Oct 22, 2009

Military Families Are Now Guaranteed In-state Tuition

The Washington Metropolitan Area is home to thousands of military families representing every branch of service. Because these families bring so much to our communities and schools, it’s nice to be able to report good news affecting tuition rates for college-bound dependents.

As of July 1st, any service member or dependent on active duty anywhere in the US for more than 30 days is eligible for in-state tuition rates at all public colleges or universities located in the state where they reside or are permanently stationed. Thanks to a provision of the Higher Education Opportunity Act signed into law last summer, military families no longer have to deal with the vagaries of individual state laws regarding resident tuition benefits. Students enrolled under the new federal servicemember residency provisions are guaranteed in-state tuition status for as long as they stay in school—even if the family is reassigned to another state or overseas.

Before this law went into effect, most states offered military families in-state tuition, but their children ran the risk of ending up with higher bills if the parent was transferred or moved. With the new guarantees in place, these families will potentially save thousands of dollars:


In-state Tuition, Fees, Room and Board

Out-of-state Tuition, Fees, Room and Board

Savings Per year

College of William & Mary







$ 7,702

Frostburg University




George Mason University




Towson University




Mary Washington




University of Maryland—CP




University of Virginia








It’s possible that some colleges and universities may not be aware of the change in federal law. Questions should be directed to individual registrar offices or to the campus-based Veterans Affairs Office, if there is one. Otherwise contact the Department of Education’s Ombudsman’s Office at (toll free) 877.557.2572.

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