Most States Offer Vet Education Benefits Too

When I finish my undergraduate degree in a couple of years, it’ll be the end of my VA education benefits. But I have a plan if I ever want to get my advanced degree: my home state of Texas offers its own Veteran education benefits separate from federal funding.

But Texas isn’t the only state that offers Veteran education aid to its residents. The American Legion has put together a list of Veteran state education benefits and resources for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The aid programs vary depending on your state and qualifications. For example, Illinois offers to pay tuition and some fees at certain colleges and some private schools in Wisconsin offer generous tuition breaks. Many states have programs in place to reduce costs for folks in the National Guard.

These benefits can be an important resource for Veterans who used the GI Bill to receive a four-year degree, but want to progress further with their education. Not only does is boost job opportunities, but folks holding advanced degrees earn an average of $10,000 more a year over those with just bachelor’s degrees. If you can get your schooling paid or reduced, that’s not a bad return of investment.

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2 Comments to “Most States Offer Vet Education Benefits Too”

  1. Joseph M. Phillips says:

    College Tuition Fee Waivers For Veterans’ Dependents
    The Benefits
    Waiver of mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at any State of California Community College, California State University or University of California campus.

    Who May Be Eligible
    Plan A: The spouse, registered domestic partner, child (under the age of 27) or unmarried surviving spouse of a veteran who is totally service-connected disabled, or who has died of service-connected causes may qualify.

    Plan B: The child of a veteran who has a permanent service-connected disability. The child’s income and value of support provided by a parent cannot exceed the national poverty level. To view this year’s poverty level, visit our Education page. Note: All students must meet California residency requirements.

    *Note that all students must meet California residency requirements.

    Where to Apply
    Contact your local County Veterans Service Office or the Admissions Office of any California system campus or go to http://www.cacvso.org for more information and to download an application.

    Non-Resident College Fee Waiver
    The Benefit
    Waiver of non-resident fees (pay at California resident rate) at all State of California Community Colleges, California State University or University of California campuses for the length of time necessary to become a California resident for tuition purposes (a one-year period commencing immediately after discharge). This one-year waiver after the military person’s discharge allows the time necessary to establish residence for tuition purposes. After the one-year waiver period, the student would have to provide evidence as to his or her California residence.

    Who May Be Eligible
    A student who is a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States that is stationed in California while on active duty for more than one year immediately prior to separation would be eligible to qualify. The veteran is entitled to the resident classification for the length of time immediately following discharge for the minimum time necessary to become a resident. NOTE: Veterans who leave the state for more than one year following discharge are no longer eligible, and would be subject to out of state fees. However, please be aware that any non-temporary absence from California or conduct inconsistent with a claim of California residence during the one-year waiver period, such as maintaining voter registration and voting in another state or declaring non-residence for California income tax purposes, may result in the student not qualifying as a California resident for tuition…

  2. Ruth says:

    It’s not always easy for Veterans to meet state residency requirements. For example, if you separate from the military and then relocate to Texas for work, but Texas is not your home of record, you will not be eligible for the Hazelwood Act. It can even be difficult to get in-state tuition at state universities in many states: the list of approved documents are pretty short, and may be beyond the means of newly separated Veterans. For example, the state may require that you produce a mortgage or rent statement listing your address – if you are staying with family until you can secure the GI Bill money you need to even PAY rent, it’s a bit of a Catch 22. The same goes for a pay stub/proof of employment. You may not HAVE full time employment, that is the whole reason you are completing your education, so that you can secure a job. Even members of a state’s National Guard have run into these issues, which is ironic! The Post 9/11 GI Bill is an excellent resource, but it has its limitations, and so do the many state veterans’ education benefits.