A new measure that was introduced in Texas recently would ensure that some military veterans in that state would not be able to pass on unused state tuition benefits to their children.
The measure was introduced in the Senate recently, and was approved by the Senate. Under the bill, non-Texas veterans would have to live in the state for at least eight years before they are able to claim tuition benefits for themselves or their families. That measure is in response to a recent ruling that held that the current rules that only allow Texas residents to benefit from the program was unconstitutional.
That ruling raised concerns that hundreds of thousands of veterans around the country who were enlisted, would move to Texas to claim these benefits for themselves and their children. The concern was that these were people would move to Texas, and would live for just one year to establish residency for the sole purpose of claiming these benefits.
Those state tuition benefits are provided under a program called Hazelwood. In 2009, the Texas Legislature voted to expand the program, so that veterans could pass on approximate 120 out of 150 unused college tuition credit hours to their heirs or dependents.
The program is very expensive, and according to education officials, other students have had to suffer higher tuition because of the escalating cost of these fee waivers on children of military personnel. The program has expanded rapidly over the past six years, and now costs Texas $170 million. If the program continues in this manner, state officials expect that the cost will increase to more than $350 million by the end of 2019.