Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn has partnered with a Democratic senator to introduce legislation to increase access to in-state tuition for veterans.
Sen Blackburn and Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) introduced the Providing Veterans Access to In-State Tuition Act Wednesday. The bipartisan legislation gives student veterans access to in-state tuition rates at public institutions that receive GI Bill payments, regardless of whether the student veteran is a state resident.
The current provision requires students to be within three years of his or her discharge from active duty. This bill would eliminate that requirement.
“We should give our veterans every opportunity to succeed after they have finished their service,” said Senator Blackburn. “This legislation would eliminate existing obstacles that prevent our men and women in uniform from a smooth transition into civilian life. I am glad that Tennessee is currently one of the 27 states that currently waives the three-year cap. Let’s make it one of 50.”
“In the United States, Veteran students tend to outperform and out-earn their non-veteran counterparts. Veterans not only defend our freedoms and sacrifice for our country, they continuously work hard and search for opportunities to succeed here at home. Improving the Forever GI Bill will help Veteran students gain access to in-state tuition without having a “three-year rule” that limits their opportunity to receive an education in whatever state they choose. I am proud that our own West Virginia University and other public universities are supporting our Veterans and through this change will be able to draw more hardworking individuals into our great state. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this important legislation that will benefit Veterans across our country,” said Senator Manchin.
This legislation is supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Student Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion.
Rep. Phil Roe (TN-01) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives last week.