WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) have introduced a bill to require schools eligible for GI Bill education benefits give veterans in-state tuition rates regardless of the veteran’s residency status.
As public colleges and universities seek ways to recoup decreasing revenues, many have significantly raised the costs of out-of-state tuition. The cap for GI Bill benefits often falls short of that high out-of-state rate. By requiring states that receive GI Bill benefit payments to offer all veterans in-state tuition, Congress can stay true to the intent of the GI Bill by enabling our veterans to pursue a higher education and jobs skills through the benefits they have earned.
“As we continue to seek ways to improve veterans’ benefits, this one commonsense change can go a long way toward increasing access to higher education for veterans. Our servicemembers face a unique challenge of establishing residency that often follows them when transitioning back to civilian life. By requiring schools that are eligible for GI Bill benefits to charge any veteran the in-state tuition rate, we can remove this barrier to affordable higher education for the men and women who sacrificed for our nation,” Boozman said.
“One of the greatest gifts we can give our young folks is access to a good, affordable education,” said Nelson. “That is especially true for young veterans, who face so many challenges when they get home. This measure is aimed at getting at least one hurdle out of the way, and helping veterans get their life started again.”
Last month, House Veterans Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) and Representative Mike Michaud (D-ME) introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Boozman-Nelson bill, introduced yesterday, is S. 257.