Last month, Congress passed a new rule for GI Bill benefits, the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014. In effect, the rule requires states to offer the “in-state” tuition rate for all military veterans using the GI Bill, regardless of their actual state of residence. This will go into effect during the fall semester of 2015. The delay gives colleges and universities time to review their policies, and time for state legislatures time to amend applicable laws.
What the New GI Bill Rule Does
This new rule requires colleges and universities that accept the GI Bill to allow veterans using the GI Bill to pay only the in-state tuition rate while attending classes. There are currently 27 states that offer non-resident veterans the in-state tuition rates. So the primary benefit of this new rule will extend to students in the 23 states that don’t currently have similar provisions.
States will have until July 1, 2015 to offer non-resident veterans the lower in-state tuition rates if they want to continue to be eligible to participate in the Montgomery GI Bill or the Post-9/11 GI Bill programs. The GI Bill generally provides a lot of guaranteed cash flow to colleges and universities, so it is expected that virtually all states will comply with these new GI Bill rules.
Who is Affected
The primary beneficiaries of this new GI Bill rule are students who have recently left military service. This is because veterans often move to a new state after leaving the military, and it typically takes up to one year to establish residency for schooling purposes. Under the current system, many veterans are paying the higher, out-of-state tuition rates because they haven’t had time to establish in-state residency yet. Transfer students are also among those who are hit hard by the higher out-of-state rates for tuition and fees. The new rule allows these veterans to save a lot of money on tuition and fees while they wait to establish residency.
Dependents would also be eligible for in-state rates. The in-state resident rate rule will also be extended to non-resident dependents of veterans who use the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Learn more about transferring post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to your dependents.
More about the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014
The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 also includes provisions that require the VA to provide veterans with access to timely health care, and it provides accountability measures to hold senior VA officials accountable for poor performance or misconduct. You can learn more about the the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014.