Sen. Banks: House approves legislation to Reduce Veterans’ College Costs

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

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

STATEHOUSE (March 21, 2013) — A bill authored by State Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) to reduce veterans’ college costs passed the House of Representatives today by a vote of 93-0. Rep. Jim Baird (R-Greencastle) is its sponsor.

Senate Bill 177 grants in-state tuition eligibility to honorably discharged veterans who enroll in one of Indiana’s state college or universities. Currently, veterans serving in a different state or country can lose their in-state tuition eligibility upon returning home. 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 make great sacrifices to keep our country safe, and it’s our duty to support them both during their service and after they return home,” Banks said. “My hope is that offering lower in-state tuition rates to returning soldiers will open more opportunities for them to earn college degrees after their service. Not only would this allow Hoosier veterans to further their education if they want, but it could also attract hardworking veterans from other states to our workforce.”

Eligible 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 now returns to the Senate for final legislative review.

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