The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is preparing to launch the Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP) as part of its continued effort to support Veterans seeking retraining and economic opportunities in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
VA in partnership with the Department of Labor published a list of high-demand occupations. The list is available here and includes healthcare, education, media, engineering, and high tech opportunities.
The new program, part of the American Rescue Plan, will allow qualifying Veterans between the ages of 22 and 67 to receive up to 12 months of tuition and fee and monthly housing allowance payments, based on Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. VA will provide further information soon on how Veterans can apply for this program.
The week of April 4th, VA will release a participation agreement and begin to work with educational institutions interested in participating in VRRAP. VA will require educational institutions to commit to a participation agreement that will outline VRRAP requirements and specify which training programs are covered under VRRAP. Once reviewed and approved by VA, a comprehensive list of VRRAP educational institutions and programs will be published and made available.
For a program of education to qualify for VRRAP, it must meet the following criteria:
- Be approved for GI Bill or VET TEC
- Not lead to a bachelors or graduate degree
- Provide training for a high-demand occupation
The payment model for VRRAP tuition and fees (paid directly to the VRRAP education institution) is milestone based:
- 50% when the Veteran begins the program
- 25% when the Veteran completes the program
- 25% when the Veteran finds employment in the field of study
The program is limited to a maximum of 17,250 participants and up to $386 million.
If you are aware of any GI Bill Beneficiaries who require assistance, please have them contact the Education Call Center at 888-442-4551 between 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Central Time, Monday-Friday to speak with a representative.