States Given Extra Time to Comply with Law Mandating In-State Tuition for Veterans

Colleges and universities receiving GI Bill funding will have an additional six months to comply with federal legislation that requires them to charge in-state tuition for veterans and their families.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced last week that the July 1 deadline has been pushed back to Jan. 1, 2016. Public institutions not in full compliance by the January deadline will lose VA benefits.

Congress passed the in-state tuition provision of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act last August. The law requires that public institutions charge in-state tuition to veterans who have come off active military duty in the past three years, whether or not they have established legal residency. This benefit also extends to veterans’ spouses and dependents.

Veterans groups advocated for the legislation because veterans often struggle to meet residency requirements for in-state tuition benefits due to the nature of their profession. Public colleges and universities, however, have argued that they would be saddled with extra costs not covered by federal dollars.

The VA says that only 21 states have made the changes and are now in full compliance. Some states have moved to comply, such as Florida, which passed legislation allowing veterans to pay in-state tuition, but has not extended the benefit to their families.

“This waiver will allow students to continue receiving the GI Bill benefits they’ve earned as states work to comply with this important law,” VA Secretary Bob McDonald said in a statement.

The VA posted a list of states that are currently not in compliance. See the full report here.


*This story was rewritten from an article published online by Inside Higher Ed on May 19, 2015.