Since the G.I. Bill changed its policy in 2011, many veterans wishing to return to school after military service are finding it harder to find colleges they can afford. Now, students at Florida State University are advocating for more affordable options for its out-of-state student veterans.
The Tallahassee Democrat reports that student veterans of FSU, along with university president Eric Barron, held a press conference Monday to address the current financial challenges affecting student veterans. Prior to the 2011 change, the G.I. Bill covered all tuition costs for veterans at public schools. Now, the bill is limited to in-state tuition costs. Veterans who are enrolling at out-of-state public institutions must pay the difference themselves.
"All of a sudden I was told student loans were my only option, so I did what every veteran does when faced with adversity," Air Force veteran Andrew Sloan said during the press conference. "I continued on with the mission. I held my head high and my shoulders back."
Sloan, a member of FSU's Collegiate Veterans Association, is advocating for state legislation that waives out-of-state tuition for veterans at Florida's public colleges and universities, no matter the veterans' official residencies. The bill, HB 35, was designed and co-sponsored by state Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena, who's hopeful that it will succeed in the state legislature this year, the news source reports.
According to the news outlet, 17 states have already passed similar legislation.