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AFSC active duty dependents and spouses receive in-state tuition rates; Oklahoma extends station dates from five to 10 years

  • Published
  • By Angela Startz
  • Air Force Sustainment Center Public Affairs

Children and spouses of active-duty military in the Air Force Sustainment Center have another reason to consider Oklahoma and Georgia their home, because they qualify for in-state tuition to attend those states’ colleges and universities.

Most recently, the state of Oklahoma passed an update to their higher education act extending in-state tuition to dependents and spouses of active duty members “who have been stationed for more than one year in Oklahoma any time in the previous 10 years before the date of enrollment.” The new section of the bill extending the period of residency from five years to 10 years was inspired by the Newbold family, an active-duty family stationed at Tinker Air Force Base.

The University System of Georgia lists seven criteria for receiving in-state tuition, including having the military sponsor be previously stationed in or assigned to Georgia within the previous five years.

With a passing comment to Oklahoma State Representative Eric Roberts about how her three children now considered Oklahoma their home, United States Air Force spouse Helen Newbold set the wheels in motion for a new amendment to a state law.

While veterans and veterans’ dependents enjoy the benefits of paying in-state rates for tuition, training programs and career counseling, active military members often do not qualify for these programs. But two states that are home to the AFSC offer some type of tuition assistance for college.  

Newbold’s husband, Col. Paul Newbold, 72nd Medical Group, serves as the associate program director for the Aerospace Medicine Residency, and during his time in the Air Force, the family has lived in four different states in the past 10 years. Their twins have attended 10 different schools, all before fall 2022, their sophomore year in high school.

“Getting the bill passed wasn’t a smooth process,” shared Newbold. “We began this in November of 2021. The first bill did not go through, but Rep. Roberts shares a lot of the same experiences as my children do, and he was able to explain it in a way that made it easily understood. We were very pleased that it passed through both the Oklahoma Senate and House unanimously.

“Wherever you’re stationed, you feel like you’re part of the community and when you move, it’s a loss. Every kid feels like they belong when they are here. And the state benefits because all that talent is more likely to stay in state once they graduate from one of our colleges.”

For more information on qualifying for in-state tuition, visit the University System of Georgia Board of Regents or the Oklahoma State Board of Regents.