Untangling the VA’s California Tuition Fix

Earlier this week the VA announced that they reached a deal with the state of California that would help student veterans attending private schools get up to $8,610 more per year toward their education costs. Due to the fact that Post 9/11 GI Bill tuition benefits are based on the most expensive tuition for public schools in each state and that California has traditionally not charged tuition, the VA was originally going to give veterans $0/credit toward their tuition costs. Under this new agreement veterans will now receive $287/credit toward their tuition costs, a huge victory for thousands of veterans.

Since this announcement we have received a couple worried calls from veterans attending California public schools because those schools still appear to be charging fees and not tuition. Let me put those fears to rest. California public schools should be updating their websites soon because under this new agreement they are now charging a combination of tuition and fees. What used to be called an “educational fee” is now called tuition for VA purposes. So for example:

                Tuition for UC student is:

                                $3,444/semester              (Berkeley/Merced)

                                $2,165.25/quarter            (All other UC’s)

                Tuition for CSU students is:

                                $2,013/semester

                                $1,342/quarter

                Tuition for Community Colleges is:

                                $26/credit

California public schools students will still have other fees such has health fees, lab fees, student government fees. California veteran get up $2165/term in fees to pay for such expenses.

Lastly, I have crunched the numbers and it is possible for a veteran attending undergrad at UC Berkley or UC Merced part-time to have pay out of pocket for some of their education costs. If you are a veteran in this situation, please contact IAVA immediately.