Information on the state VA educational benefit

By Richard Eckert

The remission of fees program is an Indiana-provided benefit to veterans and is not the federal GI Bill education program. Students can only use this benefit at a state-supported university or college in Indiana. Children of veterans who entered the service on or after July 1, 2011 will not receive 100 percent fee remission unless their parent is 80 percent service-connected or higher, or whose parent is or was a recipient of a Purple Heart Medal.

They will receive only 20 percent fee remission plus the disability rating of the veteran. Under the “old law,” the veteran must have served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during a period of wartime or performed duty equally hazardous that was recognized by the award of a service, campaign or expeditionary medal of the United States. The veteran must also have been a resident of the state of Indiana for not less than three consecutive years during his/her lifetime.

Veterans that come under the “new law” must have originally entered military service from Indiana or must have been a resident of the state of Indiana for not less than five consecutive years immediately preceding the application. Also, the veteran must have served on active duty during a period of wartime or performed duty equally hazardous. Under the old law, the remission of fees is good for 124 semester hours of education and may be used for undergraduate level work.

The amount remitted is 100 percent of tuition and all mandatory fees. The benefit may also be used for graduate work, but will be reimbursed at the undergraduate rate, the difference being made up by the applicant/family. Under the new law, the amount remitted depends on the VA service-connected disability rating as shown below in item 4.

The following also applies: (1) Student will be limited to a total of eight (8) years in the program. (2) Student must have reached their 32nd birthday at the time of their initial application. (3) Student must maintain the following grade point average (GPA): Freshman academic year: a cumulative GPA that the eligible institution determines satisfactory academic progress. Sophomore academic year: a cumulative GPA of 2.25 on a 4.0 grading scale, or its equivalent as established by the institution. Junior or senior academic year: a cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 grading scale, or its equivalent as established by the institution. Students not reaching these goals will be placed on probation and must reach the requisite GPA by the next semester or its equivalent. (4) Student will have their remission of fees prorated based on the VA disability rating as follows: Children of veterans rated 80% service-connected disabled or higher by the VA or whose veteran parent is/was a recipient of the Purple Heart Medal will receive 100 percent fee remission.

Richard Eckert, Veteran Service officer

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