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Education

CCAC Open House Today For Military, Veterans And Families

A Pennsylvania law in effect last month mandates that state-related or state-owned institutions of higher learning must offer in-state tuition to active-duty military, veterans and their dependents even if they don't reside in Pennsylvania.

The Community College of Allegheny County is hosting an open house for those directly affected by the change from 2 to 7 p.m. at all four of its campuses Thursday to showcase how the college can work with these families. 

Also under the law, community colleges must offer in-county rates. For example, CCAC tuition would cost $104.75 per credit for those families, compared to $209.50 per credit for residents of other counties and $314.25 for out-of-state tuition.

“Due to the sacrifice and the service that not only the veterans make but (their) family members, we wanted to make this as open as possible for family members of military and veterans, which is why we decided we’re taking it as broad as we can take it under the regulations,” said Dwight Boddorf, director of Military and Veteran Services at CCAC.

Boddorf said the college’s concern is to make sure they all have access to affordable education.

“We’re not concerned with the cost," he said. "They have earned it."

Previously, the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 required public colleges to provide in-state tuition to veterans and eligible dependents in order for schools to remain eligible to receive G.I. Bill education payments.

Attendees to the open house can expect to find out about education benefits, post-9/11 G.I. Bill options, federal tuition assistance and scholarships related to military and veterans students. Financial aid, registration and admissions personnel will be available to answer any questions, Boddorf said.

Four-year school partners including the University of Pittsburgh, Robert Morris University and Duquesne University will also be present to explain both how the transfer process works as well as how G.I. Bill benefits move to another college.

CCAC is also offering a resume writing and career assistance session.

“If you’re coming out of the military, we know that it can be difficult to translate your military skills to civilian skills, so we will be assisting with that as well and helping with that translation so military and veterans can reintegrate into civilian life a little more seamlessly,” Boddorf said. 

The school's Military and Veteran’s Service Department works with military and veterans throughout their college careers, according to Boddorf. Officials intervene as necessary, asking if the student needs help with tutoring, or if they need to be connected with Veterans Affairs in the area.

“So from admissions to graduation and helping find a job, we are here to help that student the whole way through,” Boddorf said. 

Attendees are asked to bring their Joint Services Transcript, discharge papers and Certification of Eligibility, if applicable.