Effective July 24, 2015, ESSB 5355 was signed into law, modifying the definition of resident student to comply with federal requirements established by the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2015 (Choice Act). The Choice Act requires states to charge in-state tuition and fees to “covered individuals” in order for the Department of Veterans Affairs to approve programs of education for everyone training under the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill.
Effective July 1, 2017, the definition of a “covered individual” in the Choice Act has been modified to the following:
- A veteran who enrolls in the institution of higher education within three (3) years of discharge from a period of active duty service of ninety 90 days or more.
- A spouse or child who is entitled to transferred VA educational benefits based on their relationship to an individual who has separated from the uniformed services and enrolls in the institution of higher education within three (3) years of the transferor’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
Covered individuals may qualify to pay in-state tuition and fees, regardless of his/her formal state of residence. To apply for in-state tuition and fees as a covered individual, you must:
- Be separated from the uniformed services with any period of honorable service after at least ninety (90) days of active duty service (or are a spouse or child of an individual who separated from the uniformed services under these terms).
Uniformed services include: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps;.
- Enter a Washington higher education institution within three (3) years of discharge from a period of active duty service. This means that the first day of your first quarter must be prior to the end of the third year of discharge; and
- Be eligible for VA educational benefits (for veteran member); or
entitled to VA educational benefits (for veteran spouse/child)
- Complete the Tuition Reduction for Veterans and Eligible Spouse/Child form.
- Provide supporting documentation such as a copy of the “Member 4” DD-214 and a copy of the Certificate of Eligibility (Sample) verifying VA educational benefit. See the form for complete details.
- Submit physical copies of the form and documents to our office via postal mail or the drop box located on the second floor of Schmitz Hall. Emails and faxes are not accepted.
The application is typically processed about four weeks prior to the start of the quarter and may take at least two weeks to review.