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28B.15.615  <<  28B.15.621 >>   28B.15.624

RCW 28B.15.621

Tuition waivers — Veterans and national guard members — Dependents — Private institutions.

(1) The legislature finds that active military and naval veterans, reserve military and naval veterans, and national guard members called to active duty have served their country and have risked their lives to defend the lives of all Americans and the freedoms that define and distinguish our nation. The legislature intends to honor active military and naval veterans, reserve military and naval veterans, and national guard members who have served on active military or naval duty for the public service they have provided to this country.

     (2) Subject to the limitations in RCW 28B.15.910, the governing boards of the state universities, the regional universities, The Evergreen State College, and the community colleges, may waive all or a portion of tuition and fees for an eligible veteran or national guard member.

     (3) The governing boards of the state universities, the regional universities, The Evergreen State College, and the community colleges, may waive all or a portion of tuition and fees for a military or naval veteran who is a Washington domiciliary, but who did not serve on foreign soil or in international waters or in another location in support of those serving on foreign soil or in international waters and who does not qualify as an eligible veteran or national guard member under subsection (8) of this section. However, there shall be no state general fund support for waivers granted under this subsection.

     (4) Subject to the conditions in subsection (5) of this section and the limitations in RCW 28B.15.910, the governing boards of the state universities, the regional universities, The Evergreen State College, and the community colleges, shall waive all tuition and fees for the following persons:

     (a) A child and the spouse or the domestic partner or surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner of an eligible veteran or national guard member who became totally disabled as a result of serving in active federal military or naval service, or who is determined by the federal government to be a prisoner of war or missing in action; and

     (b) A child and the surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner of an eligible veteran or national guard member who lost his or her life as a result of serving in active federal military or naval service.

     (5) The conditions in this subsection (5) apply to waivers under subsection (4) of this section.

     (a) A child must be a Washington domiciliary between the age of seventeen and twenty-six to be eligible for the tuition waiver. A child's marital status does not affect eligibility.

     (b)(i) A surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner must be a Washington domiciliary.

     (ii) Except as provided in (b)(iii) of this subsection, a surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner has ten years from the date of the death, total disability, or federal determination of prisoner of war or missing in action status of the eligible veteran or national guard member to receive benefits under the waiver. Upon remarriage or registration in a subsequent domestic partnership, the surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner is ineligible for the waiver of all tuition and fees.

     (iii) If a death results from total disability, the surviving spouse has ten years from the date of death in which to receive benefits under the waiver.

     (c) Each recipient's continued participation is subject to the school's satisfactory progress policy.

     (d) Tuition waivers for graduate students are not required for those who qualify under subsection (4) of this section but are encouraged.

     (e) Recipients who receive a waiver under subsection (4) of this section may attend full-time or part-time. Total credits earned using the waiver may not exceed two hundred quarter credits, or the equivalent of semester credits.

     (6) Required waivers of all tuition and fees under subsection (4) of this section shall not affect permissive waivers of tuition and fees under subsection (3) of this section.

     (7) Private vocational schools and private higher education institutions are encouraged to provide waivers consistent with the terms in subsections (2) through (5) of this section.

     (8) The definitions in this subsection apply throughout this section.

     (a) "Child" means a biological child, adopted child, or stepchild.

     (b) "Eligible veteran or national guard member" means a Washington domiciliary who was an active or reserve member of the United States military or naval forces, or a national guard member called to active duty, who served in active federal service, under either Title 10 or Title 32 of the United States Code, in a war or conflict fought on foreign soil or in international waters or in another location in support of those serving on foreign soil or in international waters, and if discharged from service, has received an honorable discharge.

     (c) "Totally disabled" means a person who has been determined to be one hundred percent disabled by the federal department of veterans affairs.

     (d) "Washington domiciliary" means a person whose true, fixed, and permanent house and place of habitation is the state of Washington. "Washington domiciliary" includes a person who is residing in rental housing or residing in base housing. In ascertaining whether a child or surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner is domiciled in the state of Washington, public institutions of higher education shall, to the fullest extent possible, rely upon the standards provided in RCW 28B.15.013.

     (9) As used in subsection (4) of this section, "fees" includes all assessments for costs incurred as a condition to a student's full participation in coursework and related activities at an institution of higher education.

     (10) The governing boards of the state universities, the regional universities, The Evergreen State College, and the community colleges shall report to the higher education committees of the legislature by November 15, 2010, and every two years thereafter, regarding the status of implementation of the waivers under subsection (4) of this section. The reports shall include the following data and information:

     (a) Total number of waivers;

     (b) Total amount of tuition waived;

     (c) Total amount of fees waived;

     (d) Average amount of tuition and fees waived per recipient;

     (e) Recipient demographic data that is disaggregated by distinct ethnic categories within racial subgroups; and

     (f) Recipient income level, to the extent possible.

[2009 c 316 § 1. Prior: 2008 c 188 § 1; 2008 c 6 § 501; 2007 c 450 § 1; 2005 c 249 § 1.]

Notes:

     Part headings not law -- Severability -- 2008 c 6: See RCW 26.60.900 and 26.60.901.