Today, Chairman Jeff Miller (FL-01) and Ranking Member Mike Michaud (ME-02) of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs introduced bipartisan legislation (H.R. 357) that would require schools eligible for GI Bill education benefits to give veterans in-state tuition rates even though they may not be residents of the states where the schools are located.
"The men and women who served this nation did not just defend the citizens of their home states, but the citizens of all 50 states. As such, the educational benefits they receive from the taxpayers should reflect that," said Chairman Miller. "By offering in-state tuition, servicemembers can attend an institution of higher learning that meets their specific needs without worrying about higher costs which non-residents often must pay."
"Because of the nature of military service, veterans often have a difficult time establishing residency for purposes of obtaining in-State tuition rates," said Ranking Member Michaud. "This bill will address this problem and ensure that veterans can access the affordable higher education options they have earned."
"The support of Ranking Member Michaud in creating this legislation is a measure of how important we both feel about giving our veterans the resources needed to succeed. I look forward to continuing a bipartisan approach in the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, as we work to meet the needs of our nation's heroes," said Chairman Miller.
The legislation has been met with early support from several Veterans Service Organizations.
"We fully support Chairman Miller's and Congressman Michaud's efforts to provide in-state tuition to student veterans regardless of residency status," said Michael Dakduk of Student Veterans of America. "Student Veterans of America believes the "GI Bill Tuition Fairness Act of 2013' addresses the issue of inequity within the Post 9/11 GI Bill and will do a great deal to support veterans' success in higher education."
"Over the last couple of years, the VFW has heard from countless veterans driven into more expensive college programs because public schools offered no flexibility in residency requirements, prohibiting veterans from attending at the in-state rate," said VFW Executive Director Bob Wallace. "The VFW is proud to see that Chairman Miller and Ranking Member Michaud have already taken a bold stance to ensure student-veterans attending public schools receive a reasonably-priced education at the public school of their choice, as we intended when we passed the Post-9/11 GI Bill."