Gov. Perry: Veterans and Their Families Deserve In-State Tuition for Their Service to Our Country
Addresses 109th VFW National Convention
Gov. Rick Perry today addressed the 109th Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) National Convention where he called on Texas lawmakers to provide in-state tuition to veterans. He also honored incoming VFW National Commander Glen Gardner of Round Rock.
"Educating more veterans is not only the right thing to do, it is a smart thing to do," said Gov. Perry. "Veterans have paid the greatest price our country could ask for in their sacrifice to preserve our freedom. They deserve nothing less than the best opportunities upon their return home."
Gov. Perry applauded the efforts of VFW members across the country, and specifically called on the Texas Legislature to provide in-state tuition to all qualified veterans, their spouses and dependents as gratitude for their service and sacrifice to our state and country. The tuition waiver could save veterans and their families up to $8,100 a year if they take 30 semester credit hours at a Texas public university.
Currently, only veterans who are or were Texas residents when they entered the U.S. Armed Forces and served at least 181 days of active military duty are exempt from paying tuition and fees through the Hazelwood Exemption. Non-resident veterans are not eligible for this exemption and must pay out of state-tuition rates - which are not fully covered by G.I. Bill benefits. This has made college out of reach for many veterans now living in Texas. With this initiative, federal dollars would go further, enabling all veterans to earn a certificate or degree in Texas.
The military teaches excellent educational and life skills to servicemen and women that are a solid foundation upon which to continue their education or build new careers once they are out of the military. Providing in-state tuition for qualified veterans will benefit the state in several ways by:
* Increasing federal GI Bill money spent at Texas colleges and universities
* Capitalizing on skills learned in the military
* Helping meet the goals of Closing the Gaps
* Enhancing our workforce and improving our economy