Vets Deserve In-State Tuition Rates

January 16, 2013 | Terry Howell

Two years ago I wrote an article calling for states to treat student veterans as residents for tuition and fee purposes. Since then a some states, including Virginia and Ohio passed legislation to give veterans a tuition break. But, to this day less than ten states offer “in-state” tuition rates to nonresident veterans.

[To be fair, several states offer tuition waivers or discounts to eligible veterans. Click here to find your state’s education benefits.]

This leads more student debt for veterans, and comes as an unhappy surprise to those who expect to have the GI Bill cover their full tuition. This is because the Post-9/11 GI Bill caps tuition and fee payments at the in-state tuition and fees rate. Since most state schools charge as much as double the tuition for non-resident students, many veterans are forced to cover tuition and fees costs above that cap.

NOTE: Some veterans may be able to use the Yellow Ribbon Program to help cover some of these additional costs. But, not all schools participate in the YRP. In addition the YRP does not always cover the total cost.

If you think about it, servicemembers don’t join to fight for their home state alone; they serve to protect the constitution of the United States. So it only seems right that when they leave the service and go to straight to college, whatever state they settle in should treat them as residents, at least for tuition purposes.

Many states already waive the residency requirements for active-duty servicemembers and their families, but not near as many states do that for veterans.

Let your elected state officials know how you feel about this issue.

About Terry Howell

Before becoming the Managing Editor for, 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.


  1. All USA Veterans who were honorably discharged should get
    the GI bill as it was intended; a free 4 year college education.

    • Chuck,

      I think each Veteran should get what he signed up for, not necessarily 4 years of college education. Let me just say, that nothing in this article that I read takes 4 years of college education away from any of them.

      • Charles wtf does our contract say again? You wanna give a time line or just give the party BS again? Break it down for us. Benefits when you signed up and what CON-gress approved of. Give us a concrete agreement made from the government. ANY agreement with soldiers?.

        • idmedic,

          As it pertains to the article above, what in the world is your question(s)?????

          • Should be easy Charles. What are the benefits? Give it by year joined if you like. You can't because there is no such contract. Your a research guy….lmao. At least on the Internet. Give us a 5 year contract from the government in ANY. Era . Anything that says we have benefits? ANY ?

          • idmedic,

            You must be reading blog somewhere else, and accidently posting your question here.

            Anyway, I have no idea what if any does your question have to do with this article. Please just move along and pester someone else.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Apparently your BS is rampant. You can't answer. Anytime your ready, which is never, explain benefits. Time you enlisted, what your entitled too when you enlisted? Your an Internet expert. Try telling all of us what we are entitled to by year as you say.

          • idmedic,

            You must be reading blog somewhere else, and accidently posting your question here.

            Anyway, I have no idea what if any does your question have to do with this article. Please just move along and pester someone else.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            You did say that every veteran should get what he signed for right?

        • Chuck I absolutely agree 100%. The only problem is that certain veterans do not participate in the "fight" for our benefits or write CON-gress. They accept whatever the status quo is and then call other veterans whiners for challenging the status quo. You can't "band together" unless their is a "band" in the first place. I have had an epiphany of late lol…….well I will refrain from the name calling and play nice and be professional. No more "personal attacks" ;) as much as it pains me it is the right course of action.

  2. Chuck,

    Roger that.

  3. It would have been nice if you had published the names of the ten states that offer vets tuition breaks.

  4. NavyEW8810 says:

    When I retired three years ago, I had every intention of returning to my home of record; however, I became interested in a degree plan at a local community college in NW Florida. While job searching, I tried to apply but was told that I had never established Florida residency, despite having been stationed at the nearby base for nearly 5 years. I could still apply, but would be charged out-of-state tuition OR I could declare residency and apply after one calendar year and as a Florida resident.

    The earlier posters all made good points; but had I looked up the residency requirements in advance I would never have had near the problems I did and could have begun my post-service college immediately after retiring. A little pro-activity and research can go a long way.

  5. Is there a comprehensive list of which states offer in-state rates for veterans? I think Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Ohio, and Texas do… are there others that do as well?

  6. now make them schools take all you military classes ??

    how about them extention classes offered on base ?

    if you pass the final exam they will give credit !!

  7. BILLIE KUHN says: