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115th Congress }                                          { REPORT
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session   }                                          { 115-398

======================================================================
 
        VETERANS APPRENTICESHIP AND LABOR OPPORTUNITY REFORM ACT

                                _______
                                

November 7, 2017.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Roe of Tennessee, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3949]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 3949) to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
provide for the designation of State approving agencies for 
multi-State apprenticeship programs for purposes of the 
educational assistance programs of the Department of Veterans 
Affairs, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do 
pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     4
Subcommittee Consideration.......................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     5
Committee Votes..................................................     5
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     5
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     5
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................     5
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     5
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Estimate........     5
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     7
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     7
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     7
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     7
Statement on Duplication of Federal Programs.....................     7
Disclosure of Directed Rulemaking................................     7
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     7
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............     8
    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Veterans Apprenticeship and Labor 
Opportunity Reform Act'' or the ``VALOR Act''.

SEC. 2. DESIGNATION OF STATE APPROVING AGENCIES FOR MULTI-STATE 
                    APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS.

  Paragraph (1) of subsection (c) of section 3672 of title 38, United 
States Code, is amended to read as follows:
  ``(1)(A) The State approving agency for a multi-State apprenticeship 
program is--
          ``(i) for purposes of approval of the program, the State 
        approving agency for the State in which the headquarters of the 
        apprenticeship program is located; and
          ``(ii) for all other purposes, the State approving agency for 
        the State in which the apprenticeship program takes place.
  ``(B) In this paragraph, the term `multi-State apprenticeship 
program' means a non-Federal apprenticeship program operating in more 
than one State that meets the minimum national program standards, as 
developed by the Department of Labor.''.

SEC. 3. ELIMINATION OF CERTAIN CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENT FOR ASSISTANCE 
                    FOR APPRENTICESHIP AND OTHER ON-JOB TRAINING.

  Section 3680(c) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by 
striking ``shall have received--'' and all that follows through 
``person's certificate,'' and inserting ``receives from the training 
establishment a certification''.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 3949, the ``Veterans Apprenticeship and Labor 
Opportunity Reform Act'' or the ''VALOR Act,'' was introduced 
by Representative Ro Khanna of California on October 4, 2017. 
H.R. 3949, as amended, would ease the approval process for on-
the-job training and apprenticeship programs under the GI Bill 
while still maintaining proper oversight of individual 
apprenticeship programs in each state.

                  Background and Need for Legislation


Section 2. Designation of state approving agencies for multi-State 
        apprenticeship programs

    The Post-9/11 GI Bill was enacted and went into effect on 
August 1, 2009, after the passage of Public Law (P.L.) 110-252. 
Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, eligible veterans, servicemembers, 
dependents, and survivors receive educational assistance, which 
covers tuition and fees, provides a monthly housing allowance, 
and provides an annual stipend for books-and-supplies.
    Primarily, eligible recipients of Post-9/11 GI Bill 
benefits attend institutions of higher learning (IHL). However, 
individuals are also able to use their benefits for approved 
apprenticeship and on-the-job training (OJT) programs. The 
Committee believes that while apprenticeship and OJT programs 
are underutilized programs of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, veterans 
should be encouraged to consider these programs as they 
actually lead veterans to a career, as they allow veterans to 
learn a trade or skill while also receiving a paycheck.
    Title 38, United States Code (U.S.C.), requires that an 
apprenticeship program be approved in each state that it is 
located by the State Approving Agency (SAA) in order to be 
approved for GI Bill benefits. This applies to institutions of 
higher learning as well as for apprenticeship and on-the-job 
training programs. The SAAs certify each approval with VA so 
both the program and the veteran can be properly paid benefits 
under the GI Bill. The SAAs work with the VA to ensure that 
quality programs are approved for GI Bill benefits as well as 
to audit schools so that institutions are not inappropriately 
taking advantage of the GI Bill program and veterans.
    Currently, non-Federal apprenticeship programs, with a 
location in multiple states, must go through the approval 
process with the SAA in each state to be approved for GI Bill 
benefits in that state. The Committee has learned that some 
nationwide apprenticeship programs do not seek GI Bill approval 
in multiple states due to the burdens in place to get approved 
in each state. This redundant approval process can be lengthy 
and may dissuade apprenticeship programs from seeking approval 
under the GI Bill. At the October 11, 2017 Subcommittee on 
Economic Opportunity legislative hearing on several bills, 
including H.R. 3949, John Kamin, the Assistant Director for 
Veteran Education and Employment at The American Legion 
emphasized this concern and the need for a legislative fix:

          [H.R. 3949] is an important first step to addressing 
        the problems with Post-9/11 GI Bill Apprenticeship 
        program, by streamlining approval for organizations 
        with multi-state apprenticeship programs. Under current 
        law, Registered Apprenticeship programs must be 
        approved by all of the State Approving Agencies they 
        are operating in order to be deemed eligible for GI 
        bill use. This extra step in the process clouds the use 
        of these funds for Registered Apprenticeship programs. 
        Companies operating in several states can be vulnerable 
        to these different interpretations, adding opportunity 
        costs, and financial uncertainty. Through designating 
        the state approving agency in which the headquarters of 
        the apprenticeship program is located the authority for 
        approving all state locations, this effort can be 
        streamlined.

    The Committee agrees that the approval process for multi-
state apprenticeship programs should be streamlined. Section 
two of H.R. 3949, as amended, therefore would allow the SAA in 
the state where a multi-state apprenticeship program is 
headquartered to determine approval for the whole program, 
including the program's apprenticeships located in other 
states. This change is intended to allow multi-state 
apprenticeship programs to obtain approval faster without any 
erosion of the safeguards that SAA's provide regarding the 
quality of the programs. For all other non-approval purposes, 
such as designating a certifying official for each state's 
apprenticeship, the relevant SAA would continue to be the 
authority in the state in which the apprenticeship is located, 
regardless of where the program is headquartered.

Section 3. Elimination of certain certification requirement for 
        assistance for apprenticeship and other on-job training

    Under current law, both an apprenticeship program sponsor 
and its GI Bill beneficiaries have to separately certify the 
beneficiary's attendance in the apprenticeship prior to 
benefits being disbursed to the beneficiary. In the Committee's 
review of this program, it has been brought to our attention 
that this unnecessary two-layered signature from both the 
veteran and the apprenticeship program has led to a delay in 
both parties receiving funding from VA. Section 3 of H.R. 3949, 
as amended, therefore, would eliminate the requirement that GI 
Bill beneficiaries certify their attendance so that only the 
apprenticeship program certifies a beneficiary's attendance. 
The Committee believes that this change would reduce the 
administrative burden on veterans while maintaining attendance 
certification by the program, which is important to ensure GI 
Bill benefits are only paid to individuals who are abiding by 
the benefit requirements.

                                Hearings

    On October 11, 2017, the Subcommittee on Economic 
Opportunity held a legislative hearing on several bills pending 
before the Subcommittee including H.R. 3949, as introduced. The 
following witnesses testified:
          The Honorable John H. Rutherford , U.S. House of 
        Representatives, 4th District of Florida; The Honorable 
        James A. Himes, U.S. House of Representatives, 4th 
        District of Connecticut; The Honorable Martha McSally, 
        U.S. House of Representatives, 2nd District of Arizona; 
        The Honorable Ro Khanna, U.S. House of Representatives, 
        17th District of California; MG Robert M. Worley II 
        USAF (Ret.), Director of the Education Service, 
        Veterans Benefit Administration of the U.S. Department 
        of Veterans Affairs who was accompanied by Mr. Jeffrey 
        London, Director of the Loan Guaranty Service, Veterans 
        Benefits Administration of the U.S. Department of 
        Veterans Affairs; Mr. John Kamin, Assistant Director of 
        Veteran Employment and Education, The American Legion; 
        and Mr. William Hubbard, Vice President of Government 
        Affairs, Student Veterans of America.
          The following organizations submitted statements for 
        the record: The Honorable Lee M. Zeldin, U.S. House of 
        Representatives, 1st District of New York; and 
        Helicopter Association International.

                       Subcommittee Consideration

    On October 25, 2017, the Subcommittee on Economic 
Opportunity met in open markup session, a quorum being present 
and favorably forwarded H.R. 3949, as amended, to the full 
Committee. During consideration of the bills, the following 
amendments were considered and agreed to by voice vote:
          An amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by 
        Mr. O'Rourke of Texas, which made technical and 
        conforming changes that were suggested by VA during the 
        October 11, 2017 Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
        legislative hearing; and
          An amendment to the amendment in the nature of a 
        substitute offered by Mr. Banks of Indiana, which 
        removed the requirement in section 3680(c) of title 38, 
        U.S.C., that both the individual in an apprenticeship 
        program and the training establishment had to certify 
        to the Secretary that the individual completed lessons 
        at the institution before payments could be made by VA.

                        Committee Consideration

    On November 2, 2017 the full Committee met in open markup 
session, a quorum being present, and ordered H.R. 3949, as 
amended, be reported favorably to the House of Representatives 
by voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, no recorded votes were taken on 
amendments or in connection with ordering H.R. 3949, as 
amended, reported to the House.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives of H.R. 3949, as amended, are to improve 
and streamline the approval process for multi-state 
apprenticeship programs so that eligible beneficiaries receive 
their GI Bill benefits in an efficient manner.

                  Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits

    H.R. 3949, as amended, does not contain any Congressional 
earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as 
defined in clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) of that Rule provides 
that this requirement does not apply when the Committee has 
included in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the 
bill prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974. The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate on H.R. 
3949, as amended, prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the following is the cost 
estimate for H.R. 3949, as amended, is provided by the 
Congressional Budget Office.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, November 6, 2017.
Hon. Phil Roe, M.D.,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3949, the Veterans 
Apprenticeship and Labor Opportunity Reform Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is David Newman.
            Sincerely,
                                                 Keith Hall
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 3949--Veterans Apprenticeship and Labor Opportunity Reform Act

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides 
educational benefits for eligible veterans, military personnel, 
and their spouses and children who are enrolled in approved 
programs of education. Those programs must be approved by the 
State Approving Agency (SAA) in the state where they are 
offered.
    Under current law, programs that are offered in more than 
one state must be approved by the SAA in every state in which 
they operate. H.R. 3949 would allow the SAA in the state in 
which a multistate apprenticeship program is headquartered to 
approve a program for nationwide use as long as it meets the 
minimum standards for such programs established by the 
Department of Labor.
    VA subsidizes the SAAs' costs of approving programs from 
mandatory appropriations; that funding is capped at $21 million 
in 2018 and is adjusted annually for inflation. Because the 
agencies indicate that VA funding does not cover all the costs 
of approving education programs, CBO expects that any savings 
from reducing the number of approvals for multistate 
apprenticeship programs would be used to cover other 
unreimbursed expenses. Thus, implementing H.R. 3949 would have 
no net effect on direct spending.
    Enacting H.R. 3949 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3949 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 3949 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is David Newman. 
The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    With respect to the requirements of Section 423 of the 
Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act (as amended by 
Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act, P.L. 104-
4), the Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates regarding H.R. 3939, as amended, prepared by the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act would be created by H.R. 
3949, as amended.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to Article I, section 8 of the United States 
Constitution, H.R. 3949, as amended, is authorized by Congress' 
power to ``provide for the common Defense and general Welfare 
of the United States.''

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that H.R. 3949, as amended, does not 
relate to the terms and conditions of employment or access to 
public services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

              Statement on Duplication of Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(5) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that no provision 
of H.R. 3949, as amended, establishes or reauthorizes a program 
of the Federal Government known to be duplicative of another 
Federal program, a program that was included in any report from 
the Government Accountability Office to Congress pursuant to 
section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program related to a 
program identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance.

                   Disclosure of Directed Rulemaking

    Pursuant to section 3(i) of H. Res. 5, 115th Cong. (2017), 
H.R. 3949, as amended, contains no direct rule making.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 cites the short title of H.R. 3949, as amended, 
as the ``Veterans Apprenticeship and Labor Opportunity Reform 
Act'' or the ``VALOR Act.''

Section 2. Designation of state approving agencies for multi-state 
        apprenticeship programs

    Section 2 would amend paragraph (1) of section 3672(c) of 
title 38, U.S.C., to read as follows: ``(1)(A) The State 
approving agency for a multi-State apprenticeship program is--
``(i) for purposes of approval of the program, the State 
approving agency for the State in which the headquarters of the 
apprenticeship program is located; and ``(ii) for all other 
purposes the State approving agency for the State in which the 
apprenticeship program takes place.''
    Section 2 would also define ``multi-State apprenticeship 
program'' as a non-Federal apprenticeship program operating in 
more than one state that meets the minimum national program 
standards as developed by the Department of Labor.

Section 3. Elimination of certain certification requirement for 
        assistance for apprenticeship and other on-job training

    Section 3 would amend section 3680(c) of title 38, U.S.C., 
by striking ``shall have received--'' and all that follows 
through ``person's certificate,'' and inserting receives from 
the training establishment a certification.''

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    Pursuant to clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the 
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):

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



PART III--READJUSTMENT AND RELATED BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 36--ADMINISTRATION OF EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SUBCHAPTER I--STATE APPROVING AGENCIES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 3672. Approval of courses

  (a) An eligible person or veteran shall receive the benefits 
of this chapter and chapters 34 and 35 of this title while 
enrolled in a course of education offered by an educational 
institution only if (1) such course is approved as provided in 
this chapter and chapters 34 and 35 of this title by the State 
approving agency for the State where such educational 
institution is located, or by the Secretary, or (2) such course 
is approved (A) for the enrollment of the particular individual 
under the provisions of section 3536 of this title or (B) for 
special restorative training under subchapter V of chapter 35 
of this title. Approval of courses by State approving agencies 
shall be in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and 
chapters 34 and 35 of this title and such other regulations and 
policies as the State approving agency may adopt. Each State 
approving agency shall furnish the Secretary with a current 
list of educational institutions specifying courses which it 
has approved, and, in addition to such list, it shall furnish 
such other information to the Secretary as it and the Secretary 
may determine to be necessary to carry out the purposes of this 
chapter and chapters 34 and 35 of this title. Each State 
approving agency shall notify the Secretary of the disapproval 
of any course previously approved and shall set forth the 
reasons for such disapproval.
  (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, a program of education is deemed 
to be approved for purposes of this chapter if a State 
approving agency, or the Secretary when acting in the role of a 
State approving agency, determines that the program is one of 
the following programs:
          (i) Except as provided in subparagraph (C), 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.
  (C) A course that is described in both subparagraph (A)(i) of 
this paragraph and in paragraph (14) or (15) of section 3676(c) 
of this title shall not be deemed to be approved for purposes 
of this chapter unless--
          (i) a State approving agency, or the Secretary when 
        acting in the role of a State approving agency, 
        determines that the course meets the applicable 
        criteria in such paragraphs; or
          (ii) the Secretary issues a waiver for such course 
        under section 3676(f)(1) of this title.
  (c)[(1) In the case of programs of apprenticeship where--
          [(A) the apprenticeship standards have been approved 
        by the Secretary of Labor pursuant to section 2 of the 
        Act of August 16, 1937 (popularly known as the 
        ``National Apprenticeship Act'') (29 U.S.C. 50a), as a 
        national apprenticeship program for operation in more 
        than one State, and
          [(B) the training establishment is a carrier directly 
        engaged in interstate commerce which provides such 
        training in more than one State,
the Secretary shall act as a ``State approving agency'' as such 
term is used in section 3687(a)(1) of this title and shall be 
responsible for the approval of all such programs.]
  (1)(A) The State approving agency for a multi-State 
apprenticeship program is--
          (i) for purposes of approval of the program, the 
        State approving agency for the State in which the 
        headquarters of the apprenticeship program is located; 
        and
          (ii) for all other purposes, the State approving 
        agency for the State in which the apprenticeship 
        program takes place.
  (B) In this paragraph, the term ``multi-State apprenticeship 
program'' means a non-Federal apprenticeship program operating 
in more than one State that meets the minimum national program 
standards, as developed by the Department of Labor.
  (2) The period of a program of apprenticeship may be 
determined based upon a specific period of time (commonly 
referred to as a ``time-based program''), based upon the 
demonstration of successful mastery of skills (commonly 
referred to as a ``competency-based program''), or based upon a 
combination thereof.
  (3)(A) In the case of a competency-based program of 
apprenticeship, State approving agencies shall determine the 
period for which payment may be made for such a program under 
chapters 30 and 35 of this title and chapter 1606 of title 10. 
In determining the period of such a program, State approving 
agencies shall take into consideration the approximate term of 
the program recommended in registered apprenticeship program 
standards recognized by the Secretary of Labor.
  (B) The sponsor of a competency-based program of 
apprenticeship shall provide notice to the State approving 
agency involved of any such standards that may apply to the 
program and the proposed approximate period of training under 
the program.
  (4) The sponsor of a competency-based program of 
apprenticeship shall notify the Secretary upon the successful 
completion of a program of apprenticeship by an individual 
under chapter 30 or 35 of this title, or chapter 1606 of title 
10, as the case may be.
  (d)(1) Pursuant to regulations prescribed by the Secretary in 
consultation with the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary and 
State approving agencies shall actively promote the development 
of apprenticeship and on the job training programs for the 
purposes of sections 3677 and 3687 of this title and shall 
utilize the services of disabled veterans' outreach program 
specialists under section 4103A of this title to promote the 
development of such programs. The Secretary of Labor shall 
provide assistance and services to the Secretary, and to State 
approving agencies, to increase the use of apprenticeships.
  (2) In conjunction with outreach services provided by the 
Secretary under chapter 77 of this title for education and 
training benefits, each State approving agency shall conduct 
outreach programs and provide outreach services to eligible 
persons and veterans about education and training benefits 
available under applicable Federal and State law.
  (e) A program of education exclusively by correspondence, and 
the correspondence portion of a combination correspondence-
residence course leading to a vocational objective, that is 
offered by an educational institution (as defined in section 
3452(c) of this title) may be approved only if (1) the 
educational institution is accredited by an entity recognized 
by the Secretary of Education, and (2) at least 50 percent of 
those pursuing such a program or course require six months or 
more to complete the program or course.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                SUBCHAPTER II--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS


Sec. 3680. Payment of educational assistance or subsistence allowances

  (a) Period for Which Payment May Be Made.--Payment of 
educational assistance or subsistence allowances to eligible 
veterans or eligible persons pursuing a program of education or 
training, other than a program by correspondence, in an 
educational institution under chapter 31, 34, or 35 of this 
title shall be paid as provided in this section and, as 
applicable, in section 3108, 3482, 3491, or 3532 of this title. 
Such payments shall be paid only for the period of such 
veterans' or persons' enrollment in, and pursuit of, such 
program, but no amount shall be paid--
          (1) to any eligible veteran or eligible person for 
        any period when such veteran or person is not pursuing 
        such veteran's or person's course in accordance with 
        the regularly established policies and regulations of 
        the educational institution, with the provisions of 
        such regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary 
        pursuant to subsection (g) of this section, and with 
        the requirements of this chapter or of chapter 34 or 35 
        of this title, but payment may be made for an actual 
        period of pursuit of one or more unit subjects pursued 
        for a period of time shorter than the enrollment period 
        at the educational institution;
          (2) to any eligible veteran or person for auditing a 
        course; or
          (3) to any eligible veteran or person for a course 
        for which the grade assigned is not used in computing 
        the requirements for graduation including a course from 
        which the student withdraws unless--
                  (A) the eligible veteran or person withdraws 
                because he or she is ordered to active duty; or
                  (B) the Secretary finds there are mitigating 
                circumstances, except that, in the first 
                instance of withdrawal (without regard to 
                withdrawals described in subclause (A) of this 
                clause) by the eligible veteran or person from 
                a course or courses with respect to which the 
                veteran or person has been paid assistance 
                under this title, mitigating circumstances 
                shall be considered to exist with respect to 
                courses totaling not more than six semester 
                hours or the equivalent thereof.
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.
  (b) Correspondence Training Certifications.--No educational 
assistance allowance shall be paid to an eligible veteran or 
spouse or surviving spouse enrolled in and pursuing a program 
of education exclusively by correspondence until the Secretary 
shall have received--
          (1) from the eligible veteran or spouse or surviving 
        spouse a certificate as to the number of lessons 
        actually completed by the veteran or spouse or 
        surviving spouse and serviced by the educational 
        institution; and
          (2) from the training establishment a certification 
        or an endorsement on the veteran's or spouse's or 
        surviving spouse's certificate, as to the number of 
        lessons completed by the veteran or spouse or surviving 
        spouse and serviced by the institution.
  (c) Apprenticeship and Other On-Job Training.--No training 
assistance allowance shall be paid to an eligible veteran or 
eligible person enrolled in and pursuing a program of 
apprenticeship or other on-job training until the Secretary 
[shall have received--]
          [(1) from such veteran or person a certification as 
        to such veteran's or person's actual attendance during 
        such period; and]
          [(2) from the training establishment a certification, 
        or an endorsement on the veteran's or person's 
        certificate,] receives from the training establishment 
        a certification that such veteran or person was 
        enrolled in and pursuing a program of apprenticeship or 
        other on-job training during such period.
  (d) Advance Payment of Initial Educational Assistance or 
Subsistence Allowance.--(1) The educational assistance or 
subsistence allowance advance payment provided for in this 
subsection is based upon a finding by the Congress that 
eligible veterans and eligible persons may need additional 
funds at the beginning of a school term to meet the expenses of 
books, travel, deposits, and payment for living quarters, the 
initial installment of tuition, and the other special expenses 
which are concentrated at the beginning of a school term.
  (2) Subject to the provisions of this subsection, and under 
regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe, an eligible 
veteran or eligible person shall be paid an educational 
assistance allowance or subsistence allowance, as appropriate, 
advance payment. Such advance payment shall be made in an 
amount equivalent to the allowance for the month or fraction 
thereof in which pursuit of the program will commence, plus the 
allowance for the succeeding month. In the case of a person on 
active duty, who is pursuing a program of education, the 
advance payment shall be in a lump sum based upon the amount 
payable for the entire quarter, semester, or term, as 
applicable. In no event shall an advance payment be made under 
this subsection to a veteran or person intending to pursue a 
program of education on less than a half-time basis. An advance 
payment may not be made under this subsection to any veteran or 
person unless the veteran or person requests such payment and 
the Secretary finds that the educational institution at which 
such veteran or person is accepted or enrolled has agreed to, 
and can satisfactorily, carry out the provisions of paragraphs 
(4)(B) and (C) and (5) of this subsection. The application for 
advance payment, to be made on a form prescribed by the 
Secretary, shall--
          (A) in the case of an initial enrollment of a veteran 
        or person in an educational institution, contain 
        information showing that the veteran or person (i) is 
        eligible for educational benefits, (ii) has been 
        accepted by the institution, and (iii) has notified the 
        institution of such veteran's or person's intention to 
        attend that institution; and
          (B) in the case of a re-enrollment of a veteran or 
        person, contain information showing that the veteran or 
        person (i) is eligible to continue such veteran's or 
        person's program of education or training and (ii) 
        intends to re-enroll in the same institution,
and, in either case, shall also state the number of semester or 
clock-hours to be pursued by such veteran or person.
  (3) For purposes of the Secretary's determination whether any 
veteran or person is eligible for an advance payment under this 
section, the information submitted by the institution, the 
veteran or person, shall establish such veteran's or person's 
eligibility unless there is evidence in such veteran's or 
person's file in the processing office establishing that the 
veteran or person is not eligible for such advance payment.
  (4) The advance payment authorized by paragraph (2) of this 
subsection shall, in the case of an eligible veteran or 
eligible person, be (A) drawn in favor of the veteran or 
person; (B) mailed to the educational institution listed on the 
application form for temporary care and delivery to the veteran 
or person by such institution; and (C) delivered to the veteran 
or person upon such veteran's or person's registration at such 
institution, but in no event shall such delivery be made 
earlier than thirty days before the program of education is to 
commence.
  (5) Upon delivery of the advance payment pursuant to 
paragraph (4) of this subsection, the institution shall submit 
to the Secretary a certification of such delivery. If such 
delivery is not effected within thirty days after commencement 
of the program of education in question, such institution shall 
return such payment to the Secretary forthwith.
  (e) Recovery of Erroneous Payments.--(1) Subject to paragraph 
(2), if an eligible veteran or eligible person fails to enroll 
in or pursue a course for which an educational assistance or 
subsistence allowance advance payment is made, the amount of 
such payment and any amount of subsequent payments which, in 
whole or in part, are due to erroneous information required to 
be furnished under subsection (d)(2) of this section, shall 
become an overpayment and shall constitute a liability of such 
veteran or person to the United States and may be recovered, 
unless waived pursuant to section 5302 of this title, from any 
benefit otherwise due such veteran or person under any law 
administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs or may be 
recovered in the same manner as any other debt due the United 
States.
  (2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to the recovery of an 
overpayment of an educational allowance or subsistence 
allowance advance payment to an eligible veteran or eligible 
person who fails to enroll in or pursue a course of education 
for which the payment is made if such failure is due to the 
death of the veteran or person.
  (f) Payments for Less Than Half-Time Training.--Payment of 
educational assistance allowance in the case of any eligible 
veteran or eligible person pursuing a program of education on 
less than a half-time basis shall be made in an amount computed 
for the entire quarter, semester, or term not later than the 
last day of the month immediately following the month in which 
certification is received from the educational institution that 
such veteran or person has enrolled in and is pursuing a 
program at such institution. Such lump sum payment shall be 
computed at the rate provided in section 3482(b) or 3532(a)(2) 
of this title, as applicable.
  (g) Determination of Enrollment, Pursuit, and Attendance.--
(1) The Secretary may, pursuant to regulations which the 
Secretary shall prescribe, determine and define with respect to 
an eligible veteran and eligible person the following:
          (A) Enrollment in a course or program of education or 
        training.
          (B) Pursuit of a course or program of education or 
        training.
          (C) Attendance at a course or program of education or 
        training.
  (2) The Secretary may withhold payment of benefits to an 
eligible veteran or eligible person until the Secretary 
receives such proof as the Secretary may require of enrollment 
in and satisfactory pursuit of a program of education by the 
eligible veteran or eligible person. The Secretary shall adjust 
the payment withheld, when necessary, on the basis of the proof 
the Secretary receives.
  (3) In the case of an individual other than an individual 
described in paragraph (4), the Secretary may accept the 
individual's monthly certification of enrollment in and 
satisfactory pursuit of a program of education as sufficient 
proof of the certified matters.
  (4) In the case of an individual who has received an 
accelerated payment of basic educational assistance under 
section 3014A of this title during an enrollment period for a 
program of education, the Secretary may accept the individual's 
certification of enrollment in and satisfactory pursuit of the 
program of education as sufficient proof of the certified 
matters if the certification is submitted after the enrollment 
period has ended.

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