Veterans’ college costs reduction passed by State Senate

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News release from Indiana State Senator Jim Banks (R-17th):

Sen. Banks: Senate Approves Legislation to Reduce Veterans’ College Costs

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 19, 2013) — Legislation authored by State Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) to reduce veterans’ college costs passed the Senate today by a unanimous vote.

Senate Bill 177 would allow certain veterans to qualify for in-state tuition rates upon enrolling in one of Indiana’s state colleges or universities. Currently, veterans serving out of state or overseas can lose their in-state tuition eligibility upon returning to Indiana. Under Banks’ bill, applicants would qualify regardless of whether they are from Indiana or have lived here long enough to meet the school’s residency requirements.

“Our veterans have done so much to protect our country, and now it’s our turn to give back,” Banks said. “As a state and nation, we must do more to care for our nation’s heroes and provide the resources they need to build a home, family and civilian life after their service. My hope is that by offering in-state tuition rates to returning soldiers will open more opportunities for them to earn college degrees – not only helping veterans who lived in Indiana prior to their service, but also attracting hard-working veterans from other states to make Indiana home.”

To qualify for the proposed tuition benefit, veterans would be required to enroll in a state college or university no later than 12 months after their discharge or separation from the armed forces. They would then have to take steps to establish Indiana residency within 12 months of enrollment.

SB 177 will now head to the House of Representatives for further consideration. Rep. Jim Baird (R-Greencastle) is its sponsor.

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