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How Can I Prove My State of Residency Is Florida for Post 9/11 GI Bill Tuition Purposes?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am an active duty solider about to ETS in August. I have always left my home of record in FL. The past three years I have been stationed in Germany. The school wants proof of residence. My car was in Germany, so I do not have registration. And my voter registration card had to be renewed. The only thing I have is my driver’s license as proof. Do you know if there is a law, sense I have kept my home of record in FL, it will be proof of residence.

A: Unfortunately not and Florida seems to be extra tough when it comes to accepting proof of residency. Right now 20 states offer resident tuition rates to veterans regardless of their state residency and Florida is working toward that (albeit slowly) along with 8 other states.

Florida has a similar bill in their legislature last year, but it was defeated because they had folded in an illegal immigrant tuition policy as a rider. Hopefully this year, they bring it in as a “clean” bill without any extraneous attachments that could jeopardize its passing.

However, there is also a bill in Congress right now that would force all states to offer resident tuition rates to veterans or their schools would not be eligible to receive GI Bill benefits. It has not passed yet, but it does have a lot of support and probably enough to pass when it comes up for a vote.

This bill is part of the Tuition Fairness Act of 2013 and only pertains to public schools. However, if veteran student would not have to worry about how much they were going to pay for tuition, it would open up some other opportunities that otherwise might not have existed. We’ll see what happens!

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