Legislation of Interest to Higher Education Institutions: Veterans

AB 2133 which is known as the Combat to College Act of 2012, amends Education Code section 66025.8.  Existing law directs that the California State University and each community college, and requests that the University of California, administer a priority enrollment system for enrollment of “any member or former member of the Armed Forces of the United States, and who is a resident of California, who has received an honorable discharge, a general discharge, or an other than honorable discharge, and to any member or former member of the State Military Reserve.”  Prior to the amendment, eligible student priority enrollment was limited to four years after leaving active duty.  Assembly Bill 2133 extends the period of time in which a veteran may receive priority enrollment.  Members of the military and veterans will now be authorized to use the four academic years of eligibility to receive priority enrollment “within 15 years of leaving state or federal active duty.”  The priority enrollment will apply to all degree and certificate programs offered by the enrolling institution.

Public Postsecondary Education: Academic Credit for Prior Military Academic Experience - Assembly Bill 2462

AB 2462 adds section 66025.7 to the Education Code.  The new law provides that by July 1, 2015, the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges must “determine for which courses credit should be awarded for prior military experience.”  The Chancellor must “use common course descriptors and pertinent recommendations of the American Council on Education” when making such determinations.

Student Residency Requirements: Veterans - Assembly Bill 2478

Existing language provides that a student who was a member of the Armed Forces of the United States and who was stationed in California on active duty for more than one year immediately prior to being discharged will be exempt from paying nonresident tuition for the length of time that he or she lives in California after being discharged from the Armed Forces up to the minimum time necessary to become a California resident.

AB 2478 amends section 68075.5 of the Education Code to provide that a community college student who was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and stationed in California for more than one year immediately prior to being discharged will “be exempt from paying nonresident tuition for up to one year if he or she files an affidavit with the community college stating that he or she intends to establish residency in California as soon as possible.”  This one year exemption “shall be used while the student lives in this state and within two years of being discharged.”  A former member of the U.S. Armed Forces who received a bad conduct or dishonorable discharge is not eligible for an exemption.

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Arturo E. Ocampo | 916.321.4500