By Debbie Gregory.
One of the greatest gifts we can give to those who serve and their families is the gift of education. As a way of making it easier for Veterans and their families to use their GI Bill benefits where they choose, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) announced all Veterans and dependents using USDVA’s GI Bill benefits shall receive temporary in-state tuition status through the end of the year, regardless of their state of residence. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs has used his authority to waive the provisions of Section 702 of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (Choice Act). This action will ensure all GI Bill students are able to continue training at their chosen institutions.
“Our military members and their families make sacrifices that require them to pack up and move with little notice,” said Bob McDonald, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. “They shouldn’t be penalized after they leave military service by burdensome residency requirements. This waiver will allow students to continue receiving the GI Bill benefits they’ve earned as states work to comply with this important law.”
The states that are currently in compliance, meaning that covered individuals using the Post-9/11 GI Bill or Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty benefits at public institutions of higher learning will be charged the resident rate for tuition and fees are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
The states/territories that intend to comply, meaning that they are undergoing an internal review process with support from the State Approving Agency and VA are: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virgin Islands, and Washington.
According to Keith Boylan, CalVet’s Deputy Secretary for Veterans Services, “Students using GI Bill benefits in California are able to continue training at their chosen institutions and receive in-state tuition status.” Boylan went on to say, “CalVet thanks USDVA for taking the initiative for our Veterans and dependents using the GI Bill.”
USDVA’s policy impacts Veterans and dependents who enroll in an institution within three years of the Veteran’s qualifying discharge. The new rule was issued as a waiver under the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014.
Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard,Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.
Military Connection: The Gift of Education: By Debbie Gregory