Andrzejczak, Riley, Wilson & Singleton Introduce Bill to Allow Veterans to Attending N.J. Public Colleges to Receive In-State Tuition Rates

(TRENTON) - Assembly Democrats Robert Andrzejczak, Celeste Riley, Whip Wilson and Troy Singleton on Monday announced they've introduced legislation allowing veterans attending a public college or university in New Jersey to pay in-state tuition rates.

"For my fellow veterans, the transition to civilian life can be challenging," said Andrzejczak (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland), a U.S. Army veteran who served and was wounded in Iraq. "With this bill, we'll be rightfully giving veterans a helping hand and showing respect for their sacrifices and bravery protecting our freedoms. An education is the road to a better future, so let's make it easier for our veterans - who have given so much to our country - to obtain it."

"We owe so much to our veterans," said Riley (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem), the Assembly Higher Education chairwoman. "We know an education opens the doors to employment and success, and with recent statistics showing the unemployment rate for veterans who have served since 9/11 at 10 percent, we have to do more to make it easier for our veterans to get a higher education. This is one way to try to accomplish this worthy goal."

"College affordability is a challenge for most residents, but especially for our veterans who sadly too often face struggles with unemployment," said Wilson (D-Camden/Gloucester), a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in Vietnam. "We'll be making it easier for our veterans to achieve success when they return home and honoring their service. It's quite simply the right thing to do."

"Veterans deserve our best, and this is a reasonable thing to do to help them build a better future when they return home," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "This bill could prove to be big step toward giving our veterans a better opportunity to earn a degree and all the benefits that come with a college education. We should be removing barriers that confront our veterans, and this is a common sense step we can take."

The bill is called the New Jersey Tuition Equality for America's Military Act.

It (A-4581) provides that a veteran who is attending a public institution of higher education in New Jersey will be regarded as a resident of the State, thereby enabling the veteran to pay an in-State tuition rate.

A "veteran" for the purposes of this bill is a person who has served on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.
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