2022 State Of The State: Governor Ducey Plans To Waive Higher Education Tuition For Veterans’ Spouses

News Release

January 10, 2022

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today announced a proposal to waive higher education tuition for the spouses of veterans, expanding Arizona’s commitment to supporting the men and women who served our nation and their families.

In his 2022 State of the State Address, Governor Ducey said:

“Under the GI bill, [veterans] also get to attend our in-state universities and community colleges free of charge. After all, they’ve already given so much. But how about their spouses? These dedicated husbands and wives have served and sacrificed as well. So this session, let’s launch a program to waive their tuition too.”

Currently, veterans must meet certain eligibility requirements to receive the higher education tuition waiver program benefits. These criteria would apply to spouses under the newly proposed program as well. The requirements include: 

  • An honorable discharge or other proof of honorable termination of service of a veteran in the armed forces; and

  • The veteran and spouse must meet the in-state student status requirements as outlined in A.R.S. 15-1802  

There are a variety of benefits available in Arizona to assist law enforcement, military service members, veterans and their families with pursuing secondary education. However, in some cases, spouses currently do not qualify for a tuition waiver or reimbursement.

“Education and employment can be major barriers when it comes to stabilizing veteran families,” said Col. Wanda Wright, director of the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services. “As spouses are the backbone of the veteran family, the in-state tuition waiver is one step in ensuring that we are responsive to the holistic needs of Arizona’s veteran community.”

BACKGROUND

Throughout his administration, Governor Ducey has worked to expand opportunities in Arizona for those who answered the call to serve our nation.

The Arizona Coalition for Military Families helps veterans build meaningful careers outside of service. 

The Arizona Roadmap to Veteran Employment—developed in partnership by the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, the Arizona Coalition for Military Families, and public- and private-sector partners—is a statewide plan that engages organizations to connect service members, veterans and their families to employment opportunities and other essential resources.

Under the Be Connected: Career Navigation section of the roadmap, professional career navigators assist military members, veterans, spouses and family members through resume coaching, interview preparation and career counseling. The Coalition also helps train employers in military and veteran culture, and in understanding the transition of a veteran to a civilian workplace. The Career Navigation team makes matches between career seekers and employers. 

The Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services—in partnership with [email protected] and the Arizona Housing Coalition—offers the Veteran Toolkit, which provides qualifying veterans with funds for expenses associated with beginning employment, including work clothes, tools, protective equipment, transportation and essential electronic devices.

###