State Representative Christina Hagan (R-Alliance) applauded the passage of House Bill 449 this week by the Ohio House. The legislation gives veterans greater access to higher education by prohibiting state institutions of higher learning from applying any residency-related restrictions to the admission application of a qualified veteran or the veteran’s spouse or dependent. 

The current law states that a veteran or a veteran’s spouse shall be considered in-state for the purposes of tuition if certain conditions are met. Unfortunately, this residency rule, does not apply to a veteran or their spouse until they are accepted to the school, meaning that their application to school may still be treated the same as an out-of-state student. This treatment in some cases may adversely impact the veteran’s ability to gain entrance to a state institution of higher education.

Under HB 449, any limit an institution may have on accepting out-of-state applicants could not apply to a veteran, or the veteran's spouse or dependent. That applicant would receive the same consideration the state institution of higher education would give to an in-state applicant.

“Ohio is the heartland of our nation and we should welcome all veterans home appropriately,” said Representative Hagan. “This piece of legislation is a small bit of gratitude for each man and woman’s service to our nation.”

The bill states that the veteran must fit one of the below requirements for the veteran, spouse, or dependent to qualify for the exemption:

  • Served one or more years of active military duty and be honorably discharged or received a service-related medical discharge.

  • Been killed while serving on active duty or had been declared to be missing in action or a prisoner of war.

House Bill 449 will now go to the Ohio Senate for consideration.

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