No matter their location in the country, military veterans will now be able to pay in-state tuition at USF as the Board of Trustees approved a measure Monday, following passage of HB 7015 by the state Legislature and approval of Fla. Gov. Rick Scott.
The bill, set to go into effect July 1, allows veterans to qualify for in-state tuition at Florida colleges and universities — almost one-third the price of out-of-state tuition.
Bryan Robinson, an Air Force veteran and a senior majoring in criminology, said it would have benefited him a couple of years ago, but he’s glad the change will come soon for veterans hoping to get an affordable education.
“I was out of state, so I had to wait a whole year to just apply for this school because they wanted twice as much money,” he said. “(Now) I think it will bring a lot more students to USF.”
Giovanni Marinello, an Army veteran and junior mechanical engineering major, said he thinks the bill would also benefit the university’s finances.
“The way the GI Bill is set up — it only covers the maximum in-state tuition, so the school would actually have to provide financial aid for the other half,” he said. “Before, we had to rely on the Yellow Ribbon program, and we only had (few) spots for undergrads, and now it provides more slots (for veterans).”
“I think it’s wonderful to pass and I hope to see more students at USF,” Marinello said. “It will make Florida state institutions stand out as veteran-friendly.”