March 11, 2022

Young, Peters Bill to Support Maritime Academy Students Passes Senate

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Gary Peters (Mich.) applauded Senate passage of their bipartisan legislation to expand the age eligibility for the Student Incentive Payment Program through the Maritime Administration.


The Changing Age-Determined Eligibility to Student Incentive Payments (CADETS) Actwould expand the Student Incentive Payment Program eligibility age for financial assistance to cadets who attended one of the six State Maritime Academies and commit to a post-graduation service obligation to include any qualified student who will meet the age requirements for enlistment in the U.S. Navy Reserve at their time of graduation. In return for their commitment to serve, cadets can receive up to $32,000 in this incentive payment funding over four years to offset the cost of tuition, uniforms, books, and living costs. 


“Our maritime academies play an important but often overlooked role in our national security. I helped introduce the CADETS Act to expand the eligibility age for maritime cadets to offset their tuition, living costs, and uniforms through the Student Incentive Payment Program as they serve our country. I’m glad to see this bill pass the Senate, and I will keep working to get it signed into law,” said Senator Young.


“Our national security, commerce and trade are stronger thanks to the graduates of these prestigious state maritime academies who bolster Michigan’s robust maritime economy by commanding commercial vessels and container ships traveling across the Great Lakes,” said Senator Peters, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. “I’m proud my bipartisan legislation passed the Senate to provide additional incentives for cadets to continue serving upon graduation while helping them receive a high-quality, affordable education. I’ll keep working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get it signed into law.” 


“The six State Maritime Academies are proud of their heritage of facilitating Americans’ ability to serve their nation as officers in the U.S. Merchant Marine,” said Admiral Jerry P. Achenbach, Superintendent, Great Lakes Maritime Academy. “The Student Incentive Payment (SIP) Program not only allows these great Americans to also serve as commissioned officers in the Navy’s Strategic Sealift Officer Program upon graduation, but provides much needed financial support. Senator Peters’ initiative will allow non-traditional students, from Michigan as well as any state, to be eligible for this financial support.”


“The Lake Carriers’ Association and its member companies strongly support Senator Peters’ bill encouraging more Michiganders and Americans to join the U.S. maritime industry,” said Jim Weakley, President, Lake Carriers’ Association. “Those men and women who delayed college to serve their country should not be denied opportunities given to younger, more recent high school graduates. This common sense legislation is long overdue and we greatly appreciate Chairman Peters’ leadership.”

Current Student Incentive Payment Program age requirements prohibit cadets older than 25 from participating in the program. State Maritime Academies have programs to recruit former military veterans and service members, but most of these cadetsare too old to qualify for this funding. As a result, older students—many of whom are veterans—therefore do not qualify for this program due to their age. The CADETSAct, which Young and Peters introduced last year, would expand the eligibility age to include any qualified student who will meet the age requirements for enlistment in the U.S. Navy Reserve at their time of graduation, and ensure that high-performing, non-traditional cadets can receive this funding.