Under the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance program (SDEA), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pays dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled as a result of a service-connected disability or who have died while on active duty or as a result of a service-connected disability a monthly benefit while they are enrolled in school. Beneficiaries can receive payments for up to 36 months. The amount is determined by how many college credits the dependents earn during an academic term and is adjusted annually for inflation. The benefit for a full-time student is $1,265 per month in 2021.
Under the bill, students could not use any VA education benefits at public schools that charge SDEA beneficiaries tuition and fees at amounts higher than the rates charged to state residents if those beneficiaries are living in the state where the school is located, regardless of whether they are state residents. Many schools offer in-state tuition to SDEA beneficiaries, and we anticipate that those that do not would choose to do so if the bill is