Hinson - Hazlewood Act

Wartime veterans of the Spanish-American War through the Persian Gulf War, who were legal residents of Texas at the time they entered military service, and Home of Record is listed as Texas on the DD214, are entitled to a waiver of tuition and some fees at State-supported colleges and universities. This benefit is also available to children of Texas servicemen and women who died or were killed in military service, and to children of Texas military personnel who are shown to be missing in action or prisoners of war. Also eligible are children of members of the Texas National Guard or the Texas Air National Guard killed since January 1, 1946, while on active duty either in service of Texas or the United States. Any person claiming this benefit must have exhausted all Federal educational benefits and be a legal resident of Texas at the time of application.

Below outlines Chapter 54 of the Texas Education Code. The Hinson-Hazlewood Act is administered by the
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. You apply for the Hazlewood Act directly at the State supported school you wish to attend. For a list of State supported schools, click HERE.

TEXAS EDUCATION CODE
CHAPTER 54, TUITION AND FEES

SUBCHAPTER B. TUITION RATES
54.058. Military Personnel and Dependents
(a) Military personnel are classified as provided by this section.

(b) An officer, enlisted man or woman, selectee, or draftee of the Army, Army Reserve, Army National Guard, Air National Guard, Texas State Guard, Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Navy, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard, or Coast Guard Reserve of the United States, who is assigned to duty in Texas is entitled to register himself, his spouse, and their children in a State institution of higher education by paying the tuition fee and other fees or charges required of Texas residents, without regard to the length of time he has been assigned to duty or resided in the State. However, out-of-state Army National Guard or Air National Guard members attending training with Texas Army or Air National Guard units under National Guard Bureau regulations may not be exempted from nonresident tuition by virtue of that training status nor may out-of state Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard Reserves training with units in Texas under similar regulations be exempted from nonresident tuition by virtue of that training status. It is the intent of the Legislature that only those members of the Army or Air National Guard, Texas State Guard, or other reserve forces mentioned above be exempted from the nonresident tuition fee and other fees and charges only when they become members of Texas units or the military organizations mentioned above.

(c) As long as they reside continuously in Texas, the spouse and children of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who has been assigned to duty elsewhere immediately following assignment to duty in Texas are entitled to pay the tuition fees and other fees or charges provided for Texas residents.

(d) If nonresident military personnel are attending an institution of higher education under a contract between the institution and any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States, in which the tuition of the member is paid in full by the United States government, the student shall pay the nonresident tuition fee. (Repealed by Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1632, ch. 591, 1, eff. June 15, 1973.)

(e) A Texas institution of higher education may charge to the United States government the nonresident tuition fee for a veteran enrolled under the provisions of a federal law or regulation authorizing educational or training benefits for veterans.

(f) The spouse and children of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who dies or is killed are entitled to pay the resident tuition fee if the wife and children become residents of Texas within 60 days of the date of death.

(g) If a member of the Armed Forces of the United States is stationed outside Texas and his spouse and children establish residence in Texas by residing in Texas and by filing with the Texas institution of higher education at which they plan to register a letter of intent to establish residence in Texas, the institution of higher education shall permit the spouse and children to pay the tuition, fees, and other charges provided for Texas residents without regard to length of time that they have resided in the State.

Historical Note
Prior Law:
Acts 1933, 43rd Leg., p. 596, ch. 196, 1. Acts 1941, 47th Leg., p. 873, ch. 544, 1. Acts 1953, 53rd Leg., p. 866, ch. 351, 1. Acts 1957, 55th Leg., p. 1297, ch. 435, 1. Acts 1961, 57th Leg., p. 999, ch. 436, 1. Acts 1965, 59th Leg., p. 1003, ch. 490, 1. Acts 1969, 61st Leg., p. 134, ch. 46, 1. Vernon’s Ann. Civ. St. art. 2654c, 1(k). Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1632, ch. 591, 1.

SUBCHAPTER B. EXEMPTIONS FROM TUITION (Hazlewood Act)
Section 54.203 Veterans, Dependents, etc. (commonly referred to as the Hazlewood Act) - from Vernon’s Texas Codes Annotated, Education.

54.203 Veterans, Dependents, etc.

(a) The governing board of each institution of higher education shall exempt the following persons from the payment of all dues, fees, and charges, including fees for correspondence courses but excluding property deposit fees, student services fees, and any fees or charges for lodging, board, or clothing, provided the persons seeking the exemptions were citizens of Texas at the time they entered the services indicated and have resided in Texas at least the period of 12 months before the date of registration.

(1) all nurses and honorably discharged members of the armed forces of the United States who served during the Spanish-American War or during World War I;
(2) all nurses, members of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, members of the Women’s Auxiliary Volunteer Emergency Service, and all honorably discharged members of the armed forces of the United States who served during World War II except those who were discharged from service because they were over the age of 38 or because of a personal requests on the part of the person that he be discharged from service,
(3) all honorably discharged men and women of the armed forces of the United States who served during the national emergency which began on June 27, 1950, and which is referred to as the Korean War, and
(4) all persons who were honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States after serving on active military duty, excluding training, for more than 180 days and who served a portion of their active duty during:

(A) the Cold War which began on the date of the termination of the national emergency cited in Subdivision (3) of this subsection;

(B) the Vietnam era which began on December 21, 1961, and ended on May 7, 1975;

(C) the Grenada and Lebanon era which began on August 24, 1982, and ended on July 31, 1984;

(D) the Panama era which began on December 20, 1989, and ended on January 21, 1990;

(E) the Persian Gulf War which began on August 2, 1990, and ends on the date thereafter prescribed by Presidential proclamation or September 1, 1997, whichever occurs first; or

(F) any future national emergency declared in accordance with federal law.

(b) The exemptions provided for in Subsection (a) of this section also apply and inure to the benefit of the children of members of the armed forces of the United States who are or were killed in action, who die or died while in service, who are missing in action, or whose death is documented to be directly caused by illness or injury connected with service in the armed forces of the United States, and to the benefit of orphans of members of the Texas National Guard and the Texas Air National Guard killed since January 1, 1946, while on active duty either in the service of their state or of the United States. However, to qualify for this exemption a person must be a citizen of Texas and must have resided in the state for at least 12 months immediately preceding the date of the person’s registration.

(c) The exemptions provided for in Subsection (a) of this section shall not exceed a cumulative total of 150 credit hours.

(d) The governing board of each institution of higher education granting exemptions shall require every applicant claiming the benefit of an exemption to submit satisfactory evidence that he fulfills the necessary citizenship and residency requirements.

(e) The exemption from fees provided for in Subsection (a) of this section does not apply to a person if at the time of his registration he is eligible for educational benefits under federal legislation in effect at the time of his registration if the value of those benefits is equal to or exceeds the value of the exemption, except that the person must first utilize the federal benefit for which he is eligible and the combined amount of the federal benefit plus the amount of this waiver shall not exceed the maximum value of the waiver. A person is covered by the exemptions if his right to benefits under federal legislation is extinguished at the time of his registration, that a person is not eligible for an exemption from fees under this section if the person’s right to benefits under federal legislation is extinguished because the person is in default of repayment of a loan made to the person under a federal program to provide or guarantee loans for educational purposes. A person is not eligible for the exemption if the person is in default on a loan made or guaranteed for educational purposes by the State of Texas.

(f) The governing board of each institution of higher education may enter into contracts with the United States government, or any of its agencies, to furnish instruction to ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen at a tuition rate which covers the estimated cost of the instruction or, in the alternative, at a tuition rate of $100 a semester, as may be determined by the governing board. If the rates specified are prohibited by federal law for any particular class of ex-servicemen or ex-servicewomen, the tuition rate shall be set by the governing board, but shall not be less than the established rate for civilian students. If federal law provides as to any class of veteran that the tuition payments are to be deducted from subsequent benefits to which the veteran may be entitled, the institution shall refund to any veteran who is a resident of Texas within the meaning of this section the amount by which any adjusted compensation payment is actually reduced because of tuition payments made to the institution by the federal government for the veteran.

Historical Note
Prior Law:
Acts 1929, 41st Leg., 2nd C.S., p. 90, ch. 52, 1. Acts 1933, 43rd Leg., 1st C.S., p. 10, ch. 6. Acts 1943, 48th Leg., p. 568, ch. 337, 1. Acts 1945, 49th Leg., p. 552, ch. 338, 1. Acts 1953, 53rd Leg., p. 75, ch. 55, 1. Acts 1959, 56th Leg., 2nd C.S., p. 99, ch. 12, 2. Acts 1965, 59th Leg., p. 467, ch. 235, 1. Acts 1967, 60th Leg., p. 1141, ch. 506, 1. Vernon’s Ann. Civ. St. arts. 2654b, 2654b—1, 1, 3 to 6.

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Following are some of the opinions that have been rendered by the office of the Attorney General pertaining to free tuition for veterans:

1. Ex-servicemen were entitled to free tuition in public junior colleges that received benefits from Public Junior College Act. Op. Atty. Gen. 1944, No. 0-5891.

2. Exemption extended to veteran students by Vernon’s Ann. Civ. St. art. 2654b—1, 1, 3, (repealed), did not exempt such veteran students from payment of a student activity fee required by state college boards under article 2654a; (now section 54.203 of Texas Education Code). Op. Atty. Gen. 1947, No. 0-7021.

3. An honorably discharged veteran of World War II, who was in service less than 90 days, was eligible for exemption from tuition fees in State-supported institutions of higher learning, provided he was not discharged for the reason of being over the age of 38 or was discharged at his own request. Op. Atty. Gen. 1946, No. 0-7316.

4. Vernon’s Ann. Civ. St. art. 2654b—1 (now section 54.203, Texas Education Code) did not limit length of time during which eligible veteran might attend State institution of higher learning without payment of tuition.

Date to be used for termination of World War II for purpose of determining eligibility for tuition exemption authorized for war veterans was April 28, 1952, date on which Treaty of Peace with Japan came into force. Op. Atty. Gen. 1952, No. V-1540.

5. Mere residence in Texas by a member of armed forces as consequence of military assignment did not, standing alone, operate to establish residence in Texas for educational purposes; but, that serviceman had brought his family to Texas, had lived off post for 12 months, or acquired real estate and was paying taxes in State were facts of evidentiary value in determining domicile. Op. Atty. Gen. 1956, S-95.

6. A child of a veteran who lost his life in World War II was not entitled to the exemption of Vernon’s Ann. Civ. St. art. 2654b—1 (now section 54.203 of Texas Education Code), if child was not a citizen of Texas or had not resided in Texas for twelve months or more prior to the date of his registration. Op. Atty. Gen. 1961, No. WW-1173.

7. The Attorney General has ruled that in enacting Section 54.203 (a) (4), the Legislature intended to extend benefits to all post-Korean veterans with qualifying service. The same ruling still applies to the statute so that the free tuition benefits are available to persons serving from the end of the Korean Conflict to the present, including persons who have served since the end of the Vietnam Era. Op. Atty. Gen. 1980, No. RQ-295.

8. The Attorney General has ruled that the language of the law in Section 54.203 (d), refers not only to Department of Veterans Affairs programs, but to all federal programs for veterans and non-veterans. In most State-supported colleges and universities, veterans who apply for free tuition under Section 54.203 of the Texas Education Code must apply for and be denied educational assistance benefits provided under all federal programs before benefits are allowed under this particular statute. Op. Atty. Gen. 1980, No. RQ-295.

9. By Attorney General Letter Opinion No. 94-011, dated January 27, 1994, Attorney General Opinion WW-1246 (1962) was overruled. For the purposes of the exemption from tuition and fees for higher education for veterans authorized by section 54.203 of the Educational Code, discharges under honorable conditions should be treated as the equivalent of honorable discharges.

54.209. Children of Prisoners of War or Persons Missing in Action
(a) In this section:

(1) "Dependent child" means a person under 21 years of age, or a person under 25 years of age who receives the majority of his support from his parent or parents.

(2) "Tuition and fees" include tuition, service fees, lab fees, building use fees, and all other fees except room, board, or clothing fees, or deposits in the nature of security for the return or proper care of property.

(b) The governing body of each institution of higher education, on presentation of satisfactory evidence, shall exempt from the payment of tuition and fees the dependent child of any person who is a domiciliary of Texas on active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States, and who at the time of the registration is classified by the Department of Defense as a prisoner of war or as missing in action.
Added by Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 3363, ch. 1024, art 2, 48, eff. Sept. 1, 1971.