A bill authored by State Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) to reduce veterans' college costs passed the Indiana House of Representatives on March 21 by a vote of 93-0. Rep. Jim Baird (R-Greencastle) is its sponsor.
Senate Bill 177 grants in-state tuition eligibility to honorably discharged veterans who enroll in one of Indiana's state college or universities. Currently, veterans serving in a different state or country can lose their in-state tuition eligibility upon returning home. Under Banks' bill, applicants would qualify regardless of whether they are from Indiana or have lived here long enough to meet the school's residency requirements.
Eligible veterans would be required to enroll in a state college or university no later than 12 months after their discharge or separation from the armed forces. They would then have to take steps to establish Indiana residency within 12 months of enrollment.
SB 177 now returns to the Senate for final legislative review.