Barrar’s Bill Providing In-State Tuition Rates for Veterans and Their Families Signed into Law
6/30/2015
HARRISBURG – Rep. Steve Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware) commends the governor for signing House Bill 131 into law yesterday, which was approved by the Pennsylvania General Assembly on June 26. The bill, now Act 11, ensures that all veterans and their families who qualify for GI Bill education benefits are charged in-state tuition rates in Pennsylvania.

“Education benefits for veterans and their families in the Commonwealth are now ironclad; after serving our great country, they will never have to worry that their benefits will be retracted,” Barrar said. “As majority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, it was vital to me that a law be created to bolster the promise we make to our veterans when we tell them that Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities will honor their education benefits.”

Without Act 11, colleges and universities could charge out-of-state veterans the out-of-state tuition rate. However, in doing so, federal law considered the school noncompliant because the in-state tuition rate was to be extended to all veterans. As a repercussion for the choice to charge the out-of-state rate, the federal government refused to send any education benefit money to noncompliant schools for the veterans, not even to veterans who were already enrolled and using their education benefits.

Now, the option no longer exists to charge veterans the out-of-state tuition rate, regardless of the veterans’ residency status. Veterans and their families no longer have to worry about being stripped of their education benefits as a result of their school’s noncompliancy status.

“Act 11 shows that we welcome those who fight for our freedom, regardless of where they live,” Barrar said. “It is also important because it protects veterans who have always lived in Pennsylvania prior to their service, but as a result of where they were stationed, have become ineligible for in-state tuition rates. After all that our veterans have given us, what an insult it would be not to honor them with in-state residency.”

Had the governor not signed House Bill 131 by July 1, veterans and their families would have been subject to the possibility of having to choose between being unable to use education benefits they have earned or transferring to a compliant school.

Representative Stephen E. Barrar
160th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Evans
717.260.6206
aevans@pahousegop.com
SteveBarrar.com / Facebook.com/RepBarrar
Share |