POULSBO — Western Washington University is now offering full tuition waivers for students who are post 9/11 veterans that have exhausted their GI Bill benefits.
The GI Bill normally covers about four years’ worth of tuition. However, some programs might take longer, and remedial courses may take students more time to complete. In addition, transfer students may have been taking classes that did not count toward their degrees. For this reason, Ann Beck, assistant director of Western’s Veterans Services, believes that many veteran students may have struggled with completing their programs.
In order to qualify for the tuition waiver, students must have completed at least 24 credits at Western, which is about two quarters, while using their post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. This offer is only for students pursuing bachelor’s degrees. As part of the application process, the veterans services office will determine whether students are eligible for some other kind of grant or assistance. The program applies to undergraduates.
Beck said that the tuition waiver was a pioneering program, as she did not know of any other public university in Washington state that offers a 100-percent waiver of tuition and fees to veteran students in these cases.
“Other public universities in Washington offer a 50-percent waiver of tuition and fees when veteran students run out their GI Bill benefits,” Beck told the North Kitsap Herald, adding that the program is also beneficial for veteran students pursuing STEM degrees, which sometimes require more classes.
Veterans of Persian Gulf conflicts may also be eligible for a partial tuition waiver. “We haven’t had a lot of those folks come through lately,” Beck said. “We will look at those on a case-by-case basis. “
Individuals older than 60 can already get all tuition and fees waived for up to two classes per quarter, regardless of whether they are veterans, Beck said.
“Veterans that are unsure of their benefits status can also just call or come by our office and we will work with them to get that information,” Beck said.
For more information, contact Beck at 360-650-4324 or Ann.Beck@wwu.edu, or go to www.wwu.edu/veteranservices/.