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Bill to Help More Veterans Pay In-State Rate

RALEIGH—Gov. Pat McCrory signed a law Wednesday to make more veterans and their dependents eligible for in-state tuition at Pitt Community College and other public colleges and universities in North Carolina.

The law waives the state’s 12-month residency requirement for veterans who live in North Carolina and intend to establish residence in the state. Veterans must have served for at least 90 days (not including training time) and qualify for educational benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Senate Bill 478, which goes into effect July 1, will save qualifying veterans at PCC as much as $3,072 per semester at the state’s current community college tuition rates, which are set by the N.C. General Assembly.

During the 2014-15 academic year, in-state tuition for community colleges was $72 per credit hour while out-of-state students paid $264 per credit. At those rates, full-time students enrolled in 16 or more credit hours paid a maximum of $1,152 per semester while those considered out-of-state paid as much as $4,224.

By passing the law, North Carolina is now in line with the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014. The federal law requires states that accept federal VA benefits to charge in-state tuition for qualifying veterans and their families starting with classes that begin after July 1, 2015.