), for the 
                first month of each quarter, semester, or term, 
                as applicable, of the program of education 
                pursued by the individual, a lump sum amount 
                for books, supplies, equipment, and other 
                educational costs with respect to such quarter, 
                semester, or term in the amount equal to--
                          (i) $1,000, multiplied by
                          (ii) the fraction of a complete 
                        academic year under the program of 
                        education that such quarter, semester, 
                        or term constitutes.
                  (C) In the case of an individual entitled to 
                educational assistance by reason of paragraphs 
                (3) through (8) of section 3311(b), the amounts 
                payable to the individual pursuant to 
                subparagraphs (A)(i), (A)(ii), and (B) shall be 
                the amounts otherwise determined pursuant to 
                such subparagraphs multiplied by the same 
                percentage applicable to the monthly amounts 
                payable to the individual under paragraphs (2) 
                through (7) of subsection (c).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (f) Programs of Education Pursued on Half-Time Basis or 
Less.--
          (1) In general.--Educational assistance is payable 
        under this chapter for pursuit of an approved program 
        of education on half-time basis or less whether a 
        program of education pursued on active duty, a program 
        of education leading to a degree, or a program of 
        education other than a program of education leading to 
        a degree.
          (2) Amount of assistance.--The educational assistance 
        payable under this chapter to an individual pursuing a 
        program of education covered by this subsection on 
        half-time basis or less is the amounts as follows:
                  (A) The amount equal to the lesser of--
                          [(i) the established charges which 
                        similarly circumstanced nonveterans 
                        enrolled in the program of education 
                        involved would be required to pay; or]
                          (i) the actual net cost for in-State 
                        tuition and fees assessed by the 
                        institution of higher learning for the 
                        program of education after the 
                        application of--
                                  (I) any waiver of, or 
                                reduction in, tuition and fees; 
                                and
                                  (II) any scholarship, or 
                                other Federal, State, 
                                institutional, or employer-
                                based aid or assistance (other 
                                than loans and any funds 
                                provided under section 401(b) 
                                of the Higher Education Act of 
                                1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070a)) that is 
                                provided directly to the 
                                institution and specifically 
                                designated for the sole purpose 
                                of defraying tuition and fees; 
                                or

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (g) Programs of Education Other Than Programs of Education 
Leading to a Degree.--
          (1) In general.--Educational assistance is payable 
        under this chapter for pursuit of an approved program 
        of education other than a program of education leading 
        to a degree at an institution other than an institution 
        of higher learning (as that term is defined in section 
        3452(f)).
          (2) Pursuit on half-time basis or less.--The payment 
        of educational assistance under this chapter for 
        pursuit of a program of education otherwise described 
        in paragraph (1) on a half-time basis or less is 
        governed by subsection (f).
          (3) Amount of assistance.--The amounts of educational 
        assistance payable under this chapter to an individual 
        entitled to educational assistance under this chapter 
        who is pursuing an approved program of education 
        covered by this subsection are as follows:
                  (A) In the case of an individual enrolled in 
                a program of education (other than a program 
                described in subparagraphs (B) through (D)) in 
                pursuit of a certificate or other non-college 
                degree, the following:
                          (i) Subject to clause (iv), an amount 
                        equal to the lesser of--
                                  (I) the actual net cost for 
                                in-State tuition and fees 
                                assessed by the institution 
                                concerned for the program of 
                                education after the application 
                                of--
                                          (aa) any waiver of, 
                                        or reduction in, 
                                        tuition and fees; and
                                          (bb) any scholarship, 
                                        or other Federal, 
                                        State, institutional, 
                                        or employer-based aid 
                                        or assistance (other 
                                        than loans and any 
                                        funds provided under 
                                        section 401(b) of the 
                                        Higher Education Act of 
                                        1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070a)) 
                                        that is provided 
                                        directly to the 
                                        institution and 
                                        specifically designated 
                                        for the sole purpose of 
                                        defraying tuition and 
                                        fees; or
                                  (II) the amount equal to--
                                          (aa) for the academic 
                                        year beginning on 
                                        August 1, 2011, 
                                        $20,000; or
                                          (bb) for an academic 
                                        year beginning on any 
                                        subsequent August 1, 
                                        the amount for the 
                                        previous academic year 
                                        beginning on August 1 
                                        under this subclause, 
                                        as increased by the 
                                        percentage increase 
                                        equal to the most 
                                        recent percentage 
                                        increase determined 
                                        under section 3015(h).
                          (ii) Except in the case of an 
                        individual pursuing a program of 
                        education on a half-time or less basis 
                        and subject to clause (iv), a monthly 
                        housing stipend equal to the product--
                                  (I) of--
                                          (aa) in the case of 
                                        an individual pursuing 
                                        resident training, the 
                                        monthly amount of the 
                                        basic allowance for 
                                        housing payable under 
                                        section 403 of title 37 
                                        for a member with 
                                        dependents in pay grade 
                                        E-5 residing in the 
                                        military housing area 
                                        that encompasses all or 
                                        the majority portion of 
                                        the ZIP code area in 
                                        which is located the 
                                        institution at which 
                                        the individual is 
                                        enrolled; or
                                          (bb) in the case of 
                                        an individual pursuing 
                                        a program of education 
                                        through distance 
                                        learning, a monthly 
                                        amount equal to 50 
                                        percent of the amount 
                                        payable under item 
                                        (aa), multiplied by
                                  (II) the lesser of--
                                          (aa) 1.0; or
                                          (bb) the number of 
                                        course hours borne by 
                                        the individual in 
                                        pursuit of the program 
                                        of education involved, 
                                        divided by the minimum 
                                        number of course hours 
                                        required for full-time 
                                        pursuit of such program 
                                        of education, rounded 
                                        to the nearest multiple 
                                        of 10.
                          (iii) Subject to clause (iv), a 
                        monthly stipend in an amount equal to 
                        $83 for each month (or pro rata amount 
                        for a partial month) of training 
                        pursued for books supplies, equipment, 
                        and other educational costs.
                          (iv) In the case of an individual 
                        entitled to educational assistance by 
                        reason of paragraphs (3) through (8) of 
                        section 3311(b), the amounts payable 
                        pursuant to clauses (i), (ii), and 
                        (iii) shall be the amounts otherwise 
                        determined pursuant to such clauses 
                        multiplied by the same percentage 
                        applicable to the monthly amounts 
                        payable to the individual under 
                        paragraphs (2) through (7) of 
                        subsection (c).
                  (B) In the case of an individual pursuing a 
                full-time program of apprenticeship or other 
                on-job training, amounts as follows:
                          (i) Subject to clauses (iii) and 
                        (iv), for each month the individual 
                        pursues the program of education, a 
                        monthly housing stipend equal to--
                                  (I) during the first six-
                                month period of the program, 
                                the monthly amount of the basic 
                                allowance for housing payable 
                                under section 403 of title 37 
                                for a member with dependents in 
                                pay grade E-5 residing in the 
                                military housing area that 
                                encompasses all or the majority 
                                portion of the ZIP code area in 
                                which is located the employer 
                                at which the individual pursues 
                                such program;
                                  (II) during the second six-
                                month period of the program, 80 
                                percent of the monthly amount 
                                of the basic allowance for 
                                housing payable as described in 
                                subclause (I);
                                  (III) during the third six-
                                month period of the program, 60 
                                percent of the monthly amount 
                                of the basic allowance for 
                                housing payable as described in 
                                subclause (I);
                                  (IV) during the fourth six-
                                month period of such program, 
                                40 percent of the monthly 
                                amount of the basic allowance 
                                for housing payable as 
                                described in subclause (I); and
                                  (V) during any month after 
                                the first 24 months of such 
                                program, 20 percent of the 
                                monthly amount of the basic 
                                allowance for housing payable 
                                as described in subclause (I).
                          (ii) Subject to clauses (iii) and 
                        (iv), a monthly stipend in an amount 
                        equal to $83 for each month (or pro 
                        rata amount for each partial month) of 
                        training pursued for books supplies, 
                        equipment, and other educational costs.
                          (iii) In the case of an individual 
                        entitled to educational assistance by 
                        reason of paragraphs (3) through (8) of 
                        sections 3311(b), the amounts payable 
                        pursuant to clauses (i) and (ii) shall 
                        be the amounts otherwise determined 
                        pursuant to such clauses multiplied by 
                        the same percentage applicable to the 
                        monthly amounts payable to the 
                        individual under paragraphs (2) through 
                        (7) of subsection (c).
                          (iv) In any month in which an 
                        individual pursuing a program of 
                        education consisting of a program of 
                        apprenticeship or other on-job training 
                        fails to complete 120 hours of 
                        training, the amount of monthly 
                        educational assistance allowance 
                        payable under clauses (i) and (iii) to 
                        the individual shall be limited to the 
                        same proportion of the applicable rate 
                        determined under this subparagraph as 
                        the number of hours worked during such 
                        month, rounded to the nearest eight 
                        hours, bears to 120 hours.
                  (C) In the case of an individual enrolled in 
                a program of education consisting of flight 
                training (regardless of the institution 
                providing such program of education), an amount 
                equal to--
                          (i) the lesser of--
                                  (I) the actual net cost for 
                                in-State tuition and fees 
                                assessed by the institution 
                                concerned for the program of 
                                education after the application 
                                of--
                                          (aa) any waiver of, 
                                        or reduction in, 
                                        tuition and fees; and
                                          (bb) any scholarship, 
                                        or other Federal, 
                                        State, institutional, 
                                        or employer-based aid 
                                        or assistance (other 
                                        than loans and any 
                                        funds provided under 
                                        section 401(b) of the 
                                        Higher Education Act of 
                                        1965) that is provided 
                                        directly to the 
                                        institution and 
                                        specifically designated 
                                        for the sole purpose of 
                                        defraying tuition and 
                                        fees; or
                                  (II) the amount equal to--
                                          (aa) for the academic 
                                        year beginning on 
                                        August 1, 2011, 
                                        $12,000; or
                                          (bb) for an academic 
                                        year beginning on any 
                                        subsequent August 1, 
                                        the amount for the 
                                        previous academic year 
                                        beginning on August 1 
                                        under this subclause, 
                                        as increased by the 
                                        percentage increase 
                                        equal to the most 
                                        recent percentage 
                                        increase determined 
                                        under section 3015(h), 
                                        multiplied by--
                          (ii) either--
                                  (I) in the case of an 
                                individual entitled to 
                                educational assistance by 
                                reason of paragraphs (1), (2), 
                                or (9) of section 3311(b), 100 
                                percent; or
                                  (II) in the case of an 
                                individual entitled to 
                                educational assistance by 
                                reason of paragraphs (3) 
                                through (8) of section 3311(b), 
                                the same percentage as would 
                                otherwise apply to the monthly 
                                amounts payable to the 
                                individual under paragraphs (2) 
                                through (7) of subsection (c).
                  (D) In the case of an individual enrolled in 
                a program of education that is pursued 
                exclusively by correspondence (regardless of 
                the institution providing such program of 
                education), an amount equal to--
                          (i) the lesser of--
                                  (I) the actual net cost for 
                                tuition and fees assessed by 
                                the institution concerned for 
                                the program of education after 
                                the application of--
                                          (aa) any waiver of, 
                                        or reduction in, 
                                        tuition and fees; and
                                          (bb) any scholarship, 
                                        or other Federal, 
                                        State, institutional, 
                                        or employer-based aid 
                                        or assistance (other 
                                        than loans and any 
                                        funds provided under 
                                        section 401(b) of the 
                                        Higher Education Act of 
                                        1965) that is provided 
                                        directly to the 
                                        institution and 
                                        specifically designated 
                                        for the sole purpose of 
                                        defraying tuition and 
                                        fees.
                                  (II) the amount equal to--
                                          (aa) for the academic 
                                        year beginning on 
                                        August 1, 2011, 
                                        $10,000; or
                                          (bb) for an academic 
                                        year beginning on any 
                                        subsequent August 1, 
                                        the amount for the 
                                        previous academic year 
                                        beginning on August 1 
                                        under this subclause, 
                                        as increased by the 
                                        percentage increase 
                                        equal to the most 
                                        recent percentage 
                                        increase determined 
                                        under section 3015(h), 
                                        multiplied by--
                          (ii) either--
                                  (I) in the case of an 
                                individual entitled to 
                                educational assistance by 
                                reason of paragraphs (1), (2), 
                                or (9) of section 3311(b), 100 
                                percent; or
                                  (II) in the case of an 
                                individual entitled to 
                                educational assistance by 
                                reason of paragraphs (3) 
                                through (8) of section 3311(b), 
                                the same percentage as would 
                                otherwise apply to the monthly 
                                amounts payable to the 
                                individual under paragraphs (2) 
                                through (7) of subsection (c).
          (4) Frequency of payment.--
                  (A) Quarter, semester, or term payments.--
                Payment of the amounts payable under paragraph 
                (3)(A)(i) for pursuit of a program of education 
                shall be made for the entire quarter, semester, 
                or term, as applicable, of the program of 
                education.
                  (B) Monthly payments.--Payment of the amounts 
                payable under paragraphs (3)(A)(ii) and 
                (3)(B)(i) for pursuit of a program of education 
                shall be made on a monthly basis.
                  (C) Lump sum payments.--
                          (i) Payment for the amount payable 
                        under paragraphs (3)(A)(iii) and 
                        (3)(B)(ii) shall be paid to the 
                        individual for the first month of each 
                        quarter, semester, or term, as 
                        applicable, of the program education 
                        pursued by the individual.
                          (ii) Payment of the amount payable 
                        under paragraph (3)(C) for pursuit of a 
                        program of education shall be made upon 
                        receipt of certification for training 
                        completed by the individual and 
                        serviced by the training facility.
                  (D) Quarterly payments.--Payment of the 
                amounts payable under paragraph (3)(D) for 
                pursuit of a program of education shall be made 
                quarterly on a pro rata basis for the lessons 
                completed by the individual and serviced by the 
                institution.
          (5) Charge against entitlement for certificate and 
        other non-college degree programs.--
                  (A) In general.--In the case of amounts paid 
                under paragraph (3)(A)(i) for pursuit of a 
                program of education, the charge against 
                entitlement to educational assistance under 
                this chapter of the individual for whom such 
                payment is made shall be one month for each 
                of--
                          (i) the amount so paid, divided by
                          (ii) subject to subparagraph (B), the 
                        amount equal to one-twelfth of the 
                        amount applicable in the academic year 
                        in which the payment is made under 
                        paragraph (3)(A)(i)(II).
                  (B) Pro rata adjustment based on certain 
                eligibility.--If the amount otherwise payable 
                with respect to an individual under paragraph 
                (3)(A)(i) is subject to a percentage adjustment 
                under paragraph (3)(A)(iv), the amount 
                applicable with respect to the individual under 
                subparagraph (A)(ii) shall be the amount 
                otherwise determined pursuant to such 
                subparagraph subject to a percentage adjustment 
                equal to the percentage adjustment applicable 
                with respect to the individual under paragraph 
                (3)(A)(iv).
    [(h) Established Charges Defined.--
          [(1) In general.--In this section, the term 
        ``established charges'', in the case of a program of 
        education, means the actual charges (as determined 
        pursuant to regulations prescribed by the Secretary) 
        for tuition and fees which similarly circumstanced 
        nonveterans enrolled in the program of education would 
        be required to pay.
          [(2) Basis of determination.--Established charges 
        shall be determined for purposes of this subsection on 
        the following basis:
                  [(A) In the case of an individual enrolled in 
                a program of education offered on a term, 
                quarter, or semester basis, the tuition and 
                fees charged the individual for the term, 
                quarter, or semester.
                  [(B) In the case of an individual enrolled in 
                a program of education not offered on a term, 
                quarter, or semester basis, the tuition and 
                fees charged the individual for the entire 
                program of education.]
    (h) [(g)] Payment of Established Charges to Educational 
Institutions.--Amounts payable under subsections (c)(1)(A) (and 
of similar amounts payable under paragraphs (2) through (7) of 
subsection (c)), (e)(2), and (f)(2)(A), and under subparagraphs 
(A)(i), (C), and (D) of subsection (g)(3), shall be paid 
directly to the educational institution concerned.
    (i) Determination of Housing Stipend Payments for Academic 
Years.--Any monthly housing stipend payable under this section 
during the academic year beginning on August 1 of a calendar 
year shall be determined utilizing rates for basic allowances 
for housing payable under section 403 of title 37 in effect as 
of January 1 of such calendar year.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3315. LICENSURE AND CERTIFICATION TESTS

    (a) In General.--An individual entitled to educational 
assistance under this chapter shall also be entitled to payment 
for [one licensing or certification test] licensing or 
certification tests described in section 3452(b).
    (b) Limitation on Amount.--The amount payable under 
subsection (a) for a licensing or certification test may not 
exceed the lesser of--
          (1) $2,000; [or]
          (2) the fee charged for the test[.] ; or
          (3) the amount of entitlement available to the 
        individual under this chapter at the time of payment 
        for the test under this section.
    [(c) No Charge Against Entitlement.--Any amount paid an 
individual under subsection (a) is in addition to any other 
educational assistance benefits provided the individual under 
this chapter.]
    (c) Charge Against Entitlement.--The charge against an 
individual's entitlement under this chapter for payment for a 
licensing or certification test shall be determined at the rate 
of one month (rounded to the nearest whole month) for each 
amount paid that equals--
          (1) for the academic year beginning on August 1, 
        2011, $1,667; or
          (2) for an academic year beginning on any subsequent 
        August 1, the amount for the previous academic year 
        beginning on August 1 under this subsection, as 
        increased by the percentage increase equal to the most 
        recent percentage increase determined under section 
        3015(h).

SEC. 3315A. NATIONAL TESTS

    (a) In General.--An individual entitled to educational 
assistance under this chapter shall also be entitled to 
educational assistance for the following:
          (1) A national test for admission to an institution 
        of higher learning as described in the last sentence of 
        section 3452(b).
          (2) A national test providing an opportunity for 
        course credit at an institution of higher learning as 
        so described.
    (b) Amount.--The amount of educational assistance payable 
under this chapter for a test described in subsection (a) is 
the lesser of--
          (1) the fee charged for the test; or
          (2) the amount of entitlement available to the 
        individual under this chapter at the time of payment 
        for the test under this section.
    (c) Charge Against Entitlement.--The number of months of 
entitlement charged an individual under this chapter for a test 
described in subsection (a) shall be determined at the rate of 
one month (rounded to the nearest whole month) for each amount 
paid that equals--
          (1) for the academic year beginning on August 1, 
        2011, $1,667; or
          (2) for an academic year beginning on any subsequent 
        August 1, the amount for the previous academic year 
        beginning on August 1 under this subsection, as 
        increased by the percentage increase equal to the most 
        recent percentage increase determined under section 
        3015(h).

SEC. 3316. SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE: MEMBERS WITH CRITICAL 
                    SKILLS OR SPECIALTY; MEMBERS SERVING ADDITIONAL 
                    SERVICE

    (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (c) Continuation of Increased Educational Assistance.--
          (1) In general.--An individual who made an election 
        to receive educational assistance under this chapter 
        pursuant to section 5003(c)(1)(A) of the Post-9/11 
        Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (38 U.S.C. 
        3301 note) and who, at the time of the election, was 
        entitled to increased educational assistance under 
        section 3015(d) or section 16131(i) of title 10 shall 
        remain entitled to increased educational assistance in 
        the utilization of the individual's entitlement to 
        educational assistance under this chapter.
          (2) Rate.--The monthly rate of increased educational 
        assistance payable to an individual under paragraph (1) 
        shall be--
                  (A) the rate of educational assistance 
                otherwise payable to the individual under 
                section 3015(d) or section 16131(i) of title 
                10, as the case may be, had the individual not 
                made the election described in paragraph (1), 
                multiplied by
                  (B) the lesser of--
                          (i) 1.0; or
                          (ii) the number of course hours borne 
                        by the individual in pursuit of the 
                        program of education involved divided 
                        by the minimum number of course hours 
                        required for full-time pursuit of the 
                        program of education, rounded to the 
                        nearest multiple of 10.
          (3) Frequency of payment.--Payment of the amounts 
        payable under paragraph (1) during pursuit of a program 
        of education shall be made on a monthly basis.
    (d) Funding.--Payments for increased educational assistance 
under this section shall be made from the Department of Defense 
Education Benefits Fund under section 2006 of title 10 or from 
appropriations available to the Department of Homeland Security 
for that purpose, as applicable.
    (e) [(c)] Regulations.--The Secretaries concerned shall 
administer this section in accordance with such regulations as 
the Secretary of Defense shall prescribe.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3319. AUTHORITY TO TRANSFER UNUSED EDUCATION BENEFITS TO FAMILY 
                    MEMBERS

    (a) In General.--[Subject to the provisions of this 
section, the Secretary of Defense may authorize the Secretary 
concerned, to promote recruitment and retention of members of 
the Armed Forces, to permit] (1) Subject to the provisions of 
this section, the Secretary concerned may permit an individual 
described in subsection (b) who is entitled to educational 
assistance under this chapter to elect to transfer to one or 
more of the dependents specified in subsection (c) a portion of 
such individual's entitlement to such assistance, subject to 
the limitation under subsection (d).
    (2) The purpose of the authority in paragraph (1) is to 
promote recruitment and retention in the uniformed services. 
The Secretary concerned may exercise the authority for that 
purpose when authorized by the Secretary of Defense in the 
national security interests of the United States.
    (b) Eligible Individuals.--An individual referred to in 
subsection (a) is any member of the [Armed Forces] uniformed 
services who, at the time of the approval of the individual's 
request to transfer entitlement to educational assistance under 
this section, has completed at least--
          (1) six years of service in the armed forces and 
        enters into an agreement to serve at least four more 
        years as a member of the [Armed Forces] uniformed 
        services; or
          (2) the years of service as determined in regulations 
        pursuant [to section (k)] to subsection (j).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (h) * * *
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          [(5) Limitation on age of use by child transferees.--
        A child to whom entitlement is transferred under this 
        section may use the benefit without regard to the 15-
        year delimiting date, but may not use any entitlement 
        so transferred after attaining the age of 26 years.]
          (5) Limitation on age of use by child transferees.--
                  (A) In general.--A child to whom entitlement 
                is transferred under this section may use the 
                benefits transferred without regard to the 15-
                year delimiting date specified in section 3321, 
                but may not, except as provided in subparagraph 
                (B), use any benefits so transferred after 
                attaining the age of 26 years.
                  (B) Primary caregivers of seriously injured 
                members of the armed forces and veterans.--
                          (i) In general.--Subject to clause 
                        (ii), in the case of a child who, 
                        before attaining the age of 26 years, 
                        is prevented from pursuing a chosen 
                        program of education by reason of 
                        acting as the primary provider of 
                        personal care services for a veteran or 
                        member of the Armed Forces under 
                        section 1720G(a), the child may use the 
                        benefits beginning on the date 
                        specified in clause (iii) for a period 
                        whose length is specified in clause 
                        (iv).
                          (ii) Inapplicability for 
                        revocation.--Clause (i) shall not apply 
                        with respect to the period of an 
                        individual as a primary provider of 
                        personal care services if the period 
                        concludes with the revocation of the 
                        individual's designation as such a 
                        primary provider under section 
                        1720G(a)(7)(D).
                          (iii) Date for commencement of use.--
                        The date specified in this clause for 
                        the beginning of the use of benefits by 
                        a child under clause (i) is the later 
                        of--
                                  (I) the date on which the 
                                child ceases acting as the 
                                primary provider of personal 
                                care services for the veteran 
                                or member concerned as 
                                described in clause (i);
                                  (II) the date on which it is 
                                reasonably feasible, as 
                                determined under regulations 
                                prescribed by the Secretary, 
                                for the child to initiate or 
                                resume the use of benefits; or
                                  (III) the date on which the 
                                child attains the age of 26 
                                years.
                          (iv) Length of use.--The length of 
                        the period specified in this clause for 
                        the use of benefits by a child under 
                        clause (i) is the length equal to the 
                        length of the period that--
                                  (I) begins on the date on 
                                which the child begins acting 
                                as the primary provider of 
                                personal care services for the 
                                veteran or member concerned as 
                                described in clause (i); and
                                  (II) ends on the later of--
                                          (aa) the date on 
                                        which the child ceases 
                                        acting as the primary 
                                        provider of personal 
                                        care services for the 
                                        veteran or member as 
                                        described in clause 
                                        (i); or
                                          (bb) the date on 
                                        which it is reasonably 
                                        feasible, as so 
                                        determined, for the 
                                        child to initiate or 
                                        resume the use of 
                                        benefits.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    [(k) Secretary Concerned Defined.--Notwithstanding section 
101(25), in this section, the term ``Secretary concerned'' 
means--
          [(1) the Secretary of the Army with respect to 
        matters concerning the Army;
          [(2) the Secretary of the Navy with respect to 
        matters concerning the Navy or the Marine Corps;
          [(3) the Secretary of the Air Force with respect to 
        matters concerning the Air Force; and
          [(4) the Secretary of Defense with respect to matters 
        concerning the Coast Guard, or the Secretary of 
        Homeland Security when it is not operating as a service 
        in the Navy.]

Subchapter III. Administrative Provisions

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3322. BAR TO DUPLICATION OF EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE BENEFITS

    (a) In General.--An individual entitled to educational 
assistance under this chapter who is also eligible for 
educational assistance under chapter 30, 31, 32, or 35 of this 
title, chapter 107, 1606, or 1607 or section 510 of title 10, 
or the provisions of the Hostage Relief Act of 1980 (Public Law 
96-449; 5 U.S.C. 5561 note) may not receive assistance under 
two or more such programs concurrently, but shall elect (in 
such form and manner as the Secretary may prescribe) under 
which chapter or provisions to receive educational assistance.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (e) Bar To Concurrent Receipt of Transferred Education 
Benefits and Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship 
Assistance.--An individual entitled to educational assistance 
under both sections 3311(b)(9) and 3319 may not receive 
assistance under both provisions concurrently, but shall elect 
(in such form and manner as the Secretary may prescribe) under 
which provision to receive educational assistance.
    (f) Bar To Receipt of Compensation and Pension and Marine 
Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship Assistance.--The 
commencement of a program of education under section 3311(b)(9) 
shall be a bar to the following:
          (1) Subsequent payments of dependency and indemnity 
        compensation or pension based on the death of a parent 
        to an eligible person over the age of 18 years by 
        reason of pursuing a course in an educational 
        institution.
          (2) Increased rates, or additional amounts, of 
        compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation, or 
        pension because of such a person, whether eligibility 
        is based upon the death of the parent.
    (g) Bar To Concurrent Receipt of Transferred Education 
Benefits.--A spouse or child who is entitled to educational 
assistance under this chapter based on a transfer of 
entitlement from more than one individual under section 3319 
may not receive assistance based on transfers from more than 
one such individual concurrently, but shall elect (in such form 
and manner as the Secretary may prescribe) under which source 
to utilize such assistance at any one time.
    (h) Bar To Duplication of Eligibility Based on a Single 
Event or Period of Service.--
          (1) Active-duty service.--An individual with 
        qualifying service in the Armed Forces that establishes 
        eligibility on the part of such individual for 
        educational assistance under this chapter, chapter 30 
        or 32 of this title, and chapter 1606 or 1607 of title 
        10, shall elect (in such form and manner as the 
        Secretary may prescribe) under which authority such 
        service is to be credited.
          (2) Eligibility for educational assistance based on 
        parent's service.--A child of a member of the Armed 
        Forces who, on or after September 11, 2001, dies in the 
        line of duty while serving on active duty, who is 
        eligible for educational assistance under either 
        section 3311(b)(9) or chapter 35 of this title based on 
        the parent's death may not receive such assistance 
        under both this chapter and chapter 35 of this title, 
        but shall elect (in such form and manner as the 
        Secretary may prescribe) under which chapter to receive 
        such assistance.

SEC. 3323. ADMINISTRATION

    (a) In General.--
          (1) In general.--Except as otherwise provided in this 
        chapter, the provisions specified in [section 
        3034(a)(1)] sections 3034(a)(1) and 3680(c) shall apply 
        to the provision of educational assistance under this 
        chapter.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Chapter 35. Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


               Subchapter II. Eligibility and Entitlement

SEC. 3510. ELIGIBILITY AND ENTITLEMENT GENERALLY.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3512. PERIODS OF ELIGIBILITY.

    (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    [(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of 
this section, an eligible person may be afforded educational 
assistance beyond the age limitation applicable to such person 
under such subsection if (1) such person suspends pursuit of 
such person's program of education after having enrolled in 
such program within the time period applicable to such person 
under such subsection, (2) such person is unable to complete 
such program after the period of suspension and before 
attaining the age limitation applicable to such person under 
such subsection, and (3) the Secretary finds that the 
suspension was due to conditions beyond the control of such 
person; but in no event shall educational assistance be 
afforded such person by reason of this subsection beyond the 
age limitation applicable to such person under subsection (a) 
of this section plus a period of time equal to the period such 
person was required to suspend the pursuit of such person's 
program, or beyond such person's thirty-first birthday, 
whichever is earlier.]
    (c)(1) Notwithstanding subsection (a) and subject to 
paragraph (2), an eligible person may be afforded educational 
assistance beyond the age limitation applicable to the person 
under such subsection if--
          (A) the person suspends pursuit of such person's 
        program of education after having enrolled in such 
        program within the time period applicable to such 
        person under such subsection;
          (B) the person is unable to complete such program 
        after the period of suspension and before attaining the 
        age limitation applicable to the person under such 
        subsection; and
          (C) the Secretary finds that the suspension was due 
        to either of the following:
                  (i) The actions of the person as the primary 
                provider of personal care services for a 
                veteran or member of the Armed Forces under 
                section 1720G(a) of this title.
                  (ii) Conditions otherwise beyond the control 
                of the person.
    (2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to the 
period of an individual as a primary provider of personal care 
services if the period concludes with the revocation of the 
individual's designation as such a primary provider under 
section 1720G(a)(7)(D) of this title.
    (3) Educational assistance may not be afforded a person 
under paragraph (1) after the earlier of--
          (A) the age limitation applicable to the person under 
        subsection (a), plus a period of time equal to the 
        period the person was required to suspend pursuit of 
        the person's program of education as described in 
        paragraph (1); or
          (B) the date of the person's thirty-first birthday.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


           Chapter 36. Administration of Educational Benefits

                 Subchapter I. State Approving Agencies

SEC. 3670. SCOPE OF APPROVAL

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3671. DESIGNATION

    (a) * * *
    (b)(1) * * *
          (2) [In the case] Except as otherwise provided in 
        this chapter, in the case of courses subject to 
        approval by the Secretary under section 3672 of this 
        title, the provisions of this chapter which refer to a 
        State approving agency shall be deemed to refer to the 
        Secretary.

SEC. 3672. APPROVAL OF COURSES

    (a) * * *
    (b)(1) The Secretary shall be responsible for the approval 
of courses of education offered by any agency of the Federal 
Government authorized under other laws to supervise such 
education. The Secretary may approve any course in any other 
educational institution in accordance with the provisions of 
this chapter and chapters 34 and 35 of this title.
    (2)(A) Subject to sections 3675(b)(1) and (b)(2), 3680A, 
3684, and 3696 of this title, the following programs are deemed 
to be approved for purposes of this chapter:
          (i) An accredited standard college degree program 
        offered at a public or not-for-profit proprietary 
        educational institution that is accredited by an agency 
        or association recognized for that purpose by the 
        Secretary of Education.
          (ii) A flight training course approved by the Federal 
        Aviation Administration that is offered by a certified 
        pilot school that possesses a valid Federal Aviation 
        Administration pilot school certificate.
          (iii) An apprenticeship program registered with the 
        Office of Apprenticeship (OA) of the Employment 
        Training Administration of the Department of Labor or a 
        State apprenticeship agency recognized by the Office of 
        Apprenticeship pursuant to the Act of August 16, 1937 
        (popularly known as the ``National Apprenticeship Act'' 
        29 U.S.C. 50 et seq.).
          (iv) A program leading to a secondary school diploma 
        offered by a secondary school approved in the State in 
        which it is operating.
    (B) A licensure test offered by a Federal, State, or local 
government is deemed to be approved for purposes of this 
chapter.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3673. APPROVAL ACTIVITIES: COOPERATION AND COORDINATION OF 
                    ACTIVITIES

    (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (d) Use of State Approving Agencies for Compliance and 
Oversight Activities.--The Secretary may utilize the services 
of a State approving agency for such compliance and oversight 
purposes as the Secretary considers appropriate without regard 
to whether the Secretary or the agency approved the courses 
offered in the State concerned.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3675. APPROVAL OF ACCREDITED COURSES

    (a)(1) [A State approving agency may approve the courses 
offered by an educational institution] The Secretary or a State 
approving agency may approve accredited programs (including 
non-degree accredited programs) offered by proprietary for-
profit educational institutions when--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (b) As a condition of approval under this section, the 
Secretary or the State approving agency must find the 
following:
          (1) The educational institution keeps adequate 
        records, as prescribed by the Secretary or the State 
        approving agency, to show the progress and grades of 
        the eligible person or veteran and to show that 
        satisfactory standards relating to progress and conduct 
        are enforced.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3679. DISAPPROVAL OF COURSES

    (a) Any course approved for the purposes of this chapter 
which fails to meet any of the requirements of this chapter 
shall be immediately disapproved by the Secretary or the 
appropriate State approving agency. An educational institution 
which has its courses disapproved by the Secretary or a State 
approving agency will be notified of such disapproval by a 
certified or registered letter of notification and a return 
receipt secured.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                Subchapter II. Miscellaneous Provisions

SEC. 3680. PAYMENT OF EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE OR SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES

    (a) * * *
          (1) * * *
          (2) * * *
          (3) * * *
                  (A) * * *
                  (B) * * *
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Secretary may, subject to 
such regulations as the Secretary shall prescribe, continue to 
pay allowances to eligible veterans and eligible persons 
enrolled in courses set forth in clause (1) of this subsection 
during periods when schools are temporarily closed under an 
established policy based on an Executive order of the President 
or due to an emergency situation. However, the total number of 
weeks for which allowances may continue to be so payable in any 
12-month period may not exceed 4 weeks.[of this subsection--
          [(A) during periods when the schools are temporarily 
        closed under an established policy based upon an 
        Executive order of the President or due to an emergency 
        situation;
          [(B) during periods between consecutive school terms 
        where such veterans or persons transfer from one 
        approved educational institution to another approved 
        educational institution for the purpose of enrolling in 
        and pursuing a similar course at the second institution 
        if the period between such consecutive terms does not 
        exceed 30 days; or
          [(C) during periods between school terms where the 
        educational institution certifies the enrollment of the 
        eligible veteran or eligible person on an individual 
        term basis if (i) the period between those terms does 
        not exceed eight weeks, and (ii) both the terms 
        preceding and following the period are not shorter in 
        length than the period.]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3681. LIMITATIONS ON EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

    (a) * * *
    (b) * * *
          (1) * * *
          (2) Chapters 106 and 107 and section 510 of title 10.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3684. REPORTS BY VETERANS, ELIGIBLE PERSONS, AND INSTITUTIONS; 
                    REPORTING FEE

    (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (c) The Secretary may pay to any educational institution, 
or to the sponsor of a program of apprenticeship, furnishing 
education or training under either this chapter or chapter 31, 
34, or 35 of this title, a reporting fee which will be in lieu 
of any other compensation or reimbursement for reports or 
certifications which such educational institution or joint 
apprenticeship training committee is required to submit to the 
Secretary by law or regulation. Such reporting fee shall be 
computed for each calendar year by [multiplying $7] multiplying 
$12 by the number of eligible veterans or eligible persons 
enrolled under this chapter or chapter 31, 34, or 35 of this 
title, [or $11] or $15 in the case of those eligible veterans 
and eligible persons whose educational assistance checks are 
directed in care of each institution for temporary custody and 
delivery and are delivered at the time of registration as 
provided under section 3680(d)(4) of this title, during the 
calendar year. The reporting fee shall be paid to such 
educational institution or joint apprenticeship training 
committee as soon as feasible after the end of the calendar 
year for which it is applicable. No reporting fee payable to an 
educational institution under this subsection shall be subject 
to offset by the Secretary against any liability of such 
institution for any overpayment for which such institution may 
be administratively determined to be liable under section 3685 
of this title unless such liability is not contested by such 
institution or has been upheld by a final decree of a court of 
appropriate jurisdiction. Any reporting fee paid an educational 
institution or joint apprenticeship training committee after 
the date of the enactment of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational 
Assistance Improvements Act of 2011 shall be utilized by such 
institution or committee solely for the making of 
certifications required under this chapter or chapter 31, 34, 
or 35 of this title or for otherwise supporting programs for 
veterans. The reporting fee payable under this subsection shall 
be paid from amounts appropriated for readjustment benefits.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3689. APPROVAL REQUIREMENTS FOR LICENSING AND CERTIFICATION 
                    TESTING

    (a) In General.--(1) No payment may be made for a licensing 
or certification test described in section 3452(b) or 
3501(a)(5) of this title unless the test is deemed approved by 
section 3672(b)(2)(B) of this title or the Secretary determines 
that the requirements of this section have been met with 
respect to such test and the organization or entity offering 
the test. The requirements of approval for tests and 
organizations or entities offering tests shall be in accordance 
with the provisions of this chapter and chapters 30, 32, 33, 
34, and 35 of this title and with regulations prescribed by the 
Secretary to carry out this section.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *