On March 23, 2015, Governor Chris Christie signed Senate Bill A3967 into law. This bill, known as the New Jersey Tuition Equality for America's Military (NJTEAM) Act, will allow all U.S. veterans to pay in-state tuition rates for colleges and universities in New Jersey, independent of their state of permanent residence. According to this bill, a veteran is defined as an individual who has served on active duty and was discharged or released. In addition, the bill will allow the spouses and children of veterans to pay in-state tuition.
To contextualize this law for Ramapo College, Ramapo was listed as one of the nation’s friendliest Military Veteran Schools for 2014. One percent of Ramapo’s total student population are veterans and there has been a 15 percent increase in enrollment of veterans over the last four years. The NJTEAM Act will allow veterans to attain college degrees in New Jersey at a reduced cost. Despite Ramapo College’s efforts, many veterans still have limited options in New Jersey, as the unemployment rate for veterans is 7.9 percent. That rate is the second worst in the country, compared to other groups in the U.S.
Do you have other suggestions to make college more affordable to veterans? If you are passionate about reducing the price of college, share your opinion with your political representative and make sure to vote in future elections. If you would like to register to vote or get involved, please come to the Student Government Association office in SC-223.