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Education Benefits for Veterans

What educational programs benefit Texas veterans?

There are several. Generally, veterans who were legal residents of Texas when they entered military service and parted under honorable conditions are entitled to a tuition waiver at all Texas public colleges and universities. Some benefits apply to spouses and dependents of veterans.

Hazelwood Act

  • The Hazelwood Act exempts tuition payments for Texas veterans at Texas public colleges and universities. It covers tuition only, and excludes room and board, student service fees, books and similar. Qualified students can use up to 150 credit hours in tuition. The tuition waiver applies to children whose military parent died or was killed in active duty, is a prisoner of war or is missing in action. 

The Hazlewood Legacy Program

The Hazlewood Legacy Program allows a Texas veteran to pass up to 150 tuition-free college credit hours from a Texas public university to his or her children. The credit hours may be divided between children. For more information, visit the Texas Veteran’s Commission at www.tvc.texas.gov/Hazlewood-Act.aspx.

The Montgomery GI Bill program (MGIB):

Commonly known as Chapter 30, it provides up to 36 months of educational benefits for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses are approved under certain circumstances. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years. For more information: www.tvc.texas.gov/Montgomery-GI-Bill.aspx.

Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)

Like the MGIB (above) but available to the Selected Reserves, which includes Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Reserves, and the Army and Air National Guard. For more information: www.tvc.texas.gov/Montgomery-GI-Bill.aspx.

Post-9/11 GI Bill

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to military personnel, including full tuition and fees at all Texas public universities. The veteran must have 90 days of total military service after 9/11/2001, or 30 days of service if discharged with a service connected disability.

It includes

1) Tuition and fees paid directly to the school;

2) A monthly housing allowance and stipend for books and supplies sent directly to the veteran;

3) A one-time rural benefit for certain veterans. Benefits last for up to 36 months, payable for up to 15 years following release from active duty. If attending a private or foreign school, the tuition and fees are capped at the national rate, currently $18,077. The Post-9/11 GI Bill can be transferred to your spouse and/or children if certain requirements are met. Go to: www.tvc.texas.gov/Post-9-11.aspx.

On the Job Training:

Available to veterans and eligible family members. The On-the-Job Training (OJT) Program allows you to use your VA (GI Bill) educational benefits while in training for a new job. It also provides monthly tax-free benefits from the VA in addition to regular salary. Go to: www.tvc.texas.gov/On-the-Job-Training.aspx

Veteran Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)

Veteran Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) is available if you elected to make contributions from your military pay to participate. The government matches your contributions on a 2-for-1 basis. If you don't use the benefit within 10 years, your portion of contributions is automatically refunded.

Programs for survivors and dependents of veterans:

In addition to Texas’ Hazlewood Program and the Post 9-11 GI Bill, two federal programs provide educational assistance specifically to survivors and dependents of veterans. Keep in mind that some family member benefits might require an election – the recipient must choose between them.

  • The John David Fry Scholarship provides Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to the children and surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001. It provides up to 36 months of benefits at the 100% level, plus a housing allowance. www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/Fry_scholarship.asp