By Tristan Jung

The new budget deal approved by Congress ensures that financial protections for student veterans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended to December 2021. 

The GI Bill protections were signed into law on September 30 as part of Congress’ government funding deal, according to the Military Times. The protections, as explained on the website, include full housing stipends for students in remote classes and extensions to work-study programs disrupted by the pandemic. They also include stipulations for scheduling changes in training that could occur due to the pandemic. 

In March, Congress successfully passed legislation to alter GI Bill protections so students could receive adequate funding and support during the pandemic. Otherwise, students would’ve had to deal with cuts to several stipends despite rent payments and other costs coming due. 

The program will now extend through the next fiscal year, regardless of what happens during the pandemic. The GI Bill helps veterans and active military pay for job training, college tuition, fees, books, and housing. It has been in effect in some form since 1944. Lawmakers and veterans both praised the new legislation as critical to keeping America’s students stable during this challenging time.