WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski is co-sponsoring legislation that will increase educational benefits in an effort to ensure that military veterans are able to cover rapidly rising college costs.

“It is important that we increase the size of the G.I. Bill benefits so that they keep pace with rapidly rising college costs,” said Senator Murkowski. “We owe it to our veterans to ensure that once they leave the military higher education is within their reach. This is one way for us to show our deepest appreciation for their service to our country.”

Senator Murkowski co-sponsored the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act (S.22) sponsored by Senator Jim Webb and Senator John Warner. The bill will increase educational benefits so they cover established program charges, up to the cost of the most expensive-instate public college, plus provide a monthly stipend (roughly $1,000 a month) equivalent to local housing costs. The bill also allows additional payments for tutorial assistance, as well as licensure and certification tests.

The bill also creates a new program in which the government will agree to match, dollar for dollar, any voluntary additional contributions to veterans from institutions whose tuition is more expensive than the maximum education assistance provided by the new bill. It also will expand to 15 years from 10 years the time after leaving the military veterans have to use benefits.