Texas Judge's Decision Helps Texas Veterans Pay for College Education

February 03, 2015

Texas Judge's Decision Helps Texas Veterans Pay for College Education

Veterans in Texas seeking help with the cost of college tuition got some good news recently. A Texas judge's decision struck down a Texas law which limited veterans' tuition benefits to men and women who enlisted in the military while living in Texas.

In other words, prior to the judge's decision, if a service member enlisted in another state and then moved to Texas, that military veteran would not receive tuition benefits from Texas. When discussing his ruling, U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. said, "Texas may not discriminate against its more recent residents in favor of more established residents simply to control costs."

Veterans in Texas and the Hazlewood Act

The Hazlewood Act helps Texas veterans receive a college education at one of the universities that make up the state's six public university systems. Veterans, military spouses and their children are entitled to tuition and fee exemptions from state public universities under the Hazlewood Act.

Due to the high costs (a projected $379.1 million by 2019) universities must bear due to the Hazlewood Act, education leaders were hoping to continue limiting benefits only to veterans who were Texas residents when they enlisted. Now, these leaders are hoping the Texas government will help with some of the additional costs.

In his ruling, Judge Werlein Jr. said that the residency provision violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In fact, the Supreme Court had already ruled against similar requirements in other states.

Find more information on the Hazlewood Act and how you can apply for for college tuition assistance if you are a veteran in Texas.

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