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Which Hazelwood Act Do I Qualify for, Texas or California?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I entered active duty through California (1985), changed branches in Oklahoma (1989), separated active duty in Texas (1993). Which Hazelwood Act would I qualify for, Texas or California?

A: Neither one. I don’t know where you heard that California has a Hazelwood Act, because it doesn’t. Texas is the only state in the nation with that program and it is specific only to military servicemembers meeting the eligibility criteria.

To qualify for the Hazelwood Act, you have to have lived in Texas prior to enlisting, entered active duty from Texas, and new for 2011, you have to now live in Texas when you start using your Hazelwood Act benefits while attending an approved Texas school. You entered through California, so that makes you ineligible for Texas’ Hazelwood Act.

Those who are eligible, can get 150 semester hours of benefits, which is enough to fund 12.5 semesters of school or enough to get both a bachelor’s degree and most of a master’s degree, if not the whole thing.

Unused Hazelwood Act benefits may also be transferred to a child meeting the dependency qualification definition of:

  • Younger than 26 year old on the first day of class
  • Biological, or legally adopted or stepchild of the servicemember sponsor.

The Act benefit exempts student from having to pay tuition and eligible fees, but it does not include required deposits and service fees and it only applies to state schools; the exemption does not apply to private schools.

Also note the Hazelwood Act can be used with the Montgomery GI Bill, but not with the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

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