INDIANAPOLIS — Thousands of Indiana college students in the midst of the 2019-20 academic year are benefiting from the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs’ College Tuition Exemption Program.
The program offers up to a 100 percent tuition exemption for qualifying students attending Indiana state-supported schools. The veteran parent of each student must meet three qualifications, including: have served in the armed forces during a period of war; been rated by a service-connected disability as determined by the U.S. DVA; and been a resident of Indiana or living in Indiana for five years.
As of July 1, 2019, qualifying students can be 32 years of age, but must not have reached their 33rd birthday when first applying. If the student is not the biological child of a veteran, the student must have been adopted prior to their 18th birthday.
Jared Leinart is one of nearly 30,000 people who benefits from the program each year. Leinart’s son, Vincent, will graduate from Indiana State University this month; his daughter, Hannah, will start at IUPUI in January. Leinart learned about the College Tuition Exemption Program during his first deployment to Iraq in 2005.
“This program has helped out a tremendous amount for my family,” said Leinart. “I am in a blended family and, between my wife and me, we have five children around the same ages, so college would have been difficult for us to afford. The IDVA’s College Tuition Exemption Program has allowed us to send our children to a college that, because of the cost, they might not have been able to attend otherwise.”
Leinart said the program’s application process is easy to use and has improved greatly over the last few years. He was able to quickly upload his daughter’s required documents and the school provided updates on her eligibility and status in the application process.
“The College Tuition Exemption Program is just another example of IDVA’s commitment to ensure Indiana is the choice for veterans to live, work and thrive,” said Dennis Wimer, IDVA director. “Our veterans have devoted their lives to serve our country and I’m proud to work for a department that serves their children in this way.”