Veterans received a great college benefit today when President Barack Obama signed H.R. 3230. The Veterans Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 will allow veterans and their dependents to receive in-state status at all public colleges and universities in the United States. In-state status will allow veterans to pay in-state tuition at all public institution, saving them a lot of money. Veterans and their dependents can take advantage of this benefit starting the fall of 2015.
In addition to granting in-state status to veterans, the act has many other benefits. For veterans who live over 40 miles from the nearest Veterans Affairs clinic, they will be able to receive treatment from non-VA facilities. The bill also authorizes the VA to build 26 new facilities and hire more doctors and nurses. Lastly, there will be improved medical care for military sexual assault victims and it gives the Secretary of Veterans Affairs increased power to fire senior executives.
Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) introduced bill H.R. 3230 into the U.S. House of Representatives on October 2, 2013. The bill was passed by the House 265-160. On June 11, 2014, the United State Senate voted to pass the bill 93-3. The two main senators who negotiated the bill were John McCain (R-AZ) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). President Barack Obama signed the bill on August 7, 2014.
This bill is very helpful for students wanting to attend public institutions. While 24 states had previously passed laws giving veterans in-state status at public institutions, California was not one of the states. Therefore, for example, students wanting to attend a University of California will now be saving almost $23,000 per year with the signing of this bill.