We constantly hear about illegal immigrants demanding and receiving in-state tuition. It’s about time that people who have served America got such a benefit.

Michael Stratford reports at Inside Higher Ed.

New Benefit for Vets

In passing a compromise piece of legislation aimed at reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Senate on Thursday also approved a new benefit for student veterans and their families.

The proposal, passed on a 91-3 vote, would require public universities that want to continue receiving GI Bill benefits to offer recent veterans in-state tuition. Veterans’ spouses and dependents would also be eligible for the benefit.

The legislation, which was a compromise between House and Senate bills, cleared the House on Wednesday on a 420-5 vote. The in-state tuition provision is only one part of broader legislation that is aimed at reforming veterans’ access to health care in the wake of the Veterans Affairs scandal that erupted earlier this year, when it was reported that veterans died while waiting for medical appointments at VA facilities.

Veterans’ groups had pushed for the inclusion of the in-state tuition provision, which they said was needed to protect veterans who are “stateless” for the purposes of in-state tuition. Veterans returning from military service often have difficulty meeting the residency requirements that would qualify them to pay in-state tuition.

Some 30 states or university systems have already changed their laws or policies to recognize returning veterans as in-state students for tuition purposes. The new legislation will likely require additional states to change their laws or policies.