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Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act (VACA H.R. 3230)Section 702 of the Choice Act & Section 417 of Public Law 114-315 addition

Section 702 of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (“Choice Act”), requires VA to disapprove programs of education for payment of benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® and Montgomery GI Bill®-Active Duty at public institutions of higher learning if the school charge qualifying Veterans and dependents tuition and fees in excess of the rate for resident students for terms beginning after July 1, 2015.

These new requirements will ensure that our Nation’s recently discharged Veterans, and their eligible family members, will not have to bear the cost of out-state charges while using their well-deserved education benefits.

A “covered individual” is defined in the VACA Act as:

  1. A Veteran who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

  2. An individual using transferred education benefits who lives in the state where the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within 3 years of the transferor’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

  3. Anyone using transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits who lives in the state where the institution of high learning is located and the transferor is a member of the uniformed service who is serving on active duty.

  4. Anyone using benefits using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship who lives in the state where the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence).

After expiration of the three year period following discharge or death as described in 38 U.S.C. 3679(c), a student who initially qualifies under the applicable requirements above will maintain “covered individual” status as long as he or she remains continuously enrolled (other than during regularly scheduled breaks between courses, semesters or terms) at the institution, even if they enroll in multiple programs and shall continue to be exempt from paying nonresident tuition and other fees.

  • Notes:

    •  only “covered individuals” as listed above are eligible for the Non-Resident Tuition Fee exemption.

    • The in state tuition provisions in the Section 417 do not apply to those individuals on active duty using benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® or Montgomery GI Bill® Active Duty.

VACA Act - Section 702 Non-Resident Tuition Exemption form

AB 2478 - Student Residency Requirements for Veterans

AB 2478 makes students who were stationed in California as active duty military for more than one year immediately prior to being discharged from the military exempt from paying nonresident tuition for up to 1 year. This exemption is to be used while he/she lives in this state and within two years of being discharged.

The student must file an affidavit with the community college stating that he/she intends to establish residency in California as soon as posible. (see form below)

This prohibits a former military of the U.S. military who received a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge from being eligible for an exemption.

The AB 2478 California Veteran Tuition Exemption form must be submitted to the Veterans Resource Specialist (located in COD's Veterans Resource Center) along with a copy of your DD-214 page 4 and your Military Orders that you were stationed in California for a minimum of 1 year & 1 day immediately prior to discharge.

Note for potential Post-9/11 GI Bill® recipients:

Post-9/11 GI Bill® (CH 33) benefits does not pay non-resident tuition! Even if you plan to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill, if you qualify for the AB 2478 Tuition Exemption, you will need to apply for it or you would be responsible for the non-resident tuition portion of your fees.


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at