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In-state tuition bill for veterans passes House


A bill that would allow student veterans to qualify for in-state tuition rates — a rate that at the undergraduate level would be three times less than the out-of-state tuition rate — unanimously passed the Florida House of Representatives on Tuesday and will now move to the Senate.

HB 7015, called the “Congressman C. W. Bill Young Veteran Tuition Waiver Program” after the late Congressman who was a longtime advocate of veterans’ services, will require that all Florida state universities and colleges waive out-of-state fees for any “honorably discharged veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States, including the National Guard and reserve components” for up to 110 percent of required credit hours.

Florida is home to about 1.5 million veterans, according to a Miami NBC-affiliate, and the bill is anticipated to cost the state about $12 million.

If approved by the Senate, the bill would take effect
July 1.

“This is an important step in ensuring the future success of the men and women who have served our country so well and so richly deserve our gratitude and support,” USF President Judy Genshaft said in a statement Tuesday. “In passing this legislation, Florida will make higher education more accessible to these highly-skilled men and women and allow them to achieve their degrees in a more affordable and timely manner.

The USF System is a richer learning environment for all students, including more than 1,700 veterans. “We know our student veterans have a bright and successful future ahead of them, and we are proud to continue to play a part in helping them reach their goals,” Genshaft said.

— Staff report