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. 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 (12)(a), F.S., the Congressman C.W. Bill Young Veteran Tuition Waiver Program requires a state university, Florida College System institution, or career center to waive out-of-state fees for an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, the U.S. Reserve Forces or the National Guard who physically reside in Florida while enrolled in the institution. The waiver covers the applicable portion of the fees up to 110 percent of the required credit hours for the degree or certificate program of enrollment.
Veterans will be expected to provide the following documentation to be eligible for this out-of-state fee waiver:
- Proof current Florida residency. This documentation may include but is not limited to, a Florida driver’s license or Florida identification card.
- Proof of honorable discharge. This information may be on the veteran’s DD214, discharge certificate, or other documentation as deemed appropriate by the Florida College System institution.
Active Duty Military Waivers
Recent amendments to s. 1009.21, F.S., grants in-state residency for tuition purposes to active duty military members, including their spouses and dependents, who are residing in Florida or attending a public postsecondary institution within 50 miles of a military establishment at the time of acceptance to the institution.
Purple Heart Recipient Waivers
The Purple Heart Waiver, established in s. 1009.26 (8), F.S., provides tuition and fee waivers for Florida military veterans who have received a purple heart OR combat decoration that is “superior in precedence.”
- The waiver covers the tuition and fees 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 office of financial aid for other financial aid opportunities.
- To be eligible, the veteran or active military member:
- Must be a current Florida resident for tuition purposes.
- 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 documents showing receipt of the Purple Heart. 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. 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 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (CH31), you should speak with your Vocational Rehabilitation 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 are receiving 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, firstname.lastname@example.org 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 his or her 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.
- 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