All of Michigan's fifteen public universities are now offering in-state tuition to all veterans, regardless of their legal residence or active duty status.
In the past, this benefit was limited to active duty personnel.
Michael A. Boulus is executive director of the Presidents Council State Universities of Michigan. He said "Our message is that Michigan's public universities are dedicated to supporting our veterans and their families. We value veterans and are committed to helping them get degrees that are vital to their success and the success of the state."
Boulus said that University of Michigan, Michigan Technological University, and Michigan State University were the last three of the fifteen public universities to adopt the policy, Michigan State within the last two weeks.
Jerred Pender is an army veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan. He is now an undergraduate at Michigan State University and president of its chapter of Student Veterans of America.
Pender said in-state tuition for out-of state veterans helps make it possible for military buddies to stay together through school and this can make the difference for success in school.
He said, "Although your family's here and your friends from prior to the military, no one's going to know that experience and the things that you went through like the people you actually served with. And I think this is one of those things that really helps."
Pender said the new policy is a great way to say Michigan appreciates your military service. And it also benefits the state and its universities.
He says veterans make up a mature and highly motivated student pool, and the GI Bill and other federal benefits they have earned help the state and its universities financially.
Boulus reports that Michigan's 15 public universities have joined with community colleges in the state to establish the Consortium of Michigan Veteran Educators. Its goal is to share best practices to improve support and services for active military and veterans in school.
Examples of assistance for military members and veterans include:
- Providing a single point of contact for student veterans to access university services,
- Offering a student group for veterans, and
- Working with local and federal agencies to assist student veterans with jobs, healthcare, and housing.
Virginia Gordan, Michigan Radio Newsroom
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that all 15 public universities are offering in-state tuition to dependents of veterans. According to Boulus, only some do.