(a) In General.—An individual is eligible to participate in the Program, as determined by the Readjustment Counseling Service of the Department, if the individual—

(1) is accepted for enrollment or enrolled (as described in section 7602 of this title) in a program of study at an accredited educational institution, school, or training program leading to a terminal degree in psychology, social work, marriage and family therapy, or mental health counseling that would meet the education requirements for appointment to a position under section 7402(b) of this title; and

(2) enters into an agreement with the Secretary under subsection (c).

(b) Priority.—In selecting individuals to participate in the Program, the Secretary shall give priority to the following individuals:

(1) An individual who agrees to be employed by a Vet Center located in a community that is—

(A) designated as a medically underserved population under section 330(b)(3) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 254b(b)(3)); and

(B) in a State with a per capita population of veterans of more than five percent according to the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics and the Bureau of the Census.

(2) An individual who is a veteran.

(c) Agreement.—An agreement between the Secretary and a participant in the Program shall (in addition to the requirements set forth in section 7604 of this title) include the following:

(1) An agreement by the Secretary to provide the participant with a scholarship under the Program for a specified number of school years during which the participant pursues a program of study described in subsection (a)(1) that meets the requirements set forth in section 7602(a) of this title.

(2) An agreement by the participant to serve as a full-time employee of the Department at a Vet Center for a six-year period following the completion by the participant of such program of study (in this subchapter referred to as the "period of obligated service").

(d) Vet Center Defined.—In this section, the term "Vet Center" has the meaning given that term in section 1712A(h) of this title.

Effective Date

Secretary of Veterans Affairs to begin awarding scholarships under this subchapter for programs of study beginning no later than one year after Oct. 17, 2020, see section 502(c) of Pub. L. 116–171, set out as a note under section 7698 of this title.

Tried the LawStack mobile app?

Join thousands and try LawStack mobile for FREE today.

  • Carry the law offline, wherever you go.
  • Download CFR, USC, rules, and state law to your mobile device.