Addressing the Tuition v. Fee Conundrum for California Vets

May 20, 2009

Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-Cal.) introduced legislation Tuesday that would address one, California-specific inequity in the funding formula under the new Post-9/11 GI Bill. Maximum benefits payable under the new GI Bill, which goes into effect in August, are tied to the maximum charges assessed by public colleges in each state. In California, which by a quirk of state law calls tuition “fees,” that trick of semantics leaves veterans exactly $0 that they could apply toward a private college tuition bill (they can apply $6,586.54 per term toward their fees, but that does them little good at most private institutions). “California’s prohibition on tuition was meant to hold college costs down, not unfairly drive them up for our state’s veterans,” Rep. McKeon said in a statement announcing the introduction of the Veterans Educational Equity Act, which would allow veterans to use the full $6,586.54 to offset tuition and fees at private colleges.

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