Yellow Ribbon program burdens universities

Universities shouldn’t have to pay for veterans’ out-of-state tuition.

An expanded GI Bill may unfairly place more financial burden on Penn State to pay the cost of veteransâÄô tuition bills, a requirement that should be left to the federal government. Veterans currently have the option of attending an in-state university tuition free of charge under the current GI Bill. The Yellow Ribbon Program would cover the difference for out-of-state student tuition. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would cover half and Penn State would shoulder the other half. Penn State should not be faulted if it opts out of the new program because the issue should be set on the national stage, not on an individual school level. It is not Penn StateâÄôs responsibility to cover the extra money that it costs an out-of-state student to attend school over an in-state student. Any person should be allowed to attend the university of his or her choosing, but the reality exists for every student that funding can be a hurdle. Veterans have a great opportunity to attend an in-state university for free, an option that exists for very few students. The programs to send veterans to school after serving our country are noble and correct. However, cash-strapped universities and colleges should not be paying the tuition of veterans. The original purpose of the GI Bill was to allow veterans to attend the school of their choice. However, times have changed significantly since World War II. A university like Penn State should not be forced to pay the difference for a student who decided to attend an out-of-state school. Although veterans deserve financial help for education for serving our country, the GI Bill gives no guarantee that they will be able to attend any school they want. A regular student who chooses to attend an out-of-state school that is more expensive carries the added financial responsibility. Veterans should be no different. This editorial, accessed via UWire, was originally published in the Daily Collegian at Penn State University. Please send comments to [email protected]