Background: For the last year, the VFW and its partners have pushed Congress to offer in-state tuition protection for student veterans attending public colleges and universities. Next week, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on its veterans’ in-state tuition bill, H.R. 357, which means we may be one step closer to ensuring our student veterans have access to the quality, cost-effective education we promised them.
In 2008, the VFW and its partners helped pass the Post-9/11 GI Bill with the intention of allowing Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans to go to college for free at the public school of their choice. Sadly, many of our student-veterans cannot take full advantage of this opportunity because of outdated public education policies. Many veterans may be disqualified from receiving in-state tuition simply because their past military obligations do not conform to the state's stringent residency requirements. This often forces veterans to either take out burdensome student loans, attempt to balance full-time employment with full-time education, or abandon their higher education dreams altogether. Though the veterans’ community has successfully convinced some states to fix this in-state loophole for veterans, most states still fall short.
The VFW believes that no veteran should be penalized for his or her military service when seeking higher education, which is why we have mobilized to pass federal legislation that will protect our recent veterans who want to go back to school through our “In State 4 Vets” campaign alongside Student Veterans of America and the American Legion. To learn more about this campaign visit http://studentveterans.org/what-we-do/in-state-tuition.html
Action Needed: Contact your member of Congress today and tell them to vote “YES” next week on H.R. 357. This legislation offers critical in-state tuition protections for our recently-separated veterans looking to go to college on the GI Bill. Remind Congress that we should never allow government-subsidized colleges and universities to shortchange our veterans on their education. Our veterans defended our nation – not just a particular state – which is why we encourage the House or Representatives to come together and pass reasonable in-state tuition standards for all of our college-bound veterans through H.R. 357.