A Major Hurdle for Student Veterans
by James Cavin, Hawai`i Alliance of Student Veterans; Executive Director, February 20, 2014
The Ways & Means Committee passed SB2131, which requires the board of regents of the University of Hawai`i (UH) to waive the non-resident tuition and fee differential for veterans of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy, who were honorably discharged. The Senate will bring the vote to the floor for a vote, where then it will head to the House.
SB2131 covers veterans' college tuition at the UH’s colleges and universities up to the in-state tuition amount. This bill, if passed, would put Hawai`i with 20 states who have passed some sort of legislation or policy waiving the in-state residency requirement.
Currently, if veterans choose to attend UH and haven't established residency, they have two choices: pay the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition, which can cost the veteran up to $17,000.00 or prolong their college registration until they officially are a resident, which in some states can take up to a year.
Veterans in Hawai`i are a profitable business resource and we recognize that student veterans represent a desirable recruiting pool for educational institutions. In representing a growing sector of the population, development of this pool of veterans should be an important priority for the state.
Furthermore, student veterans aren't the only ones to benefit from such legislation and UH can benefit from having more veterans on campus. Our institutions of higher learning will benefit from having the kind of leadership and the kind of character in the classroom that a veteran will bring. It will just bring a lot of diversity into the classroom.
HASV understands we have a few more hurtles to the finish line, although this is the furthest they have ever gotten collaborating with the University of Hawaii and elected officials. Our Legislative Director Ray Banda is working closely with needed parties, making sure they fully understand the issues at hand and assisting us to make Hawai`i veteran helpful.
To receive updates please email info@HIstudentvets.org and follow HASV on www.facebook.com/HIStudentVeterans
Text, Status: SB2131
Related: Hawaii Student Veterans Make Case for In-State Tuition