Saturday, February 19, 2011

Rep. Gonzales Urges Texas Veterans To Take Advantage Of Education Benefits

AUSTIN - State Representative Veronica Gonzales (D-McAllen) encourages Texas veterans to take full advantage of  veteran's programs offering educational benefits they have earned through faithful service to our country.
The Texas Hazelwood Act, amended in 2005, provides qualified veterans, spouses, and their children with an educational benefit of up to 150 hours of free tuition and fee exemptions at Texas public colleges and universities.  The benefit also extends to the dependent children and spouses of eligible veterans who died in the line of duty or as a result of injury or illness directly related to military service, are missing in action, or who became totally disabled for purposes of employability as a result of service related injuries.
Veterans may also assign unused hours of exemption eligibility to a child if the child is a Texas resident, meets dependency criteria, is 25 years or younger on the first day of the semester or term for which the exemption is claimed, and makes satisfactory academic progress.
"I urge veterans to be aware of the many higher education benefits available to them and their children," Gonzales said.  "These programs are an excellent opportunity to make college and career goals more affordable for our families in the Rio Grande Valley." 
Another great option available to Texas veterans is the Combat Exemption for Children of Military Service Members, legislation supported by Gonzales which became effective in 2009. This exemption allows children or stepchildren of a member serving in the Armed Forces to get free resident tuition at Texas public colleges and universities.  To qualify for this education credit, a student must simply provide proof to the school's financial aid office that his or her parent or guardian is presently deployed in support of a combat operation outside of the U.S. during the current academic semester.
For more  information on veteran's education benefits please visit the Veterans Affairs office at your college or university or visit the Texas Veterans Commission website at

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