In-State or Out-of-State: Will the G.I. Bill Pay for My Education?

In-state or out-of-state - that is the question for many non-traditional students making plans to reenter the classroom. At first glance, the answer is clear; in-state tuition is simply less expensive. But for military veterans who want to use their G.I. Bill benefits to return to school, the solution has become a bit more complicated.


The G.I Bill was created to provide military veterans with financial assistance for earning a college degree after service. In August, however, the G.I Bill changed. According to Mark Waple, a lawyer who represents the Student Veterans Advocacy Group of North Carolina, the G.I Bill no longer pays for out-of-state tuition rates at public universities and community colleges. This means that in order to attend a public university or community college and still be fully covered by the G.I. Bill, veterans must be accepted as in-state students.


Different states come with different requirements, though many won’t classify a student as in-state until they’ve resided there for at least one year. For military veterans returning to civilian life and attempting to earn a college degree, this means paying the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition, or waiting another year before enrolling. For those who have already postponed their college careers to serve their country, a year can be a long time.


Fortunately for these brave servicemen and women, DSST tests (formerly known as the DANTES exam) provide an easy and cost-efficient alternative while they solve their in-state/out-of-state situation. By taking exams for college credit, these veterans can earn three credit hours in a single sitting, and for just $80 (plus a sitting fee). With exams in 38 different subjects, these tests can help veterans awaiting residency get a head-start on their degree and graduate faster.

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