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Can I Use My Hazelwood Act Benefits for Online Courses?

Q: Hazelwood Act Benefits: I recently read the pamphlet for the Texas Veterans Commission Hazelwood FAQ. The pamphlet was dated 2006 and it stated that eligible veterans are not able to use HWA benefits for distance learning if they live outside of the state of Texas. Nonetheless, the current 2010 edition question 36 states “Are distance education classes covered by the Hazlewood Act? If the classes receive formula funding, are taken through Texas public institutions, and the charges are paid to the institution and not to a third party, they are covered by the Hazlewood Act.” This does not make any mention of not being able to use the benefits for online educational school if you live outside of TEXAS. Can you please advise on this matter? I am a Veteran who has Hazelwood Act benefits due to my entry being San Antonio TX. However, since I left the service I have continued to live in California.

A: In the FAQs you reference, Questions 42 also states “Are distance learning classes covered by the Hazlewood Act? Answer: If the classes receive formula funding, are taken through Texas public institutions, and the charges are paid to the institution and not to a third party, they are covered by the Hazlewood Act.” Based on those two FAQs, I’m convinced you could use the Hazelwood Act as long as your online classes are through a Texas Commission-approved school and the school is paid directly like it would be if you were using the Post 9/11 GI Bill – where the VA pays the school for tuition and eligible fees. But, to be sure, it is always better to get it straight from the horse’s mouth, so my recommendation is to contact the Texas Veterans Commission and ask. Then you are sure and they can answer any other question that may arise from your discussion with them.

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