Good news! Beginning July 1, 2009, states are required to offer in-state tuition to active duty military members, their spouses, and dependent children, who reside or are permanently stationed in their state. In addition, once enrolled and paying in-state tuition, they will not lose the in-state tuition rate if the service member is reassigned outside the state, as long as they remain continuously enrolled at the institution. This is a great change for military families across the country.
This change is a part of Higher Education Opportunity Act (H.R. 4137), which extends the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), and applies to all public institutions that receive funds under the HEA program.
The Department of Education has worked with the states and their university systems to ensure that they are aware of the changes in the law. If service members or their families find that their school is unsure about the law, they should contact the financial aid, registrar’s, or Veterans Affairs’ office at the institution. If they are unable to resolve the situation at the school level, they can contact the Department of Education’s Ombudsman’s office (toll-free at 877-557-2575) or utilize the online Ombudsman Assistance Form: www.ombudsman.ed.gov/OmbudsmanWebApp/do?action=getRequest.
As a military spouse who has paid out-of-state tuition on more than one occasion, I am delighted to see this change occur. This will remove one more barrier to pursuing further education and improve the quality of life for many military families.