TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jim Beach that would extend tuition benefits to reservists in the U.S. military was approved today by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
The bill (S-1915) would extend tuition benefits to members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces of the United States who are New Jersey residents by providing up to 16 credits per semester of tuition for free at a public higher education institution in the state. The legislation would also provide tuition benefits to a child or surviving spouse of a member of the reserve who has been killed in the line of duty, provided that they are also New Jersey residents. Under current law, members of the New Jersey National Guard, their children and surviving spouses could receive these benefits.
“Offering financial assistance to reservists as we do for other military personnel will remove the obstacles – like the high cost of tuition and resulting debts – that often prevent individuals from pursuing higher education and advancing their careers,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington, Camden). “It’s a benefit they have earned and deserve.”
Under the legislation, the reserve components of the Armed Forces of the United States include the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Reserve, Air Force Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve.
“Extending tuition benefits to family members of reservists who have made the ultimate sacrifice while on active duty is the right thing to do,” added Senator Beach. “It will better ensure that college is affordable and accessible.”
The bill was approved by the committee and next heads to the full Senate for consideration.