Did You Know? The difference between resident tuition and non-resident tuition costs could be thousands of dollars.
Although many states have come on board with offering non-resident veterans in-state tuition costs for public colleges, some states have yet to create any legislature to help veterans. However, thanks to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs who are pushing for the GI Bill Fairness Act of 2013, and the advocacy from Student Veterans of America and other veteran organizations, we may soon find all states on board with offering a residency waiver that would alleviate this problem for non-resident veterans.
Let’s take a look first at Resident and Non-Resident tuition rates for UCLA for example:
2013-2014 Estimated Undergraduate Student Budget for UCLA
Resident total budget Non-Resident total budget
UCLA (California) Living with relatives $23,748 $46,626
UCLA tacks on a Non-residential Supplemental Tuition charge of $22,878 which just doubled the price of tuition for a Non-resident. These tuition costs can be found at http://www.admissions.ucla.edu/prospect/budget.htm. Imagine getting qualified for resident (In-State) tuition costs, because you are a veteran but not a resident of California. Does UCLA now look a bit more affordable?
A veteran currently has two choices if they are not residents of a state they wish to attend college in.
1) Simply face paying the non-resident (Out of state) tuition amount, which as mentioned already will be much more than if you were a resident.
2) Apply to become a resident in the state you wish to attend college, though you could find yourself waiting for possibly a year; a year that could have been spent in the classroom.
GI Bill Fairness Act of 2013 was created to help veterans qualify for in-state tuition costs and keep them from having to pay out of state tuition simply because they are not a resident of the state. Thankfully the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is pushing for this legislature, and they have the backing of many politicians and veteran organizations. This bill would allow you to stretch your GI Bill monies even further, which you will need if you wish to go further with your education. It also means all of your education could be covered with your GI Bill monies, and you won’t have to worry about paying out of your pocket or getting a loan later on.
Student Veterans of America is one of many veteran organizations who are involved with keeping track and pushing for this legislature. By going to the SVA website http://www.studentveterans.org/what-we-do/in-state-tuition.html you will find a map showing what states have legislature in place, and what state are lagging behind. Hopefully in the near future you will find that all states are united with qualifying veterans for in-state tuition, saving you thousands of dollars and time as well trying to become a resident for cheaper tuition.
Understand the importance of qualifying for resident tuition instead of non-resident, because as my example above shows, you could be saving a lot of money. Once again I will remind you that the civilian world will leave you to fend for yourself when it comes to finding answers, so if you plan on attending a college in a state you are not a resident of, be sure to ask a college advisor of the school of your choice, if you will be charged at the non-resident cost or resident cost.
In my next article, we will take a look at College-Level Examination Program (CLEP).