WASHINGTON (Reuters) - All recent U.S. military veterans and their families will now be offered in-state tuition rates to public colleges and universities throughout the country, the White House said on Wednesday.
Announced in honor of the U.S. federal holiday Veterans Day, which fell on Wednesday, the change is part of President Barack Obama’s “steadfast commitment” to military families and aims to make sure veterans can both access and get the most out of higher education, administration officials said.
Officials also announced the launch of a revamped comparison tool to offer veteran-specific admissions statistics, which aims to help applicants better evaluate programs, and a new effort to curb deceptive enrollment tactics used by schools aiming to recruit veterans.
Cecilia Munoz, a top domestic policy adviser to the president, said while Obama is pressing his administration to push these changes forward quickly, he is also calling on Congress to move forward on three pieces of legislation to help improve veterans’ education.
“These pieces of legislation will really ensure that veterans have the opportunities and assistance to ... realize the American dream,” Munoz told reporters on a conference call.
One bill would heighten standards for schools receiving G.I. Bill funds, while another would help protect G.I. Bill benefits for veterans whose schools close mid-term. A third, just introduced on Tuesday, would increase regulation of for-profit colleges, many of which target veterans.
“What we think this does is ramp up the accountability” of those schools, Munoz said, adding that it ensures “we are requiring a high-quality education for veterans that have served us well.”
Reporting by Megan Cassella; Editing by Sandra Maler