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Armato, Zwicker & Verrelli Bill to Create Grant Program for Colleges Offering Comprehensive Veterans Services Now Law

In 2009, New Jersey established the Troops to College Program to assist institutions of higher education in coordinating a comprehensive array of services to help veterans in making the transition to college.

With the goal to expand and strengthen the Troops to College Program, a Democrat-sponsored bill (A-3805/S-961) creating a program to award grants to colleges and universities offering a wide range of services, benefits and programs to veterans was signed into law Thursday.

Under the law, the Secretary of Higher Education will select up to three institutions annually to receive grants of $150,000 to further support students who are veterans. Schools will be selected based on a number of factors, including the size of their student veteran population, scholarship opportunities for veterans, and whether they have a veterans’ affairs office.

Assembly Democrat sponsors John Armato (D-Atlantic), who is a veteran, Andrew Zwicker (D-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset) and Anthony Verrelli (D-Mercer, Hunterdon) released the following joint statement upon the bill becoming law:

“The transition from military service to civilian life can be challenging for many veterans. Higher education can help provide a path forward for veterans as they pursue careers after they leave the service. However, it’s critical for colleges and universities to be equipped with essential services to address the unique needs of veterans.

“This law will strengthen the efforts of colleges participating in the Troops to College Program, including orientation programs, faculty training, veterans benefit counseling, adaptive learning technologies, and career planning services. This is another small way we can express our gratitude and appreciation for the service of New Jersey’s brave soldiers.”