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.
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.
“Providing our reservists, their children and their surviving spouses with the opportunity to pursue a higher education and advance their careers by making it more affordable and accessible is one way we can show our gratitude for their service and sacrifices to our nation,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington, Camden). “It’s a benefit that is well-earned and well-deserved.”
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.
“Alleviating the burden of the high cost of tuition and the resulting debts that are often financially damaging is the right thing to do for the brave men and women who give so much to ensure our safety and to protect our freedoms,” added Senator Beach.
The bill was approved by the Senate with a vote of 39-0. It next heads to the Assembly for consideration.