Bill Would Make Tuition Rates Fair for Vets

July 16, 2013 | Terry Howell

In January of this year, 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.”

Additional Provisions

HR 357 also extends the deadline for the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program by three months and the VA Work-Study Allowance progam by an additional 5 years. In addition, the bill would require DoD to make the education track of the new TAP 2.0 workshops, also known as the Transition GPS program, mandatory for all servicemembers. The current version of Transition GPS includes three “optional” tracks for servicemembers – education, small business, and career related training.

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

NOTE: 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.


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. Idmtmedic says:

    What????? Are you kidding me? Give Veterans "in state" tuition rates? That is just crazy. I mean why on earth would they consider that? It's not like they couldn't VOLUNTEER to not serve their country to include every state. They could not VOLUNTEER to serve in foreign countries for EVERY state. About dam time is all I can say. Next time the government wants to send a soldier to another PCS within this country or otherwise then perhaps the states need to understand if you support our troops they may just stay in your state and support your tax revenue as opposed to draining it.

  2. The President and Congress is lied about if a veteran as a other than honorable discharge to be eligible for vrap.I will never believe in America again.

  3. This is overdue, and although I don't want seem ungrateful to our representatives for pushing this, I wish they would extend this law to cover dependents. I was a CA resident throughout my career and retired in VA. CA offered no jobs at the time so I couldn't immediately return home. My kid is looking hard at UCSB but with him being considered a non-resident the tuition will goes from a workable $13k to non-supportable $36k.

    • There were no jobs in California? I find that hard to believe. Are you aware that California is very large?

      • Andrea Lynne Cory says:

        Are you aware that CA is bankrupt possibly because it is one of the most liberal states in the union? Taxes are so high there it is impossible for some people to remain in the area. Are you aware that there is a huge influx of Californians moving to Texas? You expect our Veterans to be baggers at a grocery store or possibly get a job at the hardware store while the citizens they served have the opportunity to remain in their hometown, go to school at the state rate and had the time to make contacts within the community. How do you feel about children born here whose parents are 'illegal' ~ yes, illegally in this country and are given opportunity to attend college. Forgiven for their parents crime. Yet a veteran who serves at our governments whim (to include his/her family) not given any benefit of serving a nation. Not just one state. The entire nation. The veteran and his family should have in-state tuition.

        • Idmtmedic says:

          Andrea, well said and I agree!!!!

        • Andrea Lynne Cory,

          "Yet a veteran who serves at our governments whim (to include his/her family) not given any benefit of serving a nation."

          There is no whim anymore, the DRAFT ended back in 1973. Now days the Military is totally Voluntary, and let me just add, even when there were a draft, there were benefits given for serving when there was a DRAFT.

          It is also not true that Veterans aren't given any benefits.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            And those “Children” of illegal immigrants getting in state tuition is ok with you right? EVERY job is voluntary and the obvious difference seems to be that YOUR military experience was 2 deployments in 20 years? Yet you chastise 4-5 deployment veterans in as many years as volunteers that deserve the same as any other company that offers a retirement package? Check out suicide rates, unemployment numbers, and deaths compared to the last twenty years, as well as the walking wounded or PTSD numbers which some have inferred as “milking the system”. The high operations tempo is a direct result of those figures.

    • Been giving illegal immigrants in-state tuition for years.

      Just another point to prove the American people today aren't worth a single drop of US military sweat!

  4. morgan stoke says:

    I am currently enrolled full time at fkcc in key west florida and not only did i get denied fafsa, i am also having to pay out of state tuition the first year on top of my school not being supported by the yellow ribbon program. tuition assistance at my school told me the only way i could afford college is to move into a homeless shelter.

  5. Darryl Ruple says:
  6. Darryl Ruple says:

    I went to college at the out of state rate. I paid almost 3000.00 per semester out of my pocket, but now that I’m at the in state rate, I’m only spending about 200.00 per semester. That’s a big difference for my fellow vets! Get this bill passed!!

    • who the f is going to pay for this?

      • Andrea Lynne Cory says:

        Pay for what? You are still paying for school. You are just considered in-state. I feel that if this nation sends the military all over the place and they dont have the same choice as YOU ~ the comfort of living in the same community all your life or the choice to move somewhere else then you really have no idea what you are talking about. It is a category, no one pays anything for you. You still pay for school you just aren't considered out of state. Most veterans never get to live in their home state. They chose to serve. You chose to stay behind. Understand honor and duty. One of those needs to belong to the public.

      • Idmtmedic says:

        YOU MIKE, if you have ever been deployed? You pay for it every time your sent to a STATE, COUNTRY. Taxes……..revenue???? Insurance? Gas? Power? Groceries, schools, sanitation, fire, police, property taxes, SCHOOL. Magic money for the state?

        • idmedic,

          Come on down off that pedestal and stop thinking everything should be free to you just because you served. I served and I got paid well for what I did. I'm retired now with the benefits I earned upon retirement and my Federal or State Government doesn't owe me or my dependents all these extra's for the rest of my life. It's people with ideas like yourself that caused the meltdown (Bankrupt) in Detroit.

          You just keep taking and taking and taking till nothing is left and then everyone has to pay again and again.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            I have already paid for my son to graduate college at the tune of $80,000 Charles with no help from the government. I have a job, pay my taxes and tell me what is your trying tell me? I want is FREE WHAT? I have no problem with my choice on where he went to college and what I paid for it, which was OUT OF STATE. meaning i nor he was living there. What I have a problem with is states taking advantage of the fact a military member living IN STATE and contributing to their economy AND charging out of state rates.

          • idmedic,

            I don't do personal made up information I can't confirm from somebody I don't know on a blog that has nothing to do with what you posted. Sounds more like you are just making stuff up as you go.

            PS. I doubt you're working, unless your job is posting all day long on blogs, LOL

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Mmmmm seems somebody "whined enough" to remove my post? You mayor of that village as well? Lmfao

          • Idmtmedic says:


          • Idmtmedic says:

            Number of states allowing illegal immigrants to get in state tuition?

  7. I agree with a previous poster, and I hope this applies to dependents.
    My son went through high school in one state and wants to stay there to continue college, however I'm not a resident… it's just where I happened to be living when he entered college.
    So now, it's just over $5,000, PLUS the G.I. Bill, (PER Semester!) to cover the out-of-state tuition rate that we're forced to pay.

    • why should those states pay for your non resident kids–who the helll are you?

      • Mike,

        Your 100% correct, enough is enough. The Government shouldn't have to owe me or anyone else more than what was promised when we retired.

        • Idmtmedic says:

          Promised??? Lmao. You mean approved by CONgress right? Not promised. Not incentives or recruiting tools as is so widely stated. The details are somehow left out unless you have a legal degree, of course even then it can and will change at the governments discretion. PROMISES my Axx!!!!!

  8. docingram says:

    this is needed. in the 60, 70,80,90's veterans have had great problems arising from local programs devised to keep veterans to the back of the line. we served to better our selves only to hit walls of problems created by public education facilities. the best way to cure the problems is to give vets preference and be given entry into classes ahead of others. some places alow students to raise their gpa(which places them ahead of others) with additional options that are not offered to vets due to the fact they are serving our country and the extra programs are not available so they cannot get into the classes they need, adding years to the time of graduation. giving vets entry before others will also help with recruiting.

  9. MarvinS.Robinson,II says:

    THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION approved me for V.R.A.P. as being eleigible: but DENIED the choice of the school selection, the University of Missouri @ Kansas City- which is only two mass transportaion buses from my front door.
    THE V.A. also DENIED my selection of "CERTIFICATION" in Non-Profit Management – Leadership and Grant Writing. The appearnce of V.R.A.P. was spectacular; but after the V.A. continued all their traditional -systematic-institutional cruel tactics
    I am still NOT in any "CERTIFICATION" Training and continue to endure the most severe hardships of being ANOTHER unemployed VETERAN. Complaints, interrogatives to my congressional delegations' staffs fell on silent ears' because apparently deep down INSIDE: the V.A. does NOT give a damn about the harsh brutal methodology, nor survivability of VETERANS, because there own careers are set and they the V.A. are anchored with DENY- DENY-DENY-=

    Marvin S. Robinson, II
    Quindaro Ruins/ Underground Railroad- Exercise 2013

    • MarvinS.Robinson,II,

      What have you been doing since you got out of the service?????

    • MarvinS.Robinson,II,

      Did you receive the GI Bill?????

    • Marvin,

      If you looked closely at VRAP and its stipulations you would see that it can only be used at technical schools or community colleges. In addition the programs that are approved for VRAP are "high demand" occupations. I'm sorry but a certificate in Non-Profit Management will probably not do much in helping you get a job.

      Here is the quote directly from the VA regarding VRAP "articipants must be enrolled in a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school. The program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certificate, and train the Veteran for a high demand occupation. "

      Also here is the list of high demand occupations that you can choose to pursue a degree in.…..

      The VA is not perfect but don't blame them for you not reading the rules and regulations that govern the benefit you receive.

    • The V employees are out to support themselves. Most if not all of them never served a day in their lives. Audie Murphy VA in San Antonio has all foreign students from the middle east serving as interns there. NO AMERICAN INTERNS. They tell you what to do in broken English and whenm you ask them to repeat the orders they say," what you can't speak English". It is really bad because I know they are sworn to tear my head off at any time.

  10. The real problem is educational institutes charging outrages prices for education. People are graduating owning $50,000+ on loans; loans they will spend the rest of their lives paying off. Why don't the government step in and regulate college tuition for public and private institutes?


    • Mike,

      I think everyone here knows you are correct in what you are saying. I feel people think that if it isn't coming directly out of their pocket, it doesn't hurt, but, that just isn't true. Someone has to pay for this. It should be left up to the State as to what they want to do, as it is now.

      This is just like all the freebee's different States gives their Veterans, older people, and/or those that are handicapped. People seem not to realize that freebee's cost. As it stands now, over 50% of americans are getting some sort of Government Welfare, and I not talking about Social Security.

      If our Government keeps this up (giving away more and more), then one day I'll have no more to give to pay for this, and I will be on the Welfare rolls.

      • Idmtmedic says:

        Yes so correct. Retirements sure are draining the system huh? SS? Pensions from civilian jobs? Pensions from the military? So if YOU didn't have all of those you may have to get a JOB!!!!!

        • idmedic,

          What you have posted has not one iota to do with what Mike and I are talking about. The retirement comments belong somewhere else on another blog somewhere in the past.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            You on Welfare? Lmfao. That would be hard with 3 checks coming at you. THAT has everything to do with this discussion between you and blowhard Mike. Most on Welfare have ONE check coming in.

          • idmedic,

            What you have posted has not one iota to do with what Mike and I are talking about. The retirement comments belong somewhere else on another blog somewhere in the past.

  12. We are on the verge of complete meltdown financially-politically and every other way–why are you all so damnn greedy?

    • Andrea Lynne Cory says:

      Who is greedy Mike? Veterans? Wow. Do you know how much our soldiers get paid? Do you know what their benefits are? and aren't in the civilian world? as compared to the civilian sector? You want someone to stand up, sacrifice for you and then you don't to honor their service with any benefits in return. What a way to repay those who often die, get maimed, suffer the witness of it and do not even get to live in their home town.

      • Idmtmedic says:

        Mike, i thought for a second your too stupid to respond to, but I see you have a supporter. Smells like an uneducated or lack of sacrifice supporter. So my response is, get a civilian job in your own state and then utilize you're education benefits but DO NOT join the military for that because I sure as he@@ don't want you next to me in a fight so you can have a JOB.

  13. jenni90 says:

    How is it more burden to the states? The whole military itself (All branches) only make 1% of the entire U.S. workforce, when we fight we did it for everyone from N.Y to to Hawaii, from Alask to Florida, it is unfair that schools aren't more flexible with this, specially for veterans who developed medical conditons and have to move so that they can be closer to people who will help them or for the well being of their body.

    • Jenni90,

      "How is it more burden to the states?"

      As stated in the article, it is a burden on the states because these are state-operated schools they are talking about! If they do this for any certain group of people, then I'm sure someone is going to sue them. The point, is that the Federal Government ought to stay the hell out of State Business!

      Actually, it is less than 1/2 of 1% and, when I joined in 1969 and volunteered of Nam and again volunteered for Gulf 1, it wasn't to fight for any of the States you mentioned. I joined because I was hungry and needed a paycheck.

      You claim it is unfair, bullchit, it is fair, because state law's make it fair that everyone out-of-state have to pay our-of-state tuition fees. We all have the right to go somewhere else if we aren't satisfied.

      I also don't understand what a medical condition has to do with out-of-state tuition fees!

      • Idmtmedic says:

        Lmao. Charles you have any idea how much money a military base in a state contributes to the economy? The military buys houses, pays taxes, supports the STATE economy by eating and shopping. Do those sales TAXES go to the Federal Government? WE are already paying for those STATE funded schools by living in that state. They have the advantage of our money yet no recourse for in-state tuition? BS AND BS. Funny they always fight to keep a base open in their state but have a problem with this?

        • idmedic,

          Military Bases don't contribute any money the the states economy. Everything bought on post or base is tax free, with the exception of fuel. Myself, I buy all my groceries on base and most everything else at the Post Exchange.

          LMAO, you only think you paid enough in sales tax to get you a free ride. Unfortunately what you think you've paid into doesn't get you free tuition. Your one of those that are consistant in looking for the Federal Government to work for more and more freebee's beyond what you earned when you retired.

          Since you didn't get enough in your Military Retirement, you should be looking for a job, not more of a handout. America is in a hurt, put your "tin cup" away.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            You continue to spew nonsense. "in state tuition" is not FREE DA. I HAVE A J.O.B do you? Now let's address your other crap. Military bases do not contribute to the state? Let's consider the fact of how many jobs it creates for civilians in that state. Let's consider when a military member buys a house and pays for the infrastructure ie TAXES, for trash, property taxes, fire, police, roads? Supports local businesses, except for you of course. Times that by the number of military that rent off base. Who pays for the schools again? I swear your senility must be getting worse. That "Tin Cup" your holding is the size of a cooking pot with NO job. Best save your checks for depends and a nice bed at the manor.

          • idmedic,

            Seems your whining should be applied somewhere else. I can't help you in your complaint. Go see your State reps and whine to them. Explain to them because you pay some taxes and are a Vet, that everything should be free too you.

            Don't call me, I can't help you with your complaint and the want for everything for free just because you volunteered to join the service.

            Spin Stops Here

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Lmao, I wouldn't call you except to return you to the village. The only one whining is an unemployed 3 check collecting TAKER. I contact my reps for issues that are important. You on the other hand whine and cry regardless of the issue and NEVER contact your reps. Unless your going to complain to the ones that matter why are you here? Oh I forgot, this is your job.

        • Idmtmedic says:

          By the way you could have VOLUNTEERED to work at McDonald's. Plenty of jobs doing that. The comparison is BS and the fact your sacrifice is nill is apparent as well as your patriotism. What a joke. Bet you still have your uniform in the closet for that "just a job" position!

  14. In the interest of Public Colleges – the residency requirements are set by ther state they reside. The states provide significant support to public universities.
    The question becomes – do the universities take a hit on out of state veterans? Will that burden be on the states? Will the VA be required to cover the gap? Simply – who absorbs the burden?

    • Idmtmedic says:

      Scott as I told DA Charles, you think the military doesn't support the states? Your fn kidding right? It's a freebie? Ask any state what they think of closing down a military base in their state. WTF you think they are going to say? Can't do that, it's vital to our STATES economy. Guess that doesn't include the revenue for STATE schools huh?

      • Idmedic,

        No need get personal and call me a dumb ass. If you can't make an argument supporting your view without attacking everyone that disagrees with you need move on down the road and not post at all.

  15. I see this as a plus. There are many who are AD trying to attend school in the state where they are stationed. They should not be paying non-resident tuition especially if they are AD vets. Service members are more deserving of resident tution rates that are illegals, period.

  16. psygopher says:

    Charles, some of us need the "tin cup" you mentioned because our needs can not be met using only what we receive from the government. We may have volunteered for service, but if we are stationed away from our homes due to military orders, we are contributing to the local economy. I served in a volunteer fire department when I was stationed away fro my home of record. I bought a house and paid taxes. I shopped in the local stores. I was, for all intents and purposes, a resident of the state I was stationed in. It is not a hand out if we go to post secondary schools at the in-state tuition rate if we live in that state. If you move to a state as a civilian and meet other residency requirements, why should a service member not meet those because they pay taxes in their home state? This argument with ldmtmedic is just ridiculous and makes you look like you are freeloading from my point of view.
    I am 100% disabled and taking part in VRAP, live in one state, go to school in another. I pay in state rates for my school because the school recognizes VRAP as a way to help veterans. It is not "burdening" that school or local tax bases for the school to grant me lower rates. Am I "waving my tin cup" because I use the system the way it is set up?

    • psygopher, Part 1

      Since when is the Government supposed to meet mine/your/our needs????? We are know different than anyone else that gets a job and then retired from it. Whatever we as individuals put into it is what we are going to get when we retire. Should we do the least we have too while serving, then we can retire at the lowest rank possible, an E-6. Our needs are based upon what we did with our lifes. If we worked hard, made rank, saved a lot and had all bills paid off when we retired, then our needs are very little.

    • psygopher, Part 2

      As for taxes, Soldiers done pay State taxes unless they own property and/or have investments in that state. Yes, they pay sales taxes but that is very little in comparison to those civilians that live in that state and pay State Taxes annually minus those states that don't have State Taxes.

      Since you are using the system as you should be, that isn't what I call waving a tin cup. What I consider waving the tin cup, is trying to force the states into not charging Veterans out-of-state tuition rates. I feel the States should be left alone in this and the Federal Government needs to keep their nose out of what has been state business forever and a day.

    • Idmtmedic says:

      The problem with Charles is he forgets his history and those that came before and after. No sense of what exactly the military is about. Veterans Day and Memorial Day is just another day to him. It's just a job. He passed those senior enlisted courses with no concept of sacrifice. He was a supply guy in Vietnam, yes volunteered and an important job to be sure. Now he has decided that the military is a 9-5 job that deserves the same benefits as a civilian corporation. The Veterans are whiners because they are asking more than what was contracted. I have been asking what HIS contract was for entitlements and yet no answer. SS is now considered a BENIFET instead of an entitlement which we all paid for. Of course he is getting that early,. So three checks to this with added civilian retirement and he claims my thinking is sinking Detroit? Lmfao. 3 CHECKS!!!!!! So if your going to complain about too much money being spent?????? NO JOB and criticize the military!!!! Biting my lip on what I think of an E-8 retired Army &$$@@@$. No clue, no sacrifice, no respect!!!

  17. radosavlevici says:

    Navy or Marines Dependents on Fleet Reserve/Fleet Marine Corps Reserve that hold Military I.D. cards until age of 23 or 26, they should have the same benefits as the active duty members dependents when attending universities on a conus military installation.
    The ANY state tuition shouldn’t be in effect when children with Military I.D. cards attend any university on a conus military installation/campus, because the installation is considered a federal property.
    We discriminate military children on a retainer pay; for not providing them the opportunity to continue their education, same benefits, and the same tuition that is available to active duty dependents children. The military children on a retainer pay had sacrificed their entire childhood in support of their parents to provide the freedom to every state. Every state in a US should be their adoptive state until they are capable to sustain themselves; they deserve better treatment, and not to be mistaken as foreigners. SFi!

    • What part of the word ‘BROKE’ do ‘YOU’ NOT UNDERSTAND..?

      • In the interest of Public Colleges – the residency requirements are set by ther state they reside. The states provide significant support to public universities.
        The question becomes – do the universities take a hit on out of state veterans? Will that burden be on the states? Will the VA be required to cover the gap? Simply – who absorbs the burden?

        Read more:

  18. Idmtmedic says:

    Which benefits would those be? The SS Check before 65, or the civilian retirement, or the military retirement? Yet your going to be on welfare because your paying too much? Lmao. How's the job?

  19. idmedic,

    As I have told you time and time again, I am satisfied with my benefits, you don't see me with a tin cup in my hand whining for more.