Bill seeks tuition refunds for Reserves, Guard
ARLINGTON, Va. — Rep. Martin Frost, D-Texas, introduced a bill that would give refunds to activated reservists and guardsmen enrolled in colleges and universities, but unable attend because they were called into service.
The bill, H.R. 1323, titled “Reservists and National Guard Opportunities and Protection of Education Act,” calls for institutions of higher education to refund tuitions and fees to students called up for active duty; grant students a military leave of absence, and restore students’ academic statuses with regard to credits earned, scholarships or grants when they return to their schooling.
“The brave men and women in our Reserves and National Guard shouldn’t be penalized for answering the call to serve our country,” Frost said in a statement. “It’s only fair to refund reservists the tuition paid for classes they can’t attend. And guaranteeing their educational status upon return from service will help them obtain college degrees.”
According to the Defense Department, as of Saturday, the total number of Reserve personnel on active-duty is 216,811. The breakdown is 150,071 in the Army National Guard and Army Reserve; 9,494 in the Naval Reserve; 33,365 in the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve; 20,089 in the Marine Corps Reserve; and 3,792 in the Coast Guard Reserve.
Roughly 30 percent of all Reserves and guardsmen are enrolled in colleges, universities or other institutions of higher learning.
The bill will be referred to the House Education and Work Force Committee. No hearing or decision date has been set for Congress to work on the bill.