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Vets groups launch in-state tuition map

Dec. 3, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
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Student Veterans of America, in partnership with two other prominent veterans service organizations, has created an interactive online map that shows which states have colleges and universities that provide blanket in-state tuition to vets and which do not.

Michael Dakduk, SVA’s outgoing executive director, said the tool will help vets “maximize their GI Bill benefits.”

“Most of us know that the Post-9/11 GI Bill pays the highest in-state tuition and fees” at public universities, Dakduk said. “This shows veterans, and dependents for that matter ... which states actually value their service and are willing to grant them in-state tuition.”

Meanwhile, SVA, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion are continuing the fight in both houses of Congress to force all public universities to provide in-state tuition to vets or lose their eligibility for Post-9/11 GI Bill funds.

The House proposal would require that all veterans be granted in-state tuition, while the Senate proposal would require such a waiver only for vets who recently transitioned from active duty, said Ryan Gallucci, VFW’s deputy legislative director.

Under both proposals, Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits could not be used at schools that fail to grant in-state tuition waivers.

Schools that haven’t agreed to in-state tuition waivers and aren’t currently considering such are marked in red on the new interactive map. States in yellow don’t grant in-state tuition but are considering doing so. States in green grant in-state tuition for vets.

The map also designates with stars certain special cases, such as schools that have in-state tuition waivers but are in states that do not mandate them.

Clicking on a state calls up information about approved or pending legislation, school policies and details about who is covered by the rules. The information is verified by data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, as well as news reports and lawmakers, according to SVA.

The tool informs vets but also publicly highlights states “that should be doing more to help the current transitioning service members who are looking to go and get an education,” said the American Legion’s Steve Gonzalez.

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