SUNY Students Back Bill to Help Out-of-State Vets go to SUNY Colleges
A bill sits on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk that could make it easier for veterans to afford to go to college here in New York. The Student Assembly of the State University of New York is lobbying for the measure. Communications Director Juliann Schindler explains it would open SUNY campuses to out-of-state vets.
“We have veterans throughout the country who may want to attend a SUNY school. As non-residents of the State of New York they have to pay out-of-state tuition and what we want is to have them offered ion-state tuition. With in-state tuition, their G-I Bill will cover their education and that’s the least we can do for our veterans.”
Both the state assembly and senate have passed the measure…it would apply only to honorably discharged members of the military. Schindler says having veterans in class, with their experiences, improves the education for the other students as well.
"It’s more like a workplace; you’re not going to go into a workplace and have everyone there 22-years-old or 19-years-old. You’ll have the huge mix of ages, backgrounds, and cultures, experiences and all of that. I think (with more veterans) all the graduates are better prepared to go out into the workforce because they’ve already gained so much experience working with a wide range of people.”
OTHER PROVISIONS OF BILL HELP CHILDREN OF MILITARY, FAMILIES OF CASUALTIES
- The measure would assist the children who transfer to New York schools because their military parent is transferred to a New York military base.
- It would also allow allow the family of servicemembers from New York who were wounded in combat but died from their wounds outside the combat zone to qualify for the supplemental burial allowance.
This spring the SUNY student assembly took up a resolution to support the state bill.
“This particular resolution was voted for unanimously. There was not a single campus that did not want to support this particular resolution. Basically what we’re calling on now is for Governor Cuomo to sing the bill.”
Veterans who are residents of New York can already have their tuition covered by the G-I bill. Many of the 64 SUNY colleges also have specific veterans’ offices and programs to help with their education. Onondaga Community College's Veterans Office helps vets access military benefits.