Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act (VACA H.R. 3230)

In August 2014, President Obama signed the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 ("VACA Act"), into law (Public Law No.: 113-146). Section 702 of the VACA Act (38 U.S.C. 3679(c)) requires the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to disapprove programs of education under the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (MGIB-AD) and Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefit programs (Chapters 30 or 33, respectively, of Title 38, U.S. Code) at institutions of higher learning if the school charges qualifying veterans and dependents ("covered individuals") tuition and fees in excess of the in-state rate for resident students for terms beginning after July 1, 2015. A "covered individual" is defined in the VACA Act as:

  1. A Veteran who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

  2. A spouse or child entitled to transferred education benefits who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within 3 years of the transferor's discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

  3. A spouse or child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (provides Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to the children and surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty while on active duty) who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the Service member's death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

  4. After expiration of the three year period following discharge or death as described in 38 U.S.C. 3679(c), a student who initially qualifies under the applicable requirements above will maintain "covered individual" status as long as he or she remains continuously enrolled (other than during regularly scheduled breaks between courses, semesters or terms) at the institution, even if they enroll in multiple programs and shall continue to be exempt from paying nonresident tuition and other fees as described in the updated fee policy described below.