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Free Tuition for Veterans’ Kids Program May Be In Trouble

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Seven years ago, Texas lawmakers said that children of veterans could receive free college tuition in a program called Hazlewood. They expected the numbers to remain manageably low, but their calculations were incorrect, and now over 18,599 students are enrolled in a program when they only expected to have around 880.

Now, the Texas House is discussing what to do with this issue, but they can’t seem to move forward with a decision since no one knows what the program will cost even a few years from now.

Universities are worried about sustaining the program no matter how many students take part in it. According to the Texas Tribune, “The universities say they are struggling to keep costs down for the average student and that each tuition dollar deferred by the Hazlewood program must be made up by someone else.”

But supporters of the free funding want to keep the sacrifices veterans make in mind along with the legacy of the program. Hazelwood has helped to pay tuitions for veterans since the 1920s, but since the GI Bill helped out with education funds, it wasn’t used often. In 2009, Texas allowed veterans to defer funds to their children, and that’s when the over-enrollment began.

As of now, no decisions have been made concerning how to move forward with Hazelwood.