Do Veterans have to Pay Out-of-State Tuition?

Veterans may receive benefits that assist in paying for higher education but that does not mean that those who serve or have served in the military do not have to pay tuition. While servicemen and women who are leaving the military are eligible to receive federal funding with the Post 9/11 GI Bill, this may not always pay for all of the unit costs, fees, and other educational expenses that you must pay to earn your formal degree. That is why you should learn what is covered by the bill and also what limitations apply concerning costs per semester. If you are still active military or a veteran who relocates for work, read on and learn whether or not schools can charge you out-of-state rates.

What is the Difference Between In-state Rates and Out-of-state Rates

One thing that you need to know before you begin to compare schools, rates and programs is how dramatic the difference is between in-state and out-of-state fees charged to all students by public schools. According to USA Today, the average difference between rates for in-state students and out-of-state students is about $15,000 per year. In order to avoid paying these extremely inflated rates, you must qualify as a resident for a stated period of time or meet other eligibility requirements. Being a qualified veteran is one of these requirements.

The Criteria that You Must Meet to Pay In-State Rates

If you do not meet the general residency requirements and you have served in the military, you need to learn about the exceptions to the rule. The government has passed new laws, that have not been widely publicized, that give a veteran the right to study outside of their state of residency and still receive the low in-state rates.

The Federal law says that a veteran who has served for at least 90 days in active duty can pay resident rates for 3 years following the time that they leave the military. This law also allows dependent children and their spouses to pay these rates when a veteran qualifies. By offering a veteran this type of benefit, they can better develop skills that they will use in the civilian world.

How Does the GI Bill Work to Pay for the Fees?

You will have between 10 and 15 years to use your GI bill benefits once you have separated from service. If you attend a public school, it is important that you know that you can have the government send the benefit direct to the school and your full rate will be paid. In addition to paying for your cost of attendance, the bill will pay for housing costs and textbooks up to $1000 per year. Your benefit will be calculated based on your enrollment status. If the time frame has expired, you must pay your own expenses.

Those who have served the country need more than combat skills to be civilians and contributing members of society. This is why more focus has been placed on offering military servicemen and women better benefits and financial assistance for schooling. Now that you know how tuition is charged to veterans, it is time to decide what you want to do when you leave the military.