Student Veterans and Dependents Club

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VACA & Exemptions

The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-146)

 

PL 113-146 calls for public institutions to provide in-state tuition to qualifying veterans and dependents. 
 
Qualifying students are:
  • Veterans or dependents of veterans eligible for Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty, or Post 9/11 GI Bill residing in California and enrolling in classes beginning within 36 months of the veteran’s discharge from active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • Dependents of active duty service members residing in California receiving transferred benefits under Post-9/11 GI Bill (36 month rule does not apply).
  • Dependents eligible for The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (36 month rule does not apply).

 
To confirm your eligibility, you must provide our Admissions Office with the following:

Veterans or dependents of veterans eligible for Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty, or Post 9/11 GI Bill provide:

  • The veteran’s DD-214 
  • The student’s Certificate of Eligibility

 
Dependents of active duty service members & dependents eligible for The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship provide:

  • The student’s certificate of eligibility

 Submit request or questions here

Nonresident Tuition Exemptions for Military-Connected Students

 

Background

Several state and federal laws provide exemptions from paying non-resident tuition for current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their dependents.  While these fee exemptions ensure that students do not pay more than California residents, they do not establish California residency or establish eligibility for state benefits that require residency. Students receiving an exemption from non-resident tuition are encouraged, but in most cases not required, to take the necessary steps to establish California state residency.

Eligibility for exemption from non-resident tuition is evaluated and established at the time of admission to a CSU campus.

If a student has a break in enrollment requiring an application for readmission, residency status and eligibility for the non-resident tuition exemption will be reevaluated based on facts presented at the time of reapplication.

Definitions for terms in italics are at the end of this document.

 

Servicemembers

A member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is stationed in the state shall be exempt from paying non-resident tuition. (Note: California Education Code provides an expanded definition of “member of the Armed Forces of the United States” for this section. See footnote ii.)

 

California code does not provide a non-resident tuition fee exemption to servicemembers on temporary military orders to attend a state-supported institution of higher education.

 

The following documents must be submitted to show evidence of eligibility:

  • A statement from the student's commanding officer or personnel officer stating that the assignment to active duty in this State is not for educational purposes, and
  • Military orders, a letter from the unit commander or personnel staff, or other military service personnel documents that show the date of assignment to California.
  • a copy of the servicemember’s orders indicating his/her assignment to California is a Permanent Change of Station (PCS)

 

Exemption from paying non-resident tuition continues for as long as the student is continuously enrolled at the same institution. The exemption continues even if the servicemember retires or is transferred to a different state for military duty.

 

Dependents of Servicemembers

A dependent of an active duty servicemember who meets either of the following criteria shall be exempt from paying non-resident tuition.

  • The servicemember is on active duty and stationed in California. 
    • Documents required
      • A statement from the servicemember’s commanding officer or personnel officer that the he/she is stationed in California on active duty as of the residence determination date, and
      • A statement that the student is a dependent of the servicemember and was claimed as a dependent for federal income tax purposes.
  • The student has received transferred benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, resides in California, and is the dependent of an active duty servicemember of the U.S. Armed Forces who may be stationed anywhere.
    • Document Required
      • Certificate of Eligibility from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

 

Exemption from paying non-resident tuition continues for as long as the student is continuously enrolled at the same institution. The exemption continues even if the servicemember retires or is transferred out of California for military duty.

 

Veterans

A veteran who meets any of the following criteria shall be exempt from paying non-resident tuition.

  • The veteran was stationed in California on active duty for more than one year immediately prior to being discharged. Note: This is a one year exemption that must be used within two years of discharge, which requires the veteran to file an affidavit with the campus stating an intent to establish residency in California as soon as possible.
    • Documents required
      • DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), and
      • Military orders, a letter from the unit commander or personnel staff, or other military service personnel documents that show the date of assignment to California, and
      • Affidavit stating an intent to establish residency.
    • NOTE: A former member of the U.S. Armed Forces who received a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge (as shown on the DD-214) is not eligible for a nonresident tuition exemption under this code.
  • The veteran is eligible for either the Montgomery GI Bill® – Active Duty (MGIB – AD) or Post-9/11 GI Bill®
    • Must reside in California
    • Must begin classes within three years of discharge from a period of active duty of 90 days or more
    • Documents required
      • DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), and
      • Certificate of Eligibility from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 
  • The veteran is eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation.
    • Must reside in California
    • Documents Required
      • DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), and
      • VA Form 28-1905 “Authorization and Certification of Entrance or Reentrance into Rehabilitation and Certification of Status.”  

 

Dependents of Veterans

A dependent of a veteran who meets either of the following criteria shall be exempt from paying non-resident tuition.

  • The student is eligible to receive veteran’s educational assistance, resides in California and enrolls in the university within three years of the veteran’s discharge following a period of active duty of 90 days or more.
    • Documents Required
      • DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) showing the discharge date, and
      • Certificate of Eligibility from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
  • The student is eligible to receive veteran’s educational assistance, resides in California, and is the dependent of a servicemember of the U.S. Armed Forces who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001
    • Document Required
      • Certificate of Eligibility from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

 

Exemption from paying non-resident tuition continues for as long as the student is continuously enrolled at the same institution. 

 

Definitions

  • Active Duty- full-time duty in the Armed Forces, other than active duty for training. Includes service as a cadet at the United States Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy, or as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy. (Does not include full-time National Guard duty.)
  • Active Duty for Training– full-time duty in the Armed Forces performed by members of the reserve component of the Armed Forces for training purposes
  • Active Guard and Reserve Duty– means active duty performed by a member of a reserve component of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps, or full-time National Guard for a period of 180 consecutive days or more.
  • Certificate of Eligibility (COE) – a letter from the US Department of Veterans Affairs showing a student’s eligibility for G.I. Bill benefits, and the number of days of that benefit the student has available. Students who retrieve this information from the VA’s eBenefits web portal may provide a document with this information in lieu of a COE.
  • Continuously Enrolled – enrolled for at least the fall and spring semesters of an academic year, or for at least three quarters in an academic year (the academic year does not include summer or other intersessions).
  • DD-214 – Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. This document is provided to servicemembers at the time they are discharged from military service. Member Copy 2 or 4, showing the discharge date, type of discharge, and character of service, must be provided.
  • Dependent - a servicemember's spouse or child (natural or adopted child or stepchild)
  • Servicemember – A current member of the United States Armed Forces
  • Veteran – a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.
  • Armed Forces – The United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, including the reserve components thereof.
 

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