Guest Post by George M. Vukovich, Director, Veterans Relations at American Public University System
A recent article on Money.com, “Why Veterans Will Soon Save Thousands on College,” provides promising information for veterans and their family members as they transition from the military environment to civilian life, college and beyond.
As a retired Marine, and advocate for veterans achieving higher education success, I truly appreciate the congressional effort to enact new legislation to assist veterans with immediate in-state residency standing for higher education tuition purposes. Most states have maintained stringent standards of 12-month residency before service members become eligible for in-state tuition rates, placing an undue financial burden on many veterans and their families. However, the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 changed that situation.
Starting in fall 2015, veterans and their family members will be able to automatically pay in-state tuition rates at any U.S. public university. That is fantastic! This new legislation is very promising, impactful, and worthy of continued discussion threads in order to help spread the word throughout the veteran community.
Coupled with the GI Bill, the in state public tuition rate legislation will enable veterans to attend school without facing huge out-of-pocket payments through student loan repayment. There may be cases where all costs are not covered; such as enrollment in Nursing or Engineering programs; but for the vast majority no additional funding will be required.
My hope is we will find more veterans taking advantage of their earned education benefits as opportunities for affordable degree completion have expanded to resident public in state universities (to include their online components) and the traditional online learning which seems to be the preferred option for most veterans.
Online education is growing, especially for working adults. The convenience, the flexibility, and the quality of instruction often present the best option for veterans.
For a better understanding of how valuable this new legislation will be for veterans please review The Trends in College Pricing Report compiled by The College Board breaks down the average in-state and out-of-state rates*.
Our government has made veterans initiatives a focal point in recent years. Let’s do our part to help circulate this information to help our veterans find greater success in life! I welcome your comments below.
George M. Vukovich is a retired Marine Corps. Gunnery Sergeant and proud father of two college graduates. For 12 years he has willfully served the American Public University System (American Military University and American Public University) and the thousands of military and veteran students who are investing time and effort toward their degree. George is also a former President of the Virginia Advisory Council for Military Education (VA-ACME) and served the Board of the Council of College and Military Educators (CCME).