Veteran’s Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014

0
105

There is a recent change in the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (“Choice Act”) that relates to the GI Bill Resident Rate Requirements. These new requirements will ensure that our Citizen Airmen and their eligible family members will not have to bear the cost of out-of-state charges while using their education benefits.

Section 702 basically says the VA will not pay Post-9/11 GI Bill or Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty payments to schools that charge tuition and fees in excess of the rate paid for resident students for school terms beginning after July 1, 2015.

To remain approved for VA’s GI Bill programs, the legislation states schools must charge in-state tuition and fee amounts to “covered individuals.”

A covered individual is defined in the Choice Act as:

A Veteran who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning (IHL) is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

A spouse or child using transferred benefits who lives in the state in which the IHL is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the transferor’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

A spouse or child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship who lives in the state in which the IHL is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the Servicemember’s death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

An individual described above will retain covered individual status as long as he/she remains continuously enrolled (other than during regularly scheduled breaks between terms) at the public IHL.

Public IHLs must offer in-state tuition and fees to all covered individuals with Post-9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB – AD) benefits in order for programs to remain approved for GI Bill benefits for terms beginning after July 1, 2015. VA will not issue payments for any students eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill or the MGIB-AD until the school becomes fully compliant.

These new requirements ensure our nation’s recently discharged Veterans, and their eligible family members, will not bear the cost of out-of-state charges while using their well-deserved education benefits. VA is working diligently with state representatives to ensure compliance with the law before July 1, 2015.

For questions regarding Section 702 please contact the Veterans Administration at Section702.Vbavaco@va.gov. They will also provide updates on their website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.