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Law Gives Dependent GI Bill Users In-State Tuition

A bill recently signed into law makes it so anyone using the post-9/11 GI Bill will receive in-state tuition rates regardless of how long they have lived in the state.

The federal government can't force states to charge students a specific rate for college. But they can make it illegal for a state school to receive GI Bill money (and, therefore, have students who are using the cash) if they don't extend in-state tuition rates to those folks.

Here's a few quick facts about this portion of the Veterans Access, Choice And Accountability Act of 2014.

What it does not do: Grant military spouses, veterans or other dependent who are NOT using the GI Bill in-state tuition. That means that if you move to a state right after leaving the military and decide to go back to school and can't measure up to the state's residency requirements, they can charge you whatever they want. Bummer, right?

What it does do: Saves Uncle Sam some money in the long run.

What you still might have to do: Prove to the state where you are going to school that you do, in fact, plan to live there. While under the law they can't require you to meet a residency standard, they CAN make show "intent." For example, UC San Diego requires you to show "intent to become a California resident" by meeting one of several bench marks, including things like opening a bank account in the state or proof that you moved your stuff there. This law says they can still do that.

But the other thing this bill does is actually exciting, our friends over at the Military.com mothership have reported. The bill extends the Fry Scholarship, which in the past gave the GI bill to the children of fallen service members, to their spouses as well. That means Gold Star spouses can also receive a GI Bill sponsored college education, regardless of whether or not the service member transferred his benefits before his death.

Interested in transferring your service member's GI Bill benefits to you or your children? Go here for the details.

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