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Salem, OR—The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs is still accepting applications for the Veteran Educational Bridge Grant, a grant program that was implemented last year to help Oregon veterans complete their educational goals.

The Veteran Educational Bridge Grant Program provides financial assistance to veterans who are unable to complete their education or training due to the unavailability of one or more required classes or periods of training.

The program, which the Oregon State Legislature established in 2019 with the passage of House Bill 2201, provides grants to eligible student veterans to alleviate the financial stress during a gap period when required courses are unavailable, allowing them to stay in school or their apprenticeship training and finish their program.

Under the program, eligible student veterans who are unable to complete their education due to the unavailability of required classes or training may receive grants of up to $5,000. Recipients must be a veteran eligible for GI Bill® benefits, must be an Oregon resident and must be enrolled in an Oregon-based academic or training program that is approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

To date, ODVA has awarded over $200,000 to more than 40 veterans in academic and training programs that include traditional degrees, professional certificates, flight programs and apprenticeships (a more specific list of programs this grant has supported is available to interested media outlets upon request).

The average award has been $4,382 and the average turnaround from the receipt of a completed application has been just five days.

“ODVA is grateful for the opportunity to help so many worthy veterans complete their education or vocational training, which we know can have a lasting, meaningful impact on the quality of life they are able to lead for themselves and their families,” said ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick. “Particularly in the midst of the unprecedented circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize the barriers many student veterans face in achieving their educational goals, and our team stands ready to help in any way we can.”

Veterans may also be eligible for retroactive funding in certain circumstances. Any veteran who believes they meet eligibility requirements is encouraged to apply.

For more information about the Veteran Educational Bridge Grant Program or to apply, visit the ODVA website at https://www.oregon.gov/odva/agency-programs/grants... Questions may be directed to ODVA Veteran Educational Bridge Grant Coordinator Joe Mah at ebg@odva.state.or.us or by phone at 503-400-0540.

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