May 28, 2008 | Financing Your Education

Eligible Veterans Will Receive Tuition Awards for Study at State University of New York or Other Schools

Program Designed to Fill Federal Tuition Gap

Governor David A. Paterson chose the Memorial Day weekend to remind New York’s combat veterans to take advantage of the State’s newly increased tuition benefits program. The program doubles the amount of money veterans can receive to attend an approved college or vocational school, and in many cases will approach the full cost of tuition at a State University of New York (SUNY) institution.

The program, enacted as part of the New York State budget for fiscal year 2008-09, which the Governor recently signed, will double the amount of money veterans can receive from the previous veterans tuition award of $1,000 per semester.

“It is because of veterans and the men and women who are currently serving – those who have fought, suffered and often paid the ultimate price – that we have a free society. We want all of our soldiers to know how much we support you,” said Governor Paterson. “We’re expanding these valuable education benefits at a time when many of our returning veterans are finding that their federal benefits fall far short of their needs. By providing a more substantial educational incentive to our State’s combat veterans, we hope to retain many of these intelligent and highly motivated individuals in our workforce. We recognize the value of their service to our country, the sacrifices they have made and those they continue to make.”

The value of the award will be no more than the amount of undergraduate tuition SUNY charges to New York State residents, and for 2008-09 will amount to 98 percent of such tuition. Tuition awards will be available for study at both private and public institutions in New York State.

Veterans who served in Indochina in the Vietnam War, or who served in the hostilities in the Persian Gulf or Afghanistan, and were discharged under honorable conditions are eligible under this new program. Additionally, individuals who served in the Armed Forces of the United States in hostilities that occurred after Feb. 28, 1961, as evidenced by their receipt of an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal, or Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, and were discharged under honorable conditions, may also be eligible.

Jim McDonough, Director of the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs, said: “In light of the reduced value of today’s federal education benefits within the Montgomery GI Bill, our enhanced Veterans Tuition Award places New York among the best states in the country when it comes to its education benefits for returning veterans.”

James C. Ross, President of the State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), said: “Our veterans have served this state with honor and distinction, and we are proud to help them pursue their education. It is a privilege for us at HESC to help these dedicated and selfless New Yorkers who have put their personal and professional lives on hold to protect our country.”

More details of the expanded veterans’ tuition program can be found at the State Veterans’ Affairs Web site at: http://www.veterans.state.ny.us/ or on HESC’s Web site’s special military page, Military Corner, at: http://www.hesc.com/content.nsf/SFC/Military_Corner.

Information about several other veterans’ scholarship programs can also be found on HESC’s special military page.