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Thanks to a new bill veterans won’t have to worry about paying out-of-state tuition at any public university. Provisions in the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 will require all public universities to offer in-state tuition to veterans making use of their GI Bill.

“The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 expands a veteran’s ability to maximize his or her Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit and use that benefit at any public school in the nation regardless of residency restrictions,”Jason Handsman of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America says. “This provision will benefit both states, by allowing them to retain new veteran residents who end their period of active service and decide to remain local, and veterans, who will no longer face financial constraints in attending the public school of their choice. This law is a win-win for the new greatest generation.”

The current maximum tuition benefit is just over $20,000, so veterans have to dig into their pocket for any private or public university that charges more than that. Out-of-state tuition at public universities often exceeds $20,000 a year.

Many states already offer in-state tuition to any veteran, but there are 18 states that will be affected by this new law. Those are Arkansas, California, Connecticut, D.C., Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Many colleges in these states participated in the Yellow Ribbon program, which grants veterans additional funds to help make up the difference between in-state and out-of-state fees. However, the program has limitations and special requirements meaning not all veterans will qualify for funding that covers all their expenses.

Not qualifying for in-state tuition is a considerable hurdle for men and women in the military who move often or have recently come home from overseas. They often not qualify as residents even in states where they plan on settling. This new law which takes effect in July of 2015 will change all of that.

Of the states that are affected, what schools are now affordable to out-of-state veterans thanks to this bill? Read on (click here) for a list of quality schools that will offer the biggest discounts in-state tuition to veterans this fall. We’ve also included how well each school does in College Factual’s Best Colleges for Veterans Rankings.

By Carly Stockwell
USA Today
Published March 9, 2015

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