JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri combat veterans will soon be eligible for a college tuition break.
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has signed legislation that caps tuition at $50 per credit hour for Missourians who have served in combat since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It applies only to public colleges and universities.
To be eligible, a veteran will need to keep a 2.5 grade-point average. The reduced tuition expires 10 years after a military discharge.
Tuition at Missouri’s colleges and universities varies. For example, according to a cost estimate prepared during the most recent legislative session, Linn State Technical College reports that it charges about $150 per credit hour. Missouri State University charges about $186 per credit hour.
The legislation also allows state schools that have to offer discounted tuition to military veterans to seek state reimbursement. But a college cannot deny a combat veteran lower tuition if lawmakers decide not to reimburse the school for lost revenue.
Kinder also signed legislation that requires flags above state property to be flown at half-staff for a day when a Missouri soldier is killed. It will be up to the state Veterans Commission to alert the governor when a Missouri resident who is a member of the military is killed.
Kinder signed both bills, which each take effect Aug. 28, on Monday in Columbia but traveled Tuesday to St. Louis and St. Joseph to publicize the new laws. Kinder had gubernatorial authority through Tuesday because Gov. Matt Blunt was out of state.