MEDIA STATEMENT August 8, 2014

Contact: Paul Feist Office: 916.327.5353

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California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris and Board President Manuel Baca Laud New Federal Law that Lowers Tuition Costs for Non-Resident Veterans

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris and Board of Governors President Manuel Baca today praised legislation signed into law this week by President Obama that directs colleges and universities to charge in-state tuition to all veterans and their families, regardless of residency.

The bill, officially known as the “Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014,” primarily addresses veterans’ health care matters in addition to improving veterans’ education benefits.

The law also extends the Post-9/11 GI Bill to dependents of service members killed in action.

“The California Community Colleges respects and honors our student veterans for the commendable choices they have made in their lives -- defending this country and enriching themselves through education,” Harris said. “These talented individuals, who have done so much for others, deserve the right to obtain a quality, affordable education.”

“For students who have served our country in the armed forces this important change provides increased access to our community colleges,” added Baca, who is a veteran. “Our student veterans have sacrificed much to keep our nation safe. In return, we must do whatever we can to make public higher education affordable for all who have served.”

There were approximately 45,000 veterans and active-duty service members enrolled in the California Community Colleges in 2011-12, and one to two percent of those students are out-of-state residents. In-state tuition at a California community college is $46 per unit. Out-of-state tuition for non-residents can be as high as $368 per unit.

The California Community Colleges has a strong tradition of providing support to veterans. Several community colleges have established a veterans’ resource center on their campuses where student veterans can interact with one another and obtain information and services. The Chancellor’s Office also applied for and received grants to support the development, pilot testing, and implementation of a training program for faculty and staff about the mental health needs of student veterans. Other programs have been established by the colleges statewide to help smooth the transition for veterans into college life.

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For more information on the California Community Colleges and its support of veterans in college, please go to:

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation. It is composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills courses in English and math, and prepare students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.