Armato, Zwicker & Verrelli Bill to Create Grant Program for Colleges Offering Comprehensive Veterans Services Passes Assembly Committee

(TRENTON) – 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, the Assembly Higher Education Committee on Wednesday approved legislation (A-3805) to create a program to award grants to colleges and universities offering a wide range of services, benefits and programs to veterans.

Under the measure, the Secretary of Higher Education would select three institutions annually to receive grants of $150,000 to further support students who are veterans. Schools would 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.

The bill’s sponsors, Assembly Democrats 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:

“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 legislation would 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.”