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American Homefront

Student Veterans' Top Priority: In-State Tuition

michael dakduk.jpg
Bobbie O'Brien
/
WUSF Public Media

Over the next five years, it’s estimated that more than a million soldiers, seamen, airmen and Marines will leave the military. Many of those veterans will transition into college using their Post 9/11 G-I Bill education benefits.

And that growing number of student veterans is leading to an increased number of Student Veterans of America campus chapters.

Michael Dakduk, who served as a Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2004-2008, now serves as the national executive director for Student Veterans of America. He visited the University of South Florida campus recently to talk with student veterans

Dakduk said the priority for student veterans is a national bill that would require in-state tuition rates for veterans from colleges using GI Bill education benefits even though they may not be residents. Florida Cong. Jeff Miller of Pensacola is co-sponsor of the GI Bill Tuition Fairness Act of 2013 (H.R. 357).

The SVA also is pushing for individual states to adopt similar in-state tuition measures. Florida State Sen. Jack Latvala is sponsoring SB260 which would grant veterans in-state tuition rates at public universities.