skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Bills Allowing Vets to Pay In-State College Tuition Move Forward

Aired 8/7/13 on KPBS News.

Military veterans new to California would be allowed to pay in-state tuition in the state’s colleges and universities under competing bills now making their way through the legislature.

Military veterans new to California would be allowed to pay in-state tuition in the state's colleges and universities under competing bills now making their way through the legislature.

One bill would waive the in-state tuition eligibility rule that requires veterans to be stationed in California at least one year before being honorably discharged. Assembly member Sharon Quirk-Silva is one of the bill's co-authors. She said it would save some vets from crushing debt.

"For many of them, they've had savings that they were planning on moving forward with some type of homeownership and now are finding that they need to use those funds for their first year of college," explained Quirk-Silva.

That measure is now in a Senate committee.

The other bill would leave the current eligibility rule in place, but give discharged service members up to two years to claim their year of in-state tuition. That bill passed an Assembly committee Tuesday.

The University of California estimates the bills could cost $1.5 million in fees this year and would want to be reimbursed for that cost.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Troops2College'

Troops2College | August 8, 2013 at 8:57 a.m. ― 11 months, 3 weeks ago

What the politicians aren't realizing is that either bill would prevent veterans from being able to claim federal dollars to pay the out-of-state portion of tuition - a loss of federal funding for California schools as well. Even worse, if residency is granted retroactively after a veteran receives a funding package, (s)he may have to pay back thousands of dollars to the school or the VA, potentially causing even more financial problems for the student.

A better solution would be to earmark funds for California's public colleges and universities to participate in the VA's optional "Yellow Ribbon Program," and make such participation mandatory. This way, veterans still get 100% coverage from their GI Bill at no extra cost to them, their nonresident fees are fully covered, and schools get to keep the federal funding. It would also cost the state less than half of the price tag of the current proposition, since state dollars are matched with federal dollars. Veterans are happy, schools are happy, and taxpayers are happy. It's a win-win-win strategy!

We've already contacted our representatives in Sacramento, but they haven't even acknowledged this alternative solution. Please help spread the word!

Please see (and share!) this article for more info: http://troops2college.blogspot.com/2013/07/californias-assembly-bill-13.html

( | suggest removal )