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Veterans Education Benefits By State For 2015

Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Gregory WilliamsPhoto Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Gregory Williams

States provide very generous benefits to Veterans and as you can see from the list below, some provide more than others.  While the list below does weigh heavily on the education benefits for National Guard members within the state, you can find some benefits for Veterans or Active Duty mixed in.

Alabama

  • The Alabama GI Dependents’ Scholarship program, managed by the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs, pays 100 percent of the tuition, books, and fees for attendance at any Alabama educational institution by spouses and dependents of veterans with a 20 percent or greater VA rated disability, were a POW/MIA, and the veteran meets the 12 month state residency criteria immediately before entering the military.
  • ALNG Education Assistance Program (ANGEAP) provides $2,000 in tuition assistance to ALNG members.
  • Effective July 1, 2015, in accordance with the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, participating Alabama institutions of higher learning will offer in-state tuition to eligible veterans, dependent spouses and children who are receiving the Post 9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty benefits.
  • Public institutions of higher learning in the State of Alabama, including two-year and four-year postsecondary technical colleges, community colleges and junior colleges, may waive tuition and fees for recipients of the Purple Heart Medal for undergraduate studies.
  • The State Superintendent of Education may award a standard high school diploma to any honorably discharged veteran who served in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time between the following dates: December 7, 1941- January 1, 1946; June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955; November 15, 1961 – March 28, 1973. The veteran must have been a resident of Alabama prior to entry into the military and his or her entry into the military must have interrupted high school attendance and prevented him or her from graduating

Alaska

  • Alaska veterans receive resident tuition at any University of Alaska System School for active duty personnel or members of the National Guard, their spouses or dependent children;
  • U.S. veterans eligible for a VA education benefit or their spouse or dependent children are eligible for resident tuition;
  • Tuition for surviving dependents or spouse of an armed services member who dies in the line of duty;
  • Up to 100 percent tuition assistance at the University of Alaska for National Guard
  • High School Diplomas for World War II veterans; and
  • VetSuccess on Campus established at University of Alaska Anchorage to provide a location where veterans, active duty and their families can receive assistance and support. Provides information on VA benefits, programs and services and provides counseling services including education, career and adjustment.

Arizona

  • Veterans are eligible for reimbursement of tuition and fees;
  • Tuition waivers for Purple Heart recipients and dependents;

Arkansas

  • Arkansas education benefits include Guard Tuition Incentive Program (GTIP) which provides $2500 semi-annually up to $5000 annually;
  • Veterans Upward Bound (501-212-4021); and
  • Tuition discount of 25 percent from most institutions and a 100 percent increase from SAU Tech.

California

  • California provides CNG Education Assistance Award Program provides up to 100 percent college tuition, fees and other college expenses to 1,000 members each year; and
  • Academic leave and other protections pertaining to attendance

Colorado

  • Colorado provides 100 percent tuition assistance to state funded schools (dependent on funding availability) for ARNG members and also provides tuition assistance for children of Prisoners of War (POW), Missing in Action (MIA), or disabled or deceased (in line of duty) NG members.
  • ARNG members are eligible for state tuition assistance up to 100 percent at state funded schools.

Connecticut

  • Connecticut provides National Guard and veteran tuition waiver for state colleges and universities;
  • Tuition waivers for state colleges and universities for qualified survivors of veterans;
  • In-state tuition at all state institutions for members and spouses stationed in Connecticut;
  • Licensure and certification credits for military training;
  • Member of Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children; and
  • High school diplomas for veterans of WWII, Korea, or Vietnam era who left high school prior to graduation in order to serve in the armed forces of the United States

Delaware

  • Provides tuition and fees support for ARNG members attending college, up to master degrees in Delaware. Out-of-state members receive Delaware in-state tuition rates.
  • Educational benefits for the children of military members killed during deployment or who are POWs or MIA

Florida

  • Florida provides priority placement in gifted, special needs and voucher programs for the children of military members (Active Duty);
  • High School seniors of military families transferring to Florida are exempt from exit exams and substitute of SAT of ACT (Active Duty);
  • Prepaid 4 year scholarship program for spouses and children of Florida military members who die in the line of duty (State of Federal) or have been certified as having 100 percent permanent disability ratings. (Active, Guard, or Reserve);
  • Education Dollars for Duty: 100 percent of Tuition paid for in-state colleges and universities for National Guard Members up to a Master’s Degree. (GUARD ONLY);
  • Free undergraduate tuition at state colleges and universities for Florida recipients of the Purple Heart and other combat related decorations superior in precedence to the Purple Heart. (Active, Guard and Reserve);
  • The Troops to Teachers Program: a referral and placement assistance service that helps eligible military personnel begins a new career as public school teachers. $5000 stipend to pay for certification and up to a $10,000 bonus. (Active, Guard or Reserve);
  • Military and family members receive in-state tuition rates (residing in-state or contiguous county); and
  • Member State Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.

Georgia

  • Georgia provides the Georgia Military Scholarship which includes 42 “full ride” scholarships to attend North Georgia College and State University for GaARNG members;
  • A National Guard Serve Cancelable Loan fund;
  • Tuition assistance to current Army National Guard members after one year of service following initial entry level training; and
  • The Georgia HERO (Helping Educate Reservists and their Offspring) Scholarship Program

Guam

  • Guam provides Army National Guard tuition assistance of up to $4,000 per fiscal year; and
  • Resident tuition rates at post-secondary state College & University for military and dependents.

Hawaii

  • Hawaii provides tuition assistance for ARNG members
  • Several colleges have Yellow Ribbon Programs associated with 9/11 GI Bill
  • Informational and referral services to family members of veterans
  • Information about family program available at: http://www.dod.state.hi.us/family/index.html

Idaho

  • Idaho provides protection of educational status if activated over 30 days; and
  • Pays up to 100 percent of fees and tuition

Illinois

  • Approved G.I. Bill Programs: Educational Programs Directory, Training Programs Directory
  • The Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program pays tuition and certain fees at all Illinois state-supported colleges, universities and community colleges for Illinois residents. For more info, visit http://www.isac.org/students/during-college/types-of-financialaid/grants/illinois-veteran-grant-(ivg)-program.html.
  • The Illinois National Guard (ING) Scholarship will pay for eligible tuition and certain fees (i.e., registration, graduation, general activity, matriculation and term fees) for undergraduate or graduate study for qualified ING members. Benefits are limited to use only at Illinois two- or four-year public colleges.
  • Illinois Troops to Teachers Program can help eligible veterans with at least 6 years of honorable service transition to K-12 public school teaching.
  • MIA/POW Scholarship – The State of Illinois provides an education scholarship for the dependents of veterans who are either Missing In Action, a Prisoner of War, died while on active duty, 100 percent disabled due to service connected disabilities or died as a result of a service connected disabilities. 105 ILCS 5/30-14.2 (MIA/POW Scholarship) establishes the benefit and 95 Ill. Admin Code 116 (MIA/POW Scholarship) provides the rules governing the administration and eligibility of dependents.
  • Financial aid is provided annually to each child between the ages of 10 and 18 years of a veteran who died or became totally disabled as a result of service in the Armed Forces. (Educational Opportunities for Children application form).

Indiana

  • The Remission of Fees is good for 124 semester hours and may be used for either undergraduate or graduate-level work. The amount allotted is 100% of tuition and all mandatory fees. The term “mandatory fees” is defined as any fee that must be paid by each student attending the institution.
  • The natural or legally adopted child of a disabled veteran may be eligible for remission of fees (free tuition) at any state-supported post-secondary school or university in Indiana. This applies for any college-aged dependent as long as the child was adopted by age 24 and the child is a resident of Indiana.
  • The State offers tuition-free education at any state-supported college or university for recipients of the Purple Heart Medal.
  • Tuition-free education at any state-supported college or university is available for children of a wartime-era service-connected disabled veteran.
  • Active duty military personnel and their dependents stationed in Indiana are eligible for resident tuition rates at any state-supported college or university.
  • Professional assistance provided for utilization of GI Bill benefits (Offered by IDVA’s State Approving Agency.)

Iowa

  • The Home Base Iowa Certified Higher Academic Military Partner (CHAMP) program designates institutions of higher education as veteran friendly and ensures that there are on-campus veteran resources available, consideration of service member transitions (can include credit for military school training, advanced registration, specific student orientation) and financial considerations and assistance for veterans and their families.
  • In-state tuition to veterans and their families who move to attend Iowa’s Regents universities (the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa) and Iowa’s community colleges, a key component of the Home Base Iowa initiative.
  • The Iowa National Guard Education Assistance Program, which is a state-funded tuition assistance program that pays schools “up front” for the cost of an Iowa Army or Air Guardsman’s tuition.
  • Tuition and fees can be refunded or registration and tuition payments can remain intact for a student-spouse if a mobilization causes them to withdraw from classes.
  • The Operation Recognition High School Diploma program, which furnishes an honorary high school diploma to qualifying veterans who did not complete high school in Iowa due to armed service enlistment.
  • The Iowa War Orphans Educational Aid program, which is available to children of service members who have died while on active duty since 9/11. Aid is limited to $600 and may be used to defray the expenses of tuition, matriculation, laboratory and similar fees, books and supplies, board, lodging and any other reasonably necessary expense for the War Orphan to attend the educational institution of higher learning.
  • State agencies work with federal agencies and colleges to provide service members with information on GI Bill education benefits and to provide training and on-the-job training programs to assist veterans in overcoming educational barriers to employment or to enhance their employability and increase their income potential.
  • State agencies work to promote green hiring initiatives for veterans
  • The Children of Fallen Iowa Service Members Scholarship fund was established to provide post-secondary educational scholarships for children of deceased military service members who died while in an active military status after September 11, 2001. It has been expanded to include siblings of fallen Iowa service members. Awards may be used for any educational expenses.

Kansas

  • Up to 100% of tuition fees paid for enlisted members, based on funding
  • The tuition to attend state universities, community colleges, or vocational technical colleges will be covered for dependents of Kansas residents who are killed in the line of duty, MIAs, or POWs while in the United States armed forces or the Kansas National Guard
  • Refund or credit for the tuition paid if activated during a semester
  • Participates in the Interstate Compact on Education Opportunities for Military Children
  • Residents can return to Kansas within 60 months of departing the state and qualify for in-state tuition
  • ROTC institutions award scholarships to Kansas soldiers who have returned from military service and are enrolled at community colleges
  • All service members and veterans receive in-state tuition benefits

Kentucky

  • Federal Tuition Assistance- the Federal Tuition Assistance program pays $250 per semester hour and $4,500 per fiscal year up to the first professional degree.
  • State tuition Assistance- Kentucky State Tuition assistance pays 100 percent of tuition for state supported public institutions up to 12 hours. Kentucky State tuition assistance also pays tuition for KHEAA approved private colleges at a capped rate.
  • GI Bill counseling and testing services. Education Service supports all Soldiers and units with their GI Bill and Kicker issues, as well as providing civilian and military testing.
  • State tuition waiver for dependents of a veteran who died while serving on active duty.
  • State tuition waiver for dependents of a disabled veteran.
  • No discrimination against ARNG called to active duty with respect to attendance and credit for academic work accomplished.

Louisiana

  • Protection from academic penalties while activated
  • 100 percent tuition exemption at any state institution of higher learning
  • Tuition exemption for dependents of veterans with a severe service-connected disability or veterans who died during active duty during a war time period

Maine

  • Tuition and fees waived for qualified dependents of certain disabled or deceased veterans.
  • Current members of the ME Army NG are eligible for up to $4,500 for federal tuition assistance and up to $1,500 for state tuition assistance
  • Current members of the ME Air NGA are eligible for state tuition assistance up to $6,000.
  • All veterans and spouses eligible for in-state tuition.

Maryland

  • Maryland’s public institutions have made a commitment to establish a “One Door” system so that student veterans are able to connect to their educational and support needs through the establishment of a veterans’ office or designated staff person.
  • Maryland’s public institutions have policies regarding awarding academic credit for prior learning. Veterans can contact individual institutions for information on whether academic credit can be awarded for military training, coursework and education at public institutions of higher education in Maryland.
  • Honorably discharged veterans, active duty service members, spouses of active duty members, financially dependent children of active duty members and members of the National Guard will pay in-state tuition.
  • Maryland National Guard members are eligible for up to 50 percent off tuition and related fees up to $5,000 per fiscal year for undergraduate, masters, professional and vocational or technical training at state colleges, universities and some private colleges.
  • Maryland National Guard soldiers or airmen will not pay out-of-state tuition at public institutions of higher learning, regardless of state residence if they are currently serving in critical skill areas.
  • The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship) pays eligible dependents up to 36 months of the full, 100 percent level, of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This includes the tuition and fee payment, a monthly housing allowance and a books and supplies stipend. Currently the Fry Scholarship is only available for children of Service members who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001. Effective January 1, 2015, the Fry Scholarship will be expanded to include surviving spouses.
  • The Veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship (VAIC) Program provides financial assistance to service members who served in Afghanistan or Iraq and to their family members.
  • The Edward T. Conroy Memorial Scholarship is for eligible veterans and their family members who are attending an institution of higher learning in Maryland.
  • The Pat Tillman Scholarship is for veterans and active duty military service members, honorably discharged of pre and post 9/11 service from all branches of the U.S. Military including National Guard and Reserve, current spouses of veterans or active duty service members (including surviving spouses). Service members or spouses pursuing a degree as a full time student, undergraduate (Bachelor’s or above), graduate or post graduate degree at a public or private, U.S. based accredited institution are also eligible.
  • For details on all Maryland State Scholarships & Grants, please visit the MHEC website at: http://www.mhec.state.md.us/financialAid/descriptions.asp.

Massachusetts

  • Exempts Guard members from paying any fees while attending a Massachusetts public college or university. Already, they receive free tuition, but fees can account for as much as three quarters of the cost of a college education. The state, not the schools, will pay for the cost of the waivers.
  • 100 percent tuition and fee assistance in state schools (beginning July 1, 2006).
  • Grants high school diplomas to veterans who left school upon being drafted or enlisting in World War II, Korea or Vietnam wars

Michigan

  • In-state tuition: Michigan universities offer in-state tuition to veterans. This link includes all colleges and universities offering in-state tuition: http://www.michiganveterans.com/Home/Education-Summary/In-State-Tuition-forVeterans.
  • Michigan National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program: Michigan Public Act 259 of 2014 established the State Tuition Assistance Program (STAP) to provide tuition assistance of up to $250 per credit hour, up to $4,500 per academic year to members of the Michigan National Guard. Reimbursement includes tuition and most fees. Annual appropriate of $4.7M for the program. http://www.michigan.gov/dmva/0,4569,7-126-2360_68898—,00.html
  • Children of Veterans Tuition Grant (CVTG): An undergraduate tuition program for children of certain deceased or disabled members of the armed forces of the United States. The program designed to provide assistance to children older than 16 and less than 26 years of age for up to four academic years, for a total of up to $11,200. For more information please visit: http://www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid/0,4636,7-128- 60969_61509-274566–,00.html.
  • Tuition Grant Program: 15 colleges and universities throughout Michigan are offering up to 45 percent off of their tuition per year to National Guard members who attend their institutions.
  • The National Guard Association of Michigan (NGAM) provides annual scholarships that can be applied for by eligible members. NGAM scholarships vary depending on the number of qualified applications received. Grants in combination with other tuition assistance and GI bill can allow an ARNG member to attend college at virtually no cost.

Minnesota

  • Surviving family members receive 100 percent tuition if a service member is killed in line of duty.
  • ARNG or military Reserves entitled to tuition refund if ordered to active duty prior to the termination of the school year.
  • Provided 100 percent tuition assistance; eligible to participate in a tuition reimbursement program.
  • Tuition Reimbursement program eligibility extended on a limited basis for spouses of National Guard members.
  • Minnesota GI Bill provides up to $10,000 in benefits to Minnesota veterans, military members and the children and spouses of deceased or severely disabled veterans.
  • Established veterans resource centers in state and private universities for quick access to comprehensive information about benefits and resources.
  • Higher education course equivalency guidelines ensure service members are treated in an equitable manner at different universities within the same system.
  • Yellow Ribbon Colleges program for educational institutions to develop a work plan and corporate policies promoting a military and veteran friendly environment.
  • On the Job Training and Apprenticeship Programs provide increased opportunities for Veterans to use their earned federal G.I. Bill’s educational benefits for on-the-job and apprenticeship training
  • Military liaison assigned to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU) to develop standard template for awarding college credits for military training.
  • Department of Higher Education provides clarification and advice on the use of education benefits at all Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Training events.
  • One-time education benefit is offered as a grant to veterans who have exhausted their federal educational benefits.

Mississippi

  • Mississippi will be considering legislation in 2015 that will, when passed, provide in-state tuition and all veterans “covered individuals” as provided in Section 702, Veterans Accountability Act of 2014.
  • Mississippi Education Assistance Program pays tuition up to $250 per hour, maximum.
  • $4,500 per year for eligible ARNG members to obtain associates and bachelor’s degrees.
  • Mississippi provides in-state tuition rates for non-resident ARNG members.

Missouri

  • A+ Schools Program: Exempts a student who is a dependent of an active-duty military member from the three-year attendance requirement to be eligible for the program.
  • Interstate Compact: Allows military dependents who have completed an accredited prekindergarten program or completed or attended a kindergarten program in another state to enter kindergarten or first grade even if the child has not reached the required age for Missouri schools. It also allows school districts to accept a course in government completed in another state when a student transfers to a Missouri high school in ninth to twelfth grade to satisfy the state’s graduation requirement.
  • Missouri Returning Heroes’ Education Act: This act limits the tuition to no more than $50 per credit hour at public colleges and universities while enrolled in an undergraduate certificate or degree program after all other financial aid is taken into account.
  • War Veteran’s Survivor Grant Program: Provides for the spouse and children of a Missouri Soldier who was killed while serving in action, or became 80 percent disabled from an injury sustained in action to receive a grant to attend a public college or university in Missouri.
  • Tuition Assistance: Enlisted Missouri National Guard members with fewer than 10 years military service receive up to 100 percent or the semester hour cost charged a Missouri resident at the University of Missouri for a maximum of 39 credit hours per state fiscal year. Those with more than 10 but less than 17 years receive 50 percent. Officers without a bachelor’s degree receive 100 percent of the semester hour cost regardless of years of service. Based on available funding. Minimum GPA of 2.5 is required.
  • In-State Tuition Eligibility for Military Dependents: All dependents, as defined by 37 U.S.C. Section 401, of active duty military personnel, or activated or temporarily mobilized reservists or guard members, assigned to a permanent duty station or workplace geographically located in Missouri, who reside in this Missouri, shall be deemed to be domiciled in this state for purposes of eligibility for in-state tuition and shall be eligible to receive in-state tuition at public institutions of higher education in this state. All such dependents shall be afforded the same educational benefits as any other individual receiving in-state tuition so long as he or she is continuously enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program of an institution of higher education in Missouri, or transferring between Missouri institutions of higher education or from an undergraduate degree program to a graduate degree program.
  • Students of higher education called to active military service–option for refund or incomplete grade–requirements–rules and regulations, promulgation, procedure: When any person who is enrolled as a student in a public higher education institution in Missouri is called into service of the United States pursuant to 32 U.S.C. 502(f)(1), section 41.470 or 41.480 or the authority of 10 U.S.C. 12301(d) or 10 U.S.C. 12304 or any such subsequent call or order by the President or the Congress, to active service in the armed forces of the United States, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, not including active service for training, prior to the completion of the semester, or similar grading period, that person shall be eligible for either a complete refund of all tuition and incidental fees charged for enrollment at that institution for that semester, or similar grading period; or the awarding of a grade of “incomplete” pursuant to this section.
  • Bright Flight Scholarship Status: If a Bright Flight Scholarship recipient cannot attend an approved institution because of military service in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States, the student will be offered the scholarship if he or she returns to full-time status within six months after ending the military service and verifying to the Coordinating board of Higher Education that the service was satisfactorily completed.

Montana

  • Deployed service members and Guard are provided academic leaves of absence.
  • Other benefits include, flexible and liberal tuition refund opportunities, course curriculum protection, and support to complete courses prior to activation.
  • College scholarships are available for Air and Army National Guard members (State Scholarship-$490,000/biennium).
  • The Board of Regents (University System) may waive tuition fees for certain veterans and family members.
  • MT participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program (new GI Bill).
  • Veterans support centers and wrap-around services are available at all Montana University System campuses through the Veterans Success Initiative

Nebraska

  • Through an MOU with the state, public and private post-secondary institutions in NE provide educational leaves of absence with protection of credits, special scholarships/grants, and refunds of tuition/fees.
  • During their first 10 years of service, NE National Guard members are eligible for tuition assistance up to 75 percent reimbursement of tuition costs (program limit of up to $900,000 and 1,200 members per fiscal year). TAG may extend tuition assistance eligibility period beyond 10 years for individuals unable to complete course of study due to deployment over 120 days; extension equivalent to deployment period up to a maximum of five years.
  • State universities, colleges and community colleges may waive tuition for children and spouses of service members who are rated permanently and totally disabled as a result of military service; or have died of a service connected disability; or have died subsequent to discharge as a result of injury or illness sustained while member of the Armed Forces; or have been classified as missing in action or a prisoner of war during armed hostilities while a member of the Armed Forces.
  • In-state tuition for veterans who left service within the last two years, their spouses, and dependents is authorized. Veterans must demonstrate intent to become a resident of Nebraska by registering to vote, motor vehicle registration, or obtaining a Nebraska drivers license.

Nevada

  • Eligible for 100 percent tuition waiver for fall and spring semester at state schools (including text books but excluding tech and lab fees).
  • Eligible for 100 percent of summer semester costs subsidized through the Education Encouragement Fund.

New Hampshire

  • Scholarships are available annually to New Hampshire National Guard (NHNG) members; awarded through the State Scholarship Committee.
  • Tuition-free, space available attendance for NHNG members is provided at statesupported postsecondary institutions.
  • Army National Guardsmen are eligible to receive a maximum of $4000 or 16 credit hours (whichever comes first) per fiscal year in tuition assistance at any school. After utilizing tuition assistance, soldiers may qualify for a waiver for the remainder of their tuition at select state schools.
  • Interstate Compact on Educational Support for Military Children: removes barriers imposed on children of military families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parent.
  • Children of certain service members or veterans who are currently or were formerly POW/MIA, may be eligible to receive waivers for 100 percent tuition at schools within the NH Community College system.
  • Children of service members killed while on active duty or certain deceased veterans may be eligible to receive reimbursement of room and board, books, and supplies at an institution of higher education

New Jersey

  • National Guardsmen receive 100 percent Tuition Assistance at state colleges and universities (above and beyond the current GI Bill).
  • Troops to College Program – the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, in partnership with the Higher Education Commission, provides an overview of the array of services available to provide a smooth transition for veterans into New Jersey public colleges and universities including several independent and proprietary colleges and universities.
  • VETeach Pilot Program in Department of Education facilitates the teacher certification of veterans.

New Mexico

  • In state tuition rates for veterans and dependents, including National Guard and Reserves; and
  • Full Scholarships are available to combat veterans and the children of deceased veterans.
  • Veterans who have been residents of New Mexico for a minimum of 10 years, served in Vietnam, and were issued Vietnam Campaign or Service Medal are eligible for full tuition and books at any state funded post-secondary school.
  • Any veteran who left a New Mexico high school before graduating to serve in World War II or the Korean War will be awarded a valid high school diploma from the school they were attending.
  • Priority enrollment status is automatically assigned to incoming students for the New Mexico schools system whose active-duty, National Guard, or Reservist parent is transferred to a New Mexico military facility.

New York

  • All students in the State University of New York (SUNY) and (City University of New York (CUNY) system utilizing federal GI Bill benefits have residency requirements waived and are eligible for in-state tuition rates.
  • New York is a Member of the Interstate Compact on Education Opportunity for Military Children.
  • Experience Counts Program – ensures military experience is properly credited towards civilian credentialing and professional accreditation.
  • Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute (MERIT) Scholarship – provides financial aid to veterans, children and spouses of certain members of the U.S. Armed Forces who died or became severely or permanently disabled while engaged in hostilities or training.
  • Regents Awards for Children of Veterans – provides up to $450 a year to students of deceased or disabled parent who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during specified times of national emergency.
  • Combat service scholarships equal to SUNY annual in-state tuition are available for eligible qualified applicants.
  • Veteran Tuition Award (VTA) provides up to 98 percent of tuition cost of a SUNY undergraduate tuition to eligible veterans in an undergraduate or graduate degreegranting institution or vocational training in New York.
  • Leave of absence from higher education provided during periods of military service and for one year after completion of service.
  • Refund or credit for tuition provided during military leave of absence.
  • New York Bureau of Veterans Education assists Soldiers locate employers who participate in the Registered Apprenticeship (RA) program, enabling them to learn a highly skilled occupation while earning a salary and their Montgomery GI Bill benefits at the same time.
  • Operation Recognition allows certain veterans to earn high school diplomas if they left school without graduating.

North Carolina

  • In-State Tuition Rates – In-state tuition is provided for any Active Duty member of the armed services in the state and partial in-state tuition is provided for veterans and their families (begun in 2014 and will be fully implemented by 2015).
  • Military Tuition Refund – At community colleges, upon request of the student, each college will provide a military tuition refund for reserve and National Guard personnel called to active duty or active duty personnel who have received temporary or permanent reassignments out of North Carolina. (see 23 NC Administrative Code 02D.0202)
  • NCNG Tuition Assistance Program (NC TAP) – $1.8M in tuition assistance funding available to be awarded to eligible NCNG members at approved schools up to full tuition and fees.
  • Veteran Scholarship Program (Children) – provides four-year scholarships for qualifying children of certain class categories of deceased, disabled, combat, or POW/MIA veterans. (http://www.doa.nc.gov/vets/benefitslist.aspx?pid=scholarships)
  • Yellow Ribbon Program – Participating higher education institutions enter into a voluntary agreement with the VA to fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed the amounts payable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.; institutions contribute a specified dollar amount of those expenses, and the VA contributes up to 50 percent of the difference.
  • Center for Military Families and Veterans – provides life-long education and career development for veterans and their family members at Central Piedmont Community College. The Center provides academic advising; career services and resources; counseling services; connecting to community resources; and transitioning services. (http://www.cpcc.edu/military)
  • Educational Opportunities for Military Children – Enactment of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. (see N.C.G.S. § 115C-407.5)
  • Enhancement Services for Veterans – provides support services, such as education counseling and assistance with applying for educational benefits, which contribute to the student success of Pitt Community College veterans and their dependents. (http://www.pittcc.edu/academics/financial-aid/veterans_affairs.html)
  • Military Affairs Center – provides military students and their families at Craven Community College with one-on-one assistance for all of their needs from course registration and financial aid assistance to veteran-specific services. (http://cravencc.edu/military/military-affairs-center)
  • NC Military Educational Positioning System – a web portal providing military affiliated students with the resources to explore the state’s higher education options; the tools to navigate the application, admission, and enrollment process; and the knowledge to graduate and pursue their career goals. (http://ncmileps.northcarolina.edu/)
  • NCNG Education and Employment Center – increases career opportunities for North Carolina Guardsmen/veterans by developing proactive positive relationships with North Carolina employers and connecting our Citizen Soldiers/Airmen with those employers through all available channels in order to obtain stable careers and optimal retention. (http://www.nc.ngb.army.mil/Pages/EEC.aspx)
  • The University of North Carolina (UNC) System-wide Evaluation and Recommendation for Veterans Education and Services (UNC SERVES) – a commitment from the university to improve access, retention, and graduation rates for active service members, veterans, and their families at UNC campuses. (http://old.northcarolina.edu/frc/uncserves/serves.html)
  • UNC Partnership for National Security – This system-wide effort is a branded initiative of UNC and serves as the umbrella identity for direct services for veterans and military affiliated students provided by the university. (http://old.northcarolina.edu/frc/natsec.htm)
  • Veterans Upward Bound – a program to motivate and assist veterans at Central Carolina Community College in the development of academic and other requisite skills necessary for acceptance and success in a program of postsecondary education. (http://www.cccc.edu/vub)

North Dakota

  • Tuition assistance up to 100 percent combining federal payments with state and school reimbursements.
  • Rights of Students called to federal service – provides a student with three choices upon receiving federal mobilization orders for fourteen days or longer: withdraw from any/all classes, even after any established deadlines, for a full refund of tuition and mandatory fees; request an incomplete under the school’s incomplete policy; or work with each instructor and complete the courses early.
  • Veterans Centers at schools for education assistance
  • $2.5 million in state Tuition Assistance available for each biennium.
  • Free tuition for dependents of a North Dakota service member killed in action, totally disabled as a result of military service or declared missing in action.

Ohio

  • 100 percent Tuition Assistance provided for Ohio National Guard (OHNG) members attending state schools or, if attending a private school, the average cost of all state schools will be paid toward the cost of the private school tuition.
  • War Orphans Scholarship – for children of those killed in action or 60 percent service-connected disabled or higher.
  • Ohio GI Promise – in-state tuition & financial aid for military, veterans, and dependents.
  • Other benefits include: military transfer assurance guide, campus veterans services, priority registration, and no charge for military credit.
  • Ohio College Opportunity Grant
  • Safety Officer College Memorial Fund – for dependents for those killed in action in Iraq or Afghanistan. (www.ohiohighered.org/veterans)

Oklahoma

  • Tuition Fee Waiver Program to state supported colleges and universities for National Guard members
  • Member of State Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
  • Information about the Oklahoma Family Support Program available at (http://www.ok.ngb.army.mil/FamProg)

Oregon

  • Veterans’ Dependent Tuition Waiver available for eligible dependents.
  • Tuition benefit available for Oregon residents who served as members of the National Guard or Reserves in an active duty capacity in a combat zone since September 11, 2001.
  • In-state tuition provided at Oregon universities and community colleges

Pennsylvania

  • Paid tuition, fees and room/board provided at state schools for surviving children of a service member who dies in the line of duty. Paid tuition and fees provided at state schools for surviving spouse of a service member who dies in the line of duty.
  • Up to 100 percent tuition assistance for National Guard members at all state schools
  • In accordance with PHEAA: “Student loan forgiveness may be granted for those members of the military who use federal teacher loans or agriculture education loans”.
  • Full refund of tuition granted to students enrolled in state schools that are members of the National Guard or Reserves and are ordered to active duty.
  • Special grants to children of POWs or MIAs
  • Scholarships for military children
  • Educational leave of absence and reinstatement of status without loss of credits, tuition or scholarship as a result of mobilization
  • Guidance counseling for service members, veterans and dependents on GI Bill and other state financial aid, degree planning, and career preparation (interviewing, resume, etc.)
  • Access to libraries and computer labs for service members, veterans, and dependents
  • Post-Secondary Education Gratuity Program – provides waivers of tuition, fees, and room and board, for children of Pennsylvania National Guard (PNG) members killed on Federal/State active duty.
  • PNG scholarships available
  • Operation Recognition – authorizes school districts to grant a high school diploma to any honorably discharged veteran who served in WWII or the Korean War. Payment of up to $500 per semester for qualified children of veterans.

Puerto Rico

  • Tuition assistance for graduate degree (max of $1,350 per year).
  • Tuition assistance for under graduate/vocational degree (max of $900 per year).
  • Tuition assistance for M.D. residency (max of $1,350 per year).
  • Veterans who are government employees and are pursuing higher education have the right to apply, and their employer the obligation to concede, an unpaid leave of absence for the entire duration of their educational program.
  • Free admission and additional financial aid is available to veterans that have depleted their federal funding for their undergraduate education in the state university system.
  • Priority admission for veterans and their families in state universities and academic institutions.
  • Availability of vocational and technical schools and priority admission for veterans

Rhode Island

  • Free tuition to state schools: up to 5 free courses at CCRI, URI, RIC, during fall/spring semesters
  • Free tuition for summer courses at state schools: up to 1 free course per summer session at each of the state schools
  • Pay tuition and fees at state schools for surviving children of members who were killed in action in support of Global War on Terror

South Carolina

  • Priority given to reimbursement of tuition for state institutions due to activation

South Dakota

  • Children who are under the age of 25, are residents of South Dakota, and whose mother or father was killed in action or died of other causes while on active duty, are eligible for free tuition at a state supported school. Children and spouses of prisoners of war, or of persons listed as missing in action, are entitled to attend a state supported school without the payment of tuition or mandatory fees provided they are not eligible for equal or greater federal benefits.
  • Certain veterans are eligible to take undergraduate courses at a state supported university without payment of tuition provided they are not eligible for educational payments under the GI Bill or any other federal educational program.
  • Veterans may receive one month of free tuition for each month of ‘qualifying service’ with a minimum of one, up to a maximum of four academic years.
  • 50 percent tuition benefits for NG members at state educational institutions under management of Board of Regents.
  • Any non-resident is entitled to a benefit of fifty percent of the in-state resident tuition to be paid to the institution by the Department of Military

Tennessee

  • Helping Heroes Grant
  • Diplomas for World War, Korean, and Vietnam veterans
  • In-state tuition
  • Early registration
  • Tuition waiver for dependents or spouses of a veteran who was KIA, POW, or MIA

Texas

  • A tuition reimbursement program
  • 150 credit hours of free tuition and free or reduced fees at public colleges and universities for eligible veterans
  • Allows military dependents residing in state (regardless of how long in residence) to pay in-state tuition rates even if the military sponsor is stationed outside of state, or retires from the military
  • Exempts certain military personnel and veterans from the requirements of state Academic Skills Program;
  • Requires the Texas Education Agency to develop reciprocity agreements with other states to facilitate the dependents of military personnel into public schools

Utah

  • Tuition assistance for NG members: (state budget of $1M annually)
  • 2.5 percent of all state funded scholarships issued by state colleges go to Utah NG members
  • Tuition waiver for Purple Heart recipients for undergraduate programs
  • Undergraduate tuition waiver to surviving dependents of Utah resident military members killed on federal and state active duty
  • Veterans Tuition Gap Program provides recipients of Post 9/11 G.I. Bill with additional grants to complete a bachelor’s degree at certain institutions.
  • In-state tuition for military service members and veterans
  • Honorary high school diplomas for WWII, Korea and Vietnam veterans who left high school for military service
  • Free of charge admission to post-secondary schools for instruction and tutoring in the areas of math, English and basic computer applications for qualifying veterans
  • Scott. B Lundell Program – tuition waivers for undergraduate degree for surviving dependents of Utah resident military members killed in the line of duty after 9/11/2001

Vermont

  • Paid tuition for surviving family members of NG member who dies on active duty
  • Tuition assistance for members of the Vermont National Guard (VTNG) through the Guard’s Education Office
  • The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation administers tuition assistance programs and scholarships for Guard, Reserve, and active duty veterans, as well as family members.

Virginia

  • Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Program – provides education benefits to spouses and children of service members killed, missing in action, taken prisoner, or who became at least 90 percent disabled as a result of military service in an armed conflict. This program may pay for tuition and fees at any state supported college or university.
  • Virginia offers in state tuition to active duty members and dependents:
    • Active duty – Any active duty members, activated guard or reservist members, or guard or reservist members mobilized or on temporary active orders for six months or more, that reside in Virginia.
    • Dependents – All dependents, as defined by 37 U.S.C. § 401, of eligible active duty military personnel, or activated or temporarily mobilized reservists or guard members residing or temporarily located in Virginia may receive in-state tuition in Virginia in accordance with federal and state law.
  • The Virginia National Guard Youth Program – strives to engage, empower, and educate geographically dispersed Virginia National Guard youth and families through programming, education, and community awareness. This goal is being achieved through partnerships with community organizations, military programs, and families who work together to build a network of support that instills resiliency in our youth and teens.

Virgin Islands

  • Four-year scholarship at UVI for children under 25 of NG members who are injured or die while on state active duty, active duty for special work or active duty for training
  • NG members are allowed up to 32 free credits at the UVI
  • eDISCOVER, the development of a personalized college degree plan; education assessment of previous military experience; and the “Student Guide to Success” help prepare for college exams
  • Free tuition at local public educational institutions and UVI for eligible veterans
  • Army National Guard tuition assistance of up to $4,000 per fiscal year

Washington

  • State universities, regional universities, The Evergreen State College, and the community colleges, may waive all or a portion of tuition and fees for an eligible veteran or NG member. The tuition waivers vary by institution.
  • A full tuition waiver to state universities, regional universities, The Evergreen State College, and the community colleges is extended to a child and the spouse or surviving spouse of an eligible veteran or NG member who became totally disabled or who is determined by the federal government to be POW/MIA, or who lost his or her life while engaged in active federal military service.
  • MOU with colleges and universities committed to helping veterans and NG/Reservists be successful in their higher education goals. In addition to the MOU, many colleges and universities are signing certificates as Veteran Supportive Campuses. (www.dva.wa.gov/benefits/partners-veteran-supportivecampuses)
  • VETCorps – 50 VETCorps Members (an AmeriCorps Program) are assigned to colleges and universities throughout the state. VETCorps members are veterans and provide one-on-one support to veterans on their campus. They act as a liaison between the veteran and the school and help the schools implement programs to help all veterans on campus. (www.dva.wa.gov/vet_conservation_corps.html)
  • High School Diplomas can be awarded to veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam who left high school early to serve their country.
  • Military resident tuition – allows veterans to pay in-state tuition rates as long as they move to or declare an intent to move to Washington State after separating from the military.
  • Academic credit for military students – requires colleges to have a policy in place by December 31, 2015 to award credit based on military training.
  • Early course registration for veterans – requires institutions of higher education that offer an early course registration period for any segment of the student population to also offer early registration to students who are eligible veterans or NG members.
  • Military member make-up classes – requires institutions of higher education to provide make-up classes, exams, or other make-up events to NG members or other military reservists called to active duty or training for 30 days or less without prejudice to the final course grade or evaluation.
  • In-state tuition for Oregon military members – provides that a student who resides in Washington and is on active military duty stationed in one of the nine Oregon border counties is included in the definition of “resident student” and eligible to pay in-state tuition rates. Spouses and dependents of active military members stationed in one of the border counties and living in Washington are also eligible for in-state tuition rates as long as the spouse or dependent also resides in Washington.

West Virginia

  • National Guard:
    • Veterans Upward Bound – education assistance available from the state
    • Per WV Code Section §18B-4-9 – Development of services and facilities for student veterans, public institutions will be veteran-friendly and provide academic and student support services that will address the unique needs of student veterans.
    • All public institutions are approved for GI Bill and all other VA education programs.
    • Yellow Ribbon Program participation required for all undergraduate programs at public institutions.
    • Tuition waivers for undergraduate programs at public institutions for resident recipients of the Purple Heart or Medal of Honor.
    • Withdrawal and course completion considerations for military students called to serve.
    • All public institutions to assess tuition at the in state rate for nonresident recipients of the GI Bill who enroll within three years of their discharge, beginning July 2015.
  • Higher Education Policy Commission:
    • State Approving Authority responsible for verifying that school programs meet VA guidelines to receive GI Bill benefits. Also audits veteran files to ensure money paid out to veterans was accurate and allowable.
    • Veterans 101 handout – a handout is being created with help from CTCS to include information that will be helpful to veterans wanting to enroll in college. Topics covered will include how to apply for VA Benefits, filling out a FAFSA, available grants, requesting military Joint Service Transcripts, Federal and State Tuition Assistance, general information about Montgomery GI Bill Options, creating a budget and available assistance on and off campus.
  • Community & Technical College System:
    • Provides training on veteran recruitment and retention strategies
    • Creates easy to read flow charts and handout related to VA benefits and veteran status for institution faculty, administration and staff
    • Assists institutions with understanding military lingo and organization structure
    • Strengthens relationships between the veteran organizations at the community colleges and service organizations that provide assistance to veterans in the community
    • Promotes adoption of 8 keys to veteran success
    • Forwards information to institutions about changes in VA policy, jobs available to veterans, and other information relevant to military students
    • Helps strengthen or create veteran organizations on campus and assist with future activities aimed at military students
  • Veterans Upward Bound:
    • Academic preparation (through our classes, individual tutoring, and/or our online academic assistance program
    • Assistance with college application process, understanding admissions requirements completing FAFSA, completing VONAPP
    • Changing or switching GI Bill from one school to another
    • Vocational rehabilitation
    • Transferring military experience and/or transcripts into college credit
    • Applying for their West Virginia Bonus
    • Scholarship research (for example, Veterans Re-Education Act Fund)
    • Referrals to other veteran agencies
  • West Virginia Veterans Assistance Programs:
    • State War Orphans Education Program –Tuition waiver for students whose parents were killed in action
    • Operation Recognition-Diploma – High school diplomas for veterans who joined the service rather than finishing high school
    • Special automobile license plates for qualified veterans
    • Free Hunting and Fishing Privileges – For veterans with a 100 percent permanent and total service-connected disability
    • Veteran’s Bonus – Various monetary awards for those who served during war time
    • Veteran’s Re-Education Act Fund – Tuition assistance for veterans who have exhausted
    • GI Bill and need a new vocation due to dislocation or unemployment
    • Jack Bennett Fund – Funding for installation of grave markers
  • West Virginia Veterans Assistance Facilities:
    • West Virginia Veterans Home (Barboursville)
    • West Virginia Veterans Nursing Facility (Clarksburg)
    • Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery (Dunbar)
  • West Virginia Veterans Assistance Services:
    • Field and Claims offices – 16 located throughout the state; goal is to assist veterans with filing for state and federal benefits.
    • Veteran Outreach Program – staffed by licensed social workers who connect veterans in need with a variety of resources

Wisconsin

  • 100 percent tuition reimbursement for eligible NG members attending in-state public institutions. Reimbursement calculated at 100 percent of actual tuition charged or 100 percent of the maximum resident undergraduate tuition charged by the UW-Madison for a comparable number of credits, whichever is less.
  • Military students who withdraw from a college in Wisconsin due to military service are allowed to receive reimbursement of tuition and fees.
  • Military students returning from activation are allowed priority for enrollment in Wisconsin college courses.
  • Activated military students are allowed completion within 6 months of leaving service without payment of additional fees.
  • Wisconsin GI Bill tuition remission program – 100 percent of tuition and fees at any UW or Wis. Tech College for eligible veterans (including qualified NG members), and of spouses and children of service members who die in the line of duty or have a VA disabilities rating of 30 percent or more.
  • Lifetime in-state tuition for eligible veterans
  • Retraining grant up to $3,000 per year
  • Veterans Education Reimbursement Grant
  • Additional information available at: http://dma.wi.gov/dma/dma/education.asp and http://www.wisvets.com/Ben-Education.asp

Wyoming

  • Ten Free Semesters for Overseas Combat Veterans – Wyoming provides ten free semesters of tuition and fees for overseas combat veterans at Wyoming Community Colleges and the University of Wyoming for Wyoming residents. Surviving spouses and dependent children are also eligible for this benefit if the military member died in combat.
  • Wyoming National Guard 100 percent State Educational Assistance Plan – Wyoming National Guard members may receive 100 percent of tuition and mandatory fees at the seven Community Colleges, the University of Wyoming, and the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy. Members may receive partial payment of tuition at private colleges and institutions for programs offered within Wyoming
  • Operation Recognition (High School Diploma) – This program is intended to recognize WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam War Veterans who left school to serve in the military during those conflicts. Individuals can request the diploma through the Wyoming Veterans Commission.
  • Troops to Teachers – Troops to Teachers provides counseling and referral services to military personnel interested in beginning a second career in public education as a teacher. The DANTES Troops to Teachers office will help applicants identify teacher certification requirements, programs leading to certification and employment opportunities. (http://www.dantes.doded.mil/dantes_Web/troopstoteachers/index.asp)

 

Source: Governors Report covering State Education Benefits for 2015

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