CADETS Act expands eligibility for student assistance program

(WASHINGTON) — On May 16, the U.S. Senate passed the Changing Age-Determined Eligibility to Student Incentive Payments Act (CADETS Act) by unanimous consent. The bipartisan legislation was sponsored by Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich.

This bill raises the age requirement for the Student Incentive Payment Program (SIPP), which provides financial support to cadets who attend one of six state maritime academies and commit to a post-graduation service obligation.

Current age requirements for the SIPP prohibit cadets older than 25 from participating in the program. However, many former military veterans and service members attend these state academies, but most of these cadets are too old to qualify for aid. As a result, older student veterans do not qualify for the program.

“The nation’s state maritime academies play an unseen and often underappreciated role in protecting our country’s national security and economic interests,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, one of six co-sponsors of the bill. “Senate passage of the bipartisan CADETS Act is an important step for increasing opportunities for our nation’s veterans and ensuring America remains on top of the global economy. By expanding age eligibility for financial assistance to students enrolled in America’s maritime academies, including at the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, this legislation ensures the next generation of maritime leaders is ready for the challenges they will face.”

By Rich Miller