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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

VA Department Waives In-State Tuition Requirement Through 2015

May 18, 2015

On May 15, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced a blanket waiver to Section 702 of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (Choice Act) for all non-compliant states through 2015. The law requires public institutions to charge veterans and their dependents in-state tuition and fees regardless of their current state of residence, when the following conditions are met:

  • The veteran was discharged no more than three years prior to enrollment, after a period of service of at least 90 days.
  • The veteran is using VA education benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30) or the Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33), or the dependent is using Chapter 33 benefits.
  • The veteran resides in the state in which the institution is located while attending.

In a press release, the VA announced the waiver was granted to ensure all GI Bill® students "are able to continue training at their chosen institutions" while states continue to ensure they are in compliance with the law. The VA acknowledged that complying with Section 702 of the Choice Act is "challenging for some states and schools due to the process required to make legislative and/or policy changes." Currently, only 21 states comply with the resident rate requirements. The waiver covers programs that are not in compliance for all terms beginning prior to January 1, 2016.

Without this waiver, the VA would have to disapprove education programs at public institutions in states if they charged tuition and fees in excess of the resident rate for terms beginning after July 1, 2015.


Bryan Dickson
Senior Policy Analyst