The recent news that Virginia is considering treating new veteran college students as residents, along with the details of the upcoming changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition and fees payment rules, have got me thinking that it is time for all 50 states to treat veteran students as residents.
If you think about it, servicemembers don’t join to fight for their home state alone; they serve to protect the constitution of the United States. So it only seems right that when they leave the service and go to straight to college, whatever state they settle in should treat them as residents, at least for tuition purposes.
The biggest issue is the new GI Bill tuition rate limits, which were included in the so-called improvements to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Set to go into effect in August of this year, the new rules will limit the amount of tuition and fees to the school’s ‘in-state’ tuition and fees rate. Since most schools charge as much as double the tuition for non-resident students, many veterans will be forced to cover tuition and fees costs above that cap. This will likely lead more student debt for veterans, those who expect to have the GI Bill cover their full tuition.
NOTE: Some veterans may be able to use the Yellow Ribbon Program to help cover these additional costs.
Many states already waive the residency requirements for active-duty servicemembers and their families, but not near as many states do that for veterans.
Use the Military.com Legislative Center to let your elected state officials know how you feel about this issue.
Read more about the Pending Changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill.