The Senate gave unanimous approval to Senate Bill 251 Monday, which would make college more affordable for members of Oklahoma’s National Guard and Oklahoma Reserves who live in surrounding states. The measure, by Sen. Steve Russell, creates the “Armed Services Tuition Fairness Act”.
“We have many soldiers who, while they live in other states, have chosen to serve in our state’s National Guard or Reserves. They have chosen to represent and fight with our sons and daughters so I believe we should treat them as such and allow them to pay resident tuition,” said Russell, R-Oklahoma City. “This is just another way we can show our appreciation to these individuals for their service to our state and country.”
SB 251 would provide resident tuition to those Oklahoma National Guard and Reserve personnel who do not live in Oklahoma, but are attending an Oklahoma college or university.
Russell pointed out that full-time, active members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are stationed in Oklahoma are already provided this in-state tuition waiver, but he wants to ensure that all of Oklahoma’s soldiers have this educational incentive.
On average, nonresident tuition per credit hour at Oklahoma’s colleges and universities can be anywhere from three to four times that of resident tuition. On average, in-state tuition is around $135 per credit hour while out-of-state tuition is around $390 per hour.
SB 251 will next be heard before a House committee.