The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill, sponsored by Rep. Steve Barrar, to provide in-state college tuition rates for veterans and their families. “This bill would guarantee veterans who go to state universities and colleges receive in-state rates,” said Barrar, R-160, of Upper Chichester. To qualify for in-state tuition in Pennsylvania, one year residency in the state is required. This bill would wave the residency requirement for veterans, their spouses and children who plan to attend a state university or college.
Regardless of how quickly the bill moves up to the governor’s office, it has to be approved based on federal mandates. The G.I Bill Tuition Fairness Act of 2014 requires state colleges to charge veterans in-state tuition. The amendment in Pennsylvania’s proposed bill clarifies eligibility requirements for veterans interested in matriculating at a state college or university.
Pennsylvania Military Educational
This is a program only offered to Pennsylvania National Guard members and is a non-taxable grant. If you attend a Commonwealth Member Institution, it pays 100% of your tuition directly to the college. If you go to any other college, it will pay as much as 100% of the tuition charged at a Commonwealth Member Institution. Either way, it will pay more than $5,038.00 per year to the school on your behalf. It is paid directly to the school you are attending. If you use it for the 5 years allowed, it will pay more than $20,000. If you use Pell Grants, PHEAA Grants, or Stafford Loans, it doesn’t change the amount of the EAP.
Eligibility: This program provides tuition assistance for students who enter into a service commitment with the Pennsylvania National Guard, typically for a period of six years.
Pennsylvania National Guard Education Assistance Program:
The program will pay a full-time student, equal to or greater than 12 credit hours per semester, up to $2313 per state fiscal year, 30 June to 1 July. The program will pay a part-time student, more than 3 but less than 12 credit hours per semester, up to $1156 per state fiscal year at a state sponsored school.
Eligibility: Only First Lieutenants “ O2” and below in rank eligible for benefits. May be used for up to a Masters degree, however, may only be a full-time student for undergraduate studies. Graduates studies must be part-time. School must be approved by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and located in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street, 12th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Sources: Student Veterans of America, American Legion