COLUMBIA — Students who rely on the Department of Veterans Affairs GI Bill would get a break on tuition in South Carolina, if one state lawmaker has his way.
Legislation introduced in December proposes that independent or eligible dependent residents who use the GI Bill in any way to pay for their post-secondary education or training be eligible for in-state tuition rates.
The sponsor of the the legislation, S. 93, is Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken, who could not be reached for comment Monday.
If the bill became law, it would come with costs, however.
If enacted, universities statewide are estimated to suffer a $7 million loss in foregone revenues.
The Commission on Higher Education polled the state’s institutions and found the minimum costs to be $70,000, and the maximum to be $1.7 million.
But the commission said potential revenue hits could grow exponentially, because of the number of veterans using their GI Bill benefits or those conferring the benefits to a dependent child, according to a fiscal impact statement from the State Budget Division.
The GI Bill pays up to a limit, based on the highest cost of attendance for in-state students, which is now at $18,022 annually, according to the Feb. 18 fiscal impact statement.
South Carolina is home to 413,000 veterans, according to the S.C. State Office of Veterans’ Affairs.