Section 702 of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (“Choice Act”), requires VA to disapprove programs of education for payment of benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty at public institutions of higher learning if the schools charge qualifying Veterans and dependents tuition and fees in excess of the rate for resident students for terms beginning after July 1, 2015 (and July 1, 2017 for the new updates)

Section 417 of Public Law 114-315 requires VA to disapprove programs of education for payment of benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty at public Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs) if the school charges qualifying Veterans and dependents tuition and fees in excess of the rate for resident students for terms beginning after July 1, 2017.


DO PUBLIC SCHOOLS HAVE TO OFFER IN-STATE RATES TO ALL VETERANS AND DEPENDENTS TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 702?
No. To remain approved for VA’s GI Bill programs, schools must charge in-state tuition and fee amounts to “covered individuals.” A covered individual is defined as:

  • A Veteran who lives in the state where the 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.
  • An individual using transferred benefits who lives in the state where 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.
  • Anyone described above while he or she remains continuously enrolled (other than during regularly scheduled breaks between courses, semesters, or terms) at the same school. The person so described must have enrolled in the school prior to the expiration of the three year period following discharge or release as described above and must be using educational benefits under either chapter 30 or chapter 33, of title 38, United States Code.
  • Effective 7/1/2017 - Anyone using transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits who lives in the state where the IHL is located and the transferor is a member of the uniformed service who is serving on active duty.
  • Effective 7/1/2017 - Anyone using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship who lives in the state where the IHL is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence).

The in-state tuition provisions in Section 417 do not apply to those individuals on active duty using benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty.

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, 2017. After July 1, 2017, 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 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.


WHAT HAPPENS IF A STATE DOES NOT OFFER IN-STATE TUITION AND FEES TO ALL “COVERED INDIVIDUALS”?
The law requires VA to disapprove programs of education for everyone training under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill –Active Duty (MGIB-AD) if in-state tuition and fees are not offered to all “covered individuals.”

WHERE CAN I GO TO GET MORE INFORMATION?
Questions regarding the provisions of Section 702 may be submitted to Section702.Vbavaco@va.gov. VA will provide updates on its website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.


WHAT DOCUMENTATION IS NEEDED BY JMU IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR INSTATE TUITION UNDER THE CHOICE ACT SECTION 702?

  • For separated or retired service-members: DD-214 of Servicemember, indicating an honorable discharge, at least 90 days of service and a discharge no longer than three years prior to the date of the student's enrollment
  • For active duty service-members: copy of your orders
  • Certificate of Eligibility in the student's name for Post 9/11 (must be using Post 9/11 to qualify for instate tuition)
  • Fry Scholarship: Certificate of Eligibility showing you are approved for the Fry Scholarship (must be using it each semester to qualify for instate tuition)

All documentation can be submitted to the Veteran Services Team via email (veteran@jmu.edu), fax (540-568-5615), mail (738 South Mason Street MSC 3528 Harrisonburg VA 22807) or drop off. It can also be submitted directly to Ms. Linda Combs (combslc@jmu.edu). Ms. Combs handles all tuition reclassifications regarding the Choice Act Section 702/417.

More Information: visit VA Choice Act Website or call 1-888-442-4551

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