The state of Texas has their own way to help those who have served in the military pay for college, it’s called the Hazlewood Act. This act was named for the Texas senator, Grady Hazlewood. He led the passage of many amendments to the act in 1944 to help veterans. It dates back to 1929 to help nurses and veterans without other benefits and has evolved from there.
Texas’ Hazlewood Act
Here is some information about the Hazlewood Act and how it can help veterans and possibly their families pay for college.
What is the Hazlewood Act and what can it offer you?
- If you qualify for the Hazlewood Act, you will be exempt from paying your tuition and most fees, up to 150 semester credit hours. You will need to be enrolled in classes at a public institution of higher education in the state of Texas. You also can not use this for property deposits, student service fees, books, supplies, and living expenses.
- The Hazlewood Act is not based on financial need.
- You can use the Hazlewood Act for undergraduate and graduate school, including law school. You can also use it for distance learning if the classes you are taking receive formula funding and you are taking these classes through a Public Texas institution.
- As far as continuing education classes without formula funding go, institutions are not required to offer Hazlewood Act benefits to veterans enrolled in them. However, the college or university may choose to permit this option.
Who qualifies for the Hazlewood Act?
- In order to qualify, at the time you started your active duty military service, you must have designated Texas as your home of record, entered the service in Texas, or had been a Texas resident.
- You also need to have had an honorable discharge or separation or a general discharge under honorable conditions as indicated on the your certificate of release or discharge from active duty.
- You need to have served at least 181 days of active duty service, not including training.
- You can use your Federal VA Education benefits as long as they are not the Post-9/11 GI Bill (chapter 33) or Vocational Rehabilitation Education program benefits (chapter 31) as well as any other benefits designed only for payment of tuition and fees. However, if you are receiving Federal VA Education benefits for payment of tuition and fees, you may receive both benefits if the Federal VA Education benefit amount does not equal or exceed the Hazlewood exemption value. If this is the case, you may receive a Hazlewood exemption that equals the difference between the total tuition and fees and the federal benefits.
- Basically, you would not be able to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill with the Hazlewood Act unless you do not qualify for the full amount of the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
- You will need to currently reside in Texas.
- You can not be in default on a student loan made or guaranteed by the state of Texas.
- You will need to be enrolled in classes for which the college or university receives tax support unless the college’s governing board has ruled to allow veterans to receive the benefit while taking non-funded courses.
- You also will need to meet the GPA requirements of the institution’s satisfactory academic progress policy. This will have to be in a degree or certificate program, as determined by the institution’s financial aid policy. Also, as an undergraduate student, you can not be considered to have attempted an excessive amount of credit hours.
Children of Veterans under the Legacy Act
Veterans who are eligible for the Hazlewood Act may assign or transfer unused hours of exemption eligibility to a child under certain circumstances.
- The child must be classified by the institution as a resident of Texas.
- They must be the biological child, stepchild, adopted child, or claimed as a dependent in the current or previous year.
- They must be 25 years old or younger on the 1st day of the semester or term for when the exemption is claimed. There are some cases when they can receive an extension due to a qualifying illness or debilitating condition.
- They must also meet the GPA requirements of the institutions/ satisfactory academic progress as listed above in the veteran’s section.
Spouses and dependent children
- Spouses and dependent children of active duty, reserve, and Texas National Guard who died in the line of duty, or as a result of an injury or illness directly related to military service, or who are missing in action, or became disabled for purposes of employability as a result of a service-related injury or illness are able to receive an 150 credit hour exemption with the Hazlewood Act as well.
- A spouse must be the spouse of a veteran, who at the time of entry into the military, was classified by the institution as a Texas resident, had a designated Texas Home of Record, or entered the service in Texas. The same goes for a dependent child.
- The same rules about Federal Veterans Education benefits that apply to veterans also apply to the spouse and dependent child.
- Spouses and dependent children also need to be classified by the institution as a Texas resident.
- The GPA requirements listed for the veteran also apply for the spouse and dependent child except in the case that the spouse or child is a spouse or child of a service member who is missing in action, killed in action, or is a service-connected deceased veteran.
Miscellaneous Hazlewood Act information
- The institution that the veteran, spouse or child attends exempts the cost of tuition and fees. No money will change hands.
- The governing board of each institution shall report to the Texas Veterans Commission. They will give them any information relating to each individual receiving an exemption from tuition and fees through the Hazlewood Act.
- Remember that there are strict rules for what makes you eligible as far as being a Texas resident goes. It simply isn’t enough that you lived in Texas once, that you have done so in the past, or that you want to do so in the future.
How do you apply for the Hazlewood Act?
You would need to register with the Hazlewood Act online database to get started.
As you can see, the Hazlewood Act can save you money on your schooling and allow you to fulfill your dreams. If you qualify, you should make sure to check out this fantastic benefit for you and possibly your children.