Florida Welcomes Veterans and Active Military Personnel!
The Florida College System (FCS) is continuously seeking ways to improve the educational experience of our student veterans and active-duty military members and their families. An increasing number of veterans returning from service look to one of Florida’s 28 state and community colleges as the most accessible and affordable educational options available. Additionally, military personnel and veterans are provided support during their college experience through the veterans’ support centers located at FCS institutions.
Congressman C.W. Bill Young Tuition Waiver Program
Established in s. 1009.26 (13), F.S., the Congressman C.W. Bill Young Veteran Tuition Waiver Program requires a state university, Florida College System institution, charter technical career center, or career center to waive out-of-state tuition and fees for an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, the U.S. Reserve Forces or the National Guard who physically resides in Florida while enrolled in the institution.
Honorably discharged veterans who will not be using educational assistance from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will be expected to provide the following documentation to be eligible for this out-of-state tuition and fee waiver:
- Proof of current residence in Florida. Examples of this documentation may include but is not limited to a Florida driver’s license or copy of a lease.
Proof of honorable discharge. This information may be on the veteran’s DD214, discharge certificate, or other documentation deemed appropriate by the Florida College System institution.
Individuals entitled to and who are using educational assistance provided by the U.S. VA for a quarter, semester, or term beginning July 1, 2015, and physically reside in Florida while enrolled in the institution will be expected to provide the following documentation to be eligible for this out-of-state tuition and fee waiver:
Submit a copy of your VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) or VAF 28-1905 form (Ch 31, Veterans Readiness & Employment)
Proof of current residence in Florida. Examples of this documentation may include but are not limited to a Florida driver’s license or copy of a lease.
Additional documentation may be required.
Active Duty Military Waivers
Section 1009.21(10), F.S., grants in-state residency for tuition purposes to active duty military members, including their spouses and dependents, who reside in Florida or attend a public postsecondary institution within 50 miles of a military establishment at the time of acceptance to the institution. Active drilling members of the Florida National Guard are also granted in-state residency for tuition purposes.
- Pursuant to s.1009.26(14), F.S., a state university, Florida College System institution, career center operated by a school district, or charter technical career center shall waive out-of-state tuition and fees for a person who is an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States residing or stationed outside of this state.
Purple Heart Recipient Waivers
The Purple Heart Waiver, established in s.1009.26 (8), F.S., provides tuition waivers for Florida military veterans who have received a purple heart OR combat decoration that is “superior in precedence.”
The waiver covers the tuition toward a degree or certificate program up to 110% of the required hours for the program of study. The waiver does not cover other costs, such as textbooks, housing, and food. However, additional financial aid opportunities may be available; contact the college’s financial aid office for other financial aid opportunities.
- To be eligible, the veteran or active military member:
- Must be a current Florida resident for tuition purposes or a Florida resident at the time of the military action that resulted in the awarding of the combat decoration.
- May be a full-time or part-time student.
- Must be enrolled in a certificate or degree program. Non-degree seeking does not qualify for the waiver.
- Must submit the DD-214 form issued at the time of separation from service indicating the student received the combat decoration (other documentation may be acceptable). Please work with the college to determine acceptable paperwork.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Education Benefits and GI Bill Information
Veterans may participate in one military education benefit at a time and may choose the benefit that best suits their educational needs. In addition, there are no enrollment fees to participate in the veterans' education benefits programs.
If you are eligible for both the Post-9/11 GI Bill® and Veterans Readiness and Employment (VR & E - CH31), you should speak with your VR & E Counselor to determine the benefit most beneficial for you.
For more information, please visit:
Additional Military Benefits
FCS institutions offer priority course registration to veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces who receive GI Bill® educational benefits and their spouses and dependent children.
FCS institutions allow current members of the U.S. Armed Forces and honorably discharged veterans to earn academic college credit for college-level training and education acquired in the military.
Scholarships for Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans (CSDDV): This program provides scholarship opportunities for dependent children and spouses of veterans who died from a service-connected disability or who are 100 percent service-connected permanent and total disabled veterans. Dependent children of service members Missing in Action or Prisoners of War may also be eligible for tuition benefits. For more information, please contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance at (888) 827-2004, email@example.com or visit https://www.floridastudentfinancialaidsg.org.
- Death Benefits for Survivors of First Responders and Military Members: The spouses or dependents of deceased members of the Florida National Guard and the United States Armed Forces are eligible to receive tuition waivers equal to the cost of tuition and matriculation and registration fees for a total of 120 credit hours or 3,600 clock hours. Members of the National Guard must have been full-time Florida active duty. In addition, the deceased military member of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard must have been a Florida resident, or their duty post must have been within Florida at the time of death. For more information, please contact the Veteran Affairs contact at the institution of enrollment.
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- Access and manage VA benefits
- Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs (FDVA)
- Service to Scholars Program
- Survivors & Dependents Assistance (DEA)
- Veterans High School Diploma Program
- Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)
- Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)
Relevant Florida Statutes
- 295.061 Active duty servicemembers; death benefits.
- 1009.21 - Determination of resident status for tuition purposes.
- 1009.26 – Fee waivers.
- 1009.27 - Deferral of fees.
Relevant Florida State Board of Education Rules
- 6A-14.0302 Credit for Military Service
- 6A-14.0305 Out-of-State Fee Waiver for Veterans and Other Eligible Students
- Rule 6A-14.0306 Death Benefits for Survivors of First Responders and Military Members
- 6A-20.003 - Florida Residency as a Requirement for the Receipt of State Student Aid