GI Bill Tuition Fairness Act of 2013

Only a week after posting about the need for states to charge all veterans the “in-state” tuition rate, Chairman Jeff Miller (FL) and Ranking Member Mike Michaud (ME) of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs introduced bipartisan legislation (H.R. 357) that would require state-operated schools to give veterans in-state tuition rates even though they may not be residents of the states where the schools are located. The requirement would apply to state schools which have programs which are eligible for the GI Bill.

According the House VA Committee’s press release, the legislation has been met with early support from several Veterans Service Organizations, including the Student Veterans of America and VFW.

Michael Dakduk of the Student Veterans of America said, “We fully support Chairman Miller’s and Congressman Michaud’s efforts to provide in-state tuition to student veterans regardless of residency status. The ‘GI Bill Tuition Fairness Act of 2013’ addresses the issue of inequity within the Post 9/11 GI Bill and will do a great deal to support veterans’ success in higher education.”

The VFW’s Executive Director, Bob Wallace was quoted in the January 23, 2013 press release, “Over the last couple of years, the VFW has heard from countless veterans driven into more expensive college programs because public schools offered no flexibility in residency requirements, prohibiting veterans from attending at the in-state rate.” Adding, “The VFW is proud to see that Chairman Miller and Ranking Member Michaud have already taken a bold stance to ensure student-veterans attending public schools receive a reasonably-priced education at the public school of their choice, as we intended when we passed the Post-9/11 GI Bill.”

It should be noted that the Post-9/11 GI Bill offers the Yellow Ribbon program, which is designed to help veterans avoid out-of-pocket tuition and fees. However, not all schools choose to participate at the 100 percent level and some restrict the number of open slots for the YRP.

Although I hate using the term “fairness,” it is obvious that this is a great step toward treating student veterans fairly and respecting the fact that military service benefits all 50 states. And most importantly this bill will help student veterans avoid thousands in out-of-pocket tuition and fees.

Let your elected officials know how you feel about the GI Bill Tuition Fairness Act of 2013.

About the Author

Terry Howell
Before becoming the Managing Editor for Military.com, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.

55 Comments on "GI Bill Tuition Fairness Act of 2013"

  1. I have emailed my congressman and requested he support this bill.

  2. YOU PAY FOR IT–enough of this military madness already

  3. Why should the CRUMBLING states be SAADDLED WITH EVEN MORE DEBT? Enough of this military this ..military that madness already..they are not f gods.I TOLD MY CONGRESS MAN–HELL NO

  4. So is this supposed to apply just if you are a veteran in any out of state school or just if you are attending an out of state school and using the GI bill?

  5. Keep in mind, not all colleges have in and out of state tuiition rates, but i do think this is great for state schools. So many military members end up in new states once they ETS. My family did!

  6. Mike is right. What this bill does is force state institutions that are part of the GI Bill program to absorb out-of-state students at in-state rates. It shifts what the federal taxpayer should be paying under the GI Bill to state taxpayers. Another unfunded federal mandate …

  7. This has nothing to do about serving. Again, why should every state GOVERNMENT BE forced to go further in debt. Read the Bloomberg reports about the STATE FUNDING COLLAPSE OF EDUCATION.

  8. I have emailed my Congressman TO NOT SUPPORT THIS FURTHER DEBT .

  9. Some states give illegal immigrants in-state tuition. Why not service members and Vets? This creates no debt. The school is still paid the in-state rate.

  10. You still don't get it.THESE SCHOOLS ARE STATE FUNDED BY THE STATE CITIZENS OF EACH STATE. WHY SHOULD THEY BE SADDLED WITH ANYMORE DEBT? Also, what gives the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THE RIGHT TO SHOVE THIS DOWN THE STATE'S THROATS?

  11. All,

    I have to laught my arse off when I see posts like I see above. Instead of being able to argue your point, some of us Veterans "speak in macho metaphors" in an attempt to silence their opposition, or those of us that don't agree.

  12. usaf retired | January 31, 2013 at 1:51 pm |

    From the mil. perspective, I and my 5 dependents had to move every few years and embrace the inconveniences that go with that. When we retired, we moved to a different state. I shouldn't get "more" than the folks who live here, but I shouldn't be penalized for not having lived here for years. I now own a home (taxes), buy things locally (taxes), buy gas (taxes), ….you get the point. I'm contributing to this state just like my neighbor and if I go to the university at the same rate he does, I'm not hurting the state or the school any more than he. It's silly to say, in light of my tax points above, that I'm not a resident until I live here for xx months. That's the break we deserve.
    From the non-mil perspective: Mil folks, it might make us feel better to say "we serve so you can watch the super bowl" etc… but that's just not an argument. Folks who deal with politics and $$ are more likely, in my opinion, to gag on that argument than give it serious thought.

  13. Old Veteran | January 31, 2013 at 5:36 pm |

    Mike and Papa John, if you two are not veterans you two should join the military and then give us your opinions because your opinions sound like they are one sided.

  14. First off I have to say that it doesn't cost the school any more to charge someone from out of state the instate rate, it is just the schools way to make more money from out of state people. secondly those of us who have served have earned this, and the thing about Bloombergs crap, who cares, he is wealthy and a piece of shit person. What this does is lets someone like me who would like to go to UTI but doesn't live in the state where UTI is located and only pay as if I lived in the state. Plus the Federal Government is paying our tuition so the state isn't losing anything.

  15. James Augustine | January 31, 2013 at 6:18 pm |

    Hey mikey,I think you are one of those a….holes that just like too stir shit ! That is real easy too do behind a computer screen. U.S.Vetrans deserve all the benefits they EARNED while defending this great country.

  16. Higher education will assist veterans get employment. States should take care of their veterans. I am an Disabled Indiana Hoosier Veteran and pay 2.75 for an Indiana fishing license. I can fish for free in Illinois. Go figure.

  17. Don't just extend this rule to the veterans, but also to their dependents. As one person stated above, we've had to pack up and go when we are told to and in the last four years my family has been saddled with paying out of state tuition for three children to go to college — because we were stationed overseas the last four years. How are we burdening the state by paying in-state tuition? A specific amount of slot is made available to in state students; states would just need to count veterans (and family members?) into that quota. When no more "in state" slots are available then so be it — only folks from out of state get in. Be open minded. If you've never served, you cannot understand or appreciate the dynamics of not being able to make certain decisions….such as settling down in any given state.

  18. Veterans today serve the will of the American people in two bloody wars. To deprive these fine young men and women of the ability to obtain what they need in order to compete in the job marketplace is shameful. Remember, most people who choose to fulfill what they believe to be their duty to their–and our–country come from socioeconomic backgrounds that don't allow them the luxury of a free ride, living on campus at mom and dad's expense. To afford them this small benefit is our obligation. In light of all they've given us, we owe them this and much, much more. It is a small price to pay. I'll pay it gladly.

  19. The idea behind in state/outofstate tuition is it is presumed that if you have lived in a state, you have paid your dues in the various taxes. The out of state person hasn’t…in my case, i had to move into florida and hang for a year to get in state tuition. Not a big deal for me, i’m single snd mobile…not the same story for everyone..

    .

  20. You still don't get it.THESE SCHOOLS ARE STATE FUNDED BY THE STATE CITIZENS OF EACH STATE. WHY SHOULD THEY BE SADDLED WITH ANYMORE DEBT? Also, what gives the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THE RIGHT TO SHOVE THIS DOWN THE STATE'S THROATS?

  21. Veterans ought to get benefits for attending college. But state funding is collapsing. Veterans should come first before any illegal aliens get state funding. But unfortunately, Obama doesn't care about the veterans that have fought in all these civil wars for other countries. There is so much injustice when it comes to our veterans. The VA administration has soo much money and they still can't take care of the veterans needs, because all the VA is doing is feeding itself.

  22. Mike is right! With that being said, I fully expect Hawaii, the state where I was stationed 7 out of 8 years to refund me all the money that which I have paid via sales tax. I also worked a part time job while I was on shore duty, and paid non-resident taxes on that money. I want that back. I also would expect the profits of the money that which I have spent in this state to be returned to me also, as that money goes to owners of businesses, which they pay taxes on. IJS.

  23. Sgt J DiMeco RET | January 31, 2013 at 8:15 pm |

    Getting college credit earned on active duty such as an associates degree from George Town which are not accepted anywhere in Arizona at any institute of higher learning not even as electives or excess credit this has to stop. It is shameful to make soldiers who have an associates degree to start as freshman instead of juniors to finish in two years rather than four also stop charging them as if they are out of state tuition and fees this is greed at its finish screwing the veteran just like we did to those who served in Vietnam

  24. The revenues from more student-veterans attending college will generate more tax revenues for the state instead of the GI Bill money just sitting idle. The veterans themselves also pay taxes when they start spending their GI Bill accounts on the state they choose to attend college in.

  25. Several states provide in state tuition for millions of students from other countries who are here illegally and have passed laws to do so !!

    PROVIDE NATIONAL INSTATE TUITION TO ALL VETERANS NO MATTER WHERE THEY LIVE IN THIS WORLD !!!

  26. pay particular attention to the fact that none of these posts are in Hiragana or Katakana…if you don't understand what I'm implying, ask someone who has served!!!

  27. You obviously lack the education and respect for the sacrifices we have made to ensure you enjoy the Freedoms U.S.A. offer to its citizens and residents.

  28. Go get an education then you can talk with the grownups.

  29. Chuck Harris | January 31, 2013 at 9:52 pm |

    I would hope states could provide thiis benefit. But all vets come from states with university systems. This is not a FEDERAL issue,but one to decided by he states only.

  30. i think that any body in active on down to guard and reserve should get student loan for giveness police teachers , any body in public service. question is this true if your congressman your family can be forgiven for student loan.

  31. As a veteran who received VA benefits for education, there's one particular fact that most people here apparently do not know. The tuition cost, resident or non-resident is paid by the VA, partially or completely, depending on the individual's coverage percent! And the difference from in-state tuition and out of state, for me, was about $10,000 per semester. So what this changes is the cost to the VA to the university or college. Although it doesn't have any effect for the veterans that go back to their home state or go back to school after becoming a resident of the state where they attend college, it is different for the ones that don't, and for the spouses and dependents who receive the GI Bill. So, this bill is another cut to federal spending.

  32. georgiaeachy | February 1, 2013 at 11:20 am |

    My oldest chid has moved 13 times and my youngest 9 times. They should get in state no matter where they choose to go to college. They have served the military by supporting their father's career in the military-22 years so far.What civilian child has moved that much and had the hardships that my children have had? My oldest now a freshman at college would have to pay an extra $22,000 a year for out of state fees for the same education if we were not residents. Giving the in state price to vets does not hurt the college at all.We are thankful for the 9/11 GI Bill but wish our child would have had more options for colleges since we only choose in state schools to apply to. I am in Los Angeles because once again we moved and my daughter is in Florida at school. Yet another hardship to endure for our beloved country.Shame on you who are against this since it will not cost the states anything but the extra inflated out of state fee which are insane nowdays..

  33. Kross Theriot | February 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm |

    What about those of us who served before this new change?
    I'm a veteran and I sacrificed TOPS to join the service and I'm currently paying for college COMPLETELY out of my pocket w/o ANY ASSISTANCE!

  34. How many states have passed ‘Dream Acts’ granting instate tuition to people who broke into this country ILLEGALLY ??

    IT DOES NOT MATTER WHERE A US MILITARY LIVE IN THE WORLD!

    ALL STATES SHOULD PROVIDE INSTATE TUITION FOR ALL USA VETS !

  35. I've completed my degree and paid out of state tuition. Will I get a refund? :-)

  36. So clearly no one bothers to do any real research on this matter, they just come in and scream and yell about debt which ultimately doesn't affect them at all. Here's the bottom line, schools LOVE the G.I. Bill. It is literally their favorite thing because it is guaranteed money to their institution which is funded by federal, state, and private citizens. These state universities are not losing money by taking on veterans they are guaranteed to receive their money. In fact, before the 9/11 Bill was in place every veteran (myself included) was asked to donate $1200 to their education fund. If they chose not to do this, they did not receive the benefit. When congress re-evaluated the total funding they determined that each member of the armed forces no longer needed to "buy" into it because it was a fund basically going untouched by its members. This will eliminate the need for the Yellow Ribbon Fund where the school pays the overhead. If you give all veterans in-state tuition it's guaranteed money for the school, no payment from the school to cover out of state rates, and less semantics over the fact that I didn't have my car registered in the state the school I want to attend is in. I was forced to move somewhere else and I paid my taxes for a year in the state I want to go to school in and I STILL am going to be charged out of state residency. Please pass this for all of us who want to take advantage of this education benefit and who could potentially take the hard work and dedication we put into the armed services, back into this country. We are assets, not a liability and I proved that with six years of my life.

  37. The VA uses a tiered or rationing system for healthcare that includes means testing. This model is the likely outcome of both ObamaCare and Social Security, eventually.

  38. Why are you on a military page if you do not support it? I find it so ignorant… if you have not served you will never know, so why bother explaining it. I feel bad for you Mike……

  39. You also should have your state of legal residency available for in-state tuition. While as veteran, I would love the flexibility for my dependents. I am concerned that this conflicts with States Rights and believe it will end up with the SCOTUS and thrown out if implimented.

  40. WE LOVE TO GET SOME HELP WE BEEN WAITING FOR EVER AND EVER

  41. Does California government ever do anything right?

  42. M. G. Shillingford | February 15, 2013 at 6:26 pm |

    I am an honorably discharged veteran now living on the Caribbean island of Dominica. I would like to finish my degree at the University of The West Indies. The school of management has accepted me, and has given me the official documents to submit for payment. Will my Veteran benefits which I have not used in ten years pay for my programme which will cost USD$13,500.00?

  43. Fairness…Really? Delete the 10 year limitation which has hurt so many veterans who set their top priority to try to take care of their families after they got out and lost out on the opportunity to use their GI Bill until later in life. Delete the limitation and they'll we'll talk about fairness!

  44. Concerned student veteran | August 16, 2013 at 11:22 am |

    I cannot believe I failed to notice it only applied to in state. I start school on Monday and was just notified. I am technically not a resident for tuition purposes, but I’ve considered california my home for years. I’m married to a california resident and as soon as I got out of the army and moved here back in February, I got all my california registration, drivers license, and voter registration set up. My gi bill will be valid of course, but it will only cover about 20% of the tuition. I’m having to shell out thousands now and I’m completely broke as I’ve used all my savings in the past 8 months. My wife doesn’t make enough to get us by and we knew we would be relying on the gi bill to get us by. I’ve applied for the pell grant to help out, but I’m honestly quite concerned at this point and I can’t say I’ve felt like this in quite some time. I feel like I’ve failed my wife and myself for missing something like this. It’s crazy because I’m usually the type of guy to not miss things when reading over something. I guess I can only plead for residency for next term, but ill be short by like 2 weeks of a year so I doubt they will give it to me. Best of luck to future student veterans because the system is a joke.

  45. I work really hard as a Reservist, even deploy to Battle Zones. I don't get cumulative time though while I do monthly drills, or AT. They counted my BCT though and AT. You can see how flawed the system is. I am fighting to get through school with the 60%, and getting ready to deploy again, and goto drills each month and Annual Training for 2 weeks, and looking for employment with my degree. If your like me you should believe all soldier that have deployed need %100 tuition if they have deployed, it is what it was originally set up for. I don't understand the percentage, or what I owe someone to get the extra help with school.

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