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Changes to University of Wyoming regulations recently approved by UW’s Board of Trustees have expanded the ranks of those who qualify for the university’s offer of in-state tuition to military veterans.
Starting in the 2015 summer school session, dependents of qualifying veterans are eligible for in-state tuition, and veterans have up to three years from their time of discharge to enroll at the university.
“We’re delighted that this benefit has been expanded to the dependents of those who have served our nation, while providing more time for qualifying veterans to decide whether they want to pursue higher education,” says UW President Dick McGinity, himself a Vietnam veteran who served five years as a naval aviator.
Under a law passed by the Wyoming State Legislature in 2014, UW began offering in-state tuition to qualifying veterans. However, veterans were required to apply to attend UW within one year of discharge from military service, and veterans’ dependents did not qualify.
The newly expanded policy approved by the Board of Trustees reflects state and federal laws to provide a substantial financial opportunity for veterans across the country, and their dependents, considering UW as the place to meet their educational goals, UW officials say. Those already enrolled at UW also are eligible.
In-state tuition and fees at UW are $4,891 per year, about $10,000 less than what nonresidents pay.
Under the new regulations, a qualifying veteran is defined as:
-- A veteran using VA Education Benefits under the Chapter 33 or Chapter 30 programs.
-- A veteran who lives in the state of Wyoming and intends to live in Wyoming during the period of enrollment.
-- A veteran who enrolls at UW within three years of discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
A qualifying dependent is defined as:
-- A spouse or child using transferred benefits who lives in Wyoming and enrolls at UW within three years of the transferor’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
-- Or a spouse or child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sgt. John David Fry Scholarship who lives in Wyoming and enrolls at UW within three years of the service member’s death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
A qualifying veteran and/or dependent must provide the following documentation to UW:
-- A copy of separation document (example, DD214).
-- A Certificate of Eligibility from the Department of Veterans Affairs confirming eligibility for VA Education Benefits in Chapter 33 or Chapter 30 programs.
-- Evidence that he or she has taken steps to establish Wyoming residency, which includes one of the following: a Wyoming voter registration card; a current Wyoming driver’s license or identification card; current Wyoming vehicle registration; evidence of employment in the state; a current property lease or purchase agreement showing the veteran as lessee or purchaser of an in-state residence; a utility bill showing a current account for a state residence in the veteran’s name; or other evidence that can be reviewed by UW officials.
Close to 600 military veteran students are enrolled at UW for the spring semester.
“The work that UW has done the last few years to identify and address the unique needs of our student veterans continues to highlight UW as a truly veteran-friendly institution,” says Marty Martinez, UW Veterans Services Center project coordinator. “While UW’s nonresident tuition is already considered very affordable -- especially when compared to other public four-year institutions within our region -- veterans and dependents using military or veterans education benefits quickly realize that those benefits fall considerably short when applied to nonresident tuition.”
For questions about the new in-state residency qualifications or requirements, contact Martinez or any of the Veterans Services Center staff at (307) 766-6908 or email email@example.com. For admissions information, call (307) 766-5160 or go to www.uwyo.edu/admissions.