The Hazlewood Act: Eligibility Requirements and How to ApplyUpdated May 17, 2023 Veterans Benefits
The Hazlewood Act is a Texas State law that provides educational benefits for qualifying veterans, their spouses, and dependent children. This program was created to honor the service of Texas veterans and provide them with an opportunity to pursue their academic and career goals. In this way, the Hazlewood Act has helped thousands of Texas veterans and their families to achieve their educational aspirations and build successful careers. This post discusses all you need to know about the Hazlewood Act, including eligibility and how to apply.
How long has the Hazlewood Act been Active?
The Hazlewood Act has been active since September 1, 2009. It was named after Texas State Senator William Hazlewood, who served in the Texas Senate from 1941 to 1971. The Texas Legislature passed the law in 1943 and provided tuition and fee exemptions to Texas veterans who served in World War II.
In 2009, the Texas Legislature amended the Hazlewood Act to expand its eligibility requirements and provide more benefits to eligible veterans, their spouses, and dependent children. The updated law extended the benefits to veterans who served in other military conflicts and provided tuition exemption for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees, as well as certification programs and continuing education courses.
Since its inception, the Hazlewood Act has provided a valuable benefit to eligible Texas veterans and their families. It has helped thousands of veterans achieve their academic and career goals without the burden of tuition costs, and it has honored their service and sacrifice to our country. The program is a testament to Texas' commitment to supporting its veterans and recognizing their contributions to our state and nation.
Who benefits from the Hazlewood Act?
The Hazlewood Act benefits eligible veterans, their spouses, and dependent children. The program was established to honor the service of Texas veterans and provide them with an opportunity to pursue their academic and career goals.
Under the Hazlewood Act, eligible veterans may receive up to 150 credit hours of tuition exemption at any public university or college in Texas. The exemption applies to tuition and most fees, excluding books, lodging, and board fees. The benefits may be used for undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degrees, as well as certification programs, continuing education courses, and other eligible programs.
In addition to eligible veterans, spouses and dependent children of eligible veterans may also be eligible for Hazlewood Act benefits. To qualify, the veteran must have died in the line of duty as a result of a service-connected disability or as a result of an illness or injury related to their military service.
Under the Hazlewood Act, eligible dependents may receive up to 150 credit hours or eight years of exemption. The benefits may be used for undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degrees, as well as certification programs, continuing education courses, and other eligible programs.
What are the qualifying conditions of the Hazlewood Act?
To be eligible for Hazlewood Act benefits, a person must be a veteran who has served on Active duty in the US Armed Forces for at least 181 days. Additionally, the veteran must have received an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions.
The veteran must have been a Texas resident at the time of entry into the military or have established residency in Texas before applying for Hazlewood Act benefits.
Military Service Requirements
Before receiving Hazlewood Act benefits, the veteran must have exhausted all federal education benefits, such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill or the Montgomery GI Bill.
Death or Disability
Dependents of eligible veterans may qualify for Hazlewood Act benefits if the veteran died in the line of duty, as a result of a service-connected disability, or as a result of an illness or injury related to their military service.
The veteran, spouse, or dependent must be enrolled in a degree plan at a Texas public college or university. The Hazlewood Act benefits may be used for undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degrees, as well as certification programs, continuing education courses, and other eligible programs.
Credit Hour Limits
Eligible veterans may receive up to 150 credit hours of tuition exemption, while eligible dependents may receive up to 150 credit hours or eight years of exemption.
Does the Hazlewood Act only apply to veterans living in Texas?
A person must be a Texas resident at the time of entry into the military or have established residency in Texas before applying for Hazlewood Act benefits. Therefore, the Hazlewood Act only applies to veterans who are residents of Texas.
However, there is an exception to this requirement for eligible veterans who were not residents of Texas when they entered the military but later established residency in Texas. These veterans may be eligible for Hazlewood Act benefits if they meet all other eligibility criteria.
In addition to eligible veterans, their spouses, and dependent children who are also Texas residents may be eligible for Hazlewood Act benefits. It's important to note that eligibility requirements for Hazlewood Act benefits may vary and are subject to change. Therefore, it's always best to consult with the appropriate officials at the Texas Veterans Commission or the college or university you plan to attend to determine your eligibility for Hazlewood Act benefits.
Do all Texas universities accept the Hazlewood Act?
All public universities and colleges in Texas are required to participate in the Hazlewood Act program. However, it's important to note that private institutions are not required to participate in the Hazlewood Act program. Some private institutions in Texas have chosen to participate in the program voluntarily, while others have not. Therefore, it's important for veterans and their families to check with the institution they plan to attend to determine whether they participate in the Hazlewood Act program.
In addition, some colleges and universities may have their own additional requirements or restrictions for Hazlewood Act benefits, such as limits on the number of credit hours or certain academic programs. Therefore, veterans and their families need to check with the appropriate officials at the college or university to determine their eligibility for Hazlewood Act benefits and any additional requirements or restrictions that may apply.
Will the Hazlewood Act cover the entirety of tuition?
The Hazlewood Act provides eligible veterans, their spouses, and dependent children with a tuition and fee exemption for up to 150 credit hours or eight years of exemption, whichever comes first. The exemption covers tuition and most required fees at Texas public colleges and universities.
However, it's important to note that the Hazlewood Act exemption may not cover the entire cost of tuition and fees. If the cost of tuition and fees exceeds the exemption amount, the student is responsible for paying the difference. In addition, the exemption does not cover other expenses such as textbooks, housing, and meals.
It's important for veterans and their families to plan ahead and budget accordingly to cover any remaining costs of attendance that are not covered by the Hazlewood Act exemption. They can also explore other financial aid options such as scholarships, grants, and student loans to help cover any remaining costs of attendance.
How do I know whether I qualify for Hazlewood benefits?
To determine whether you qualify for Hazlewood benefits, there are certain eligibility requirements that you must meet.
Military Service: You must have served in the US Armed Forces, the Texas National Guard, or the Texas Air National Guard for at least 181 days, including at least one day of Active duty, or have been honorably discharged due to a service-related injury or illness.
Texas Residency: You must have been a Texas resident at the time of entry into military service or have established Texas residency before applying for Hazlewood benefits.
The character of Discharge: You must have received an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions.
No Federal Veterans Education Benefits: You must not receive any federal veterans education benefits or have used all of your federal veterans' education benefits, such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Eligibility Requirements for Spouses and Dependent Children:
To be eligible for Hazlewood benefits as a spouse or dependent child of a veteran, you must meet the following requirements:
Veteran Eligibility: The veteran must meet the eligibility requirements described above.
Relationship: You must be the spouse or dependent child of an eligible veteran.
Can I receive Hazlewood benefits while working?
Yes, you can receive Hazlewood benefits while working. The Hazlewood Act provides tuition and fee exemptions for eligible veterans, their spouses, and dependent children who are enrolled in Texas public colleges and universities. The law does not require that recipients of Hazlewood benefits must be unemployed or not working.
However, it's important to note that the Hazlewood Act exemption is limited to tuition and most required fees. It does not cover other expenses such as textbooks, housing, and meals. Therefore, if you plan to work while using Hazlewood benefits to pay for your education, you should also budget for these other expenses.
In addition, if you are a veteran, working may affect your eligibility for other veterans' benefits, such as disability compensation or vocational rehabilitation. It's important to check with the appropriate Department of Veterans Affairs officials to determine how your employment may affect your eligibility for other veterans' benefits.
How To Apply For Hazlewood Act
Gather Required Documentation
Once you determine your eligibility, you need to gather the required documentation to support your application. The required documentation may include:
DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty
Proof of Texas residency
Proof of eligibility for Hazlewood benefits (e.g., marriage certificate, birth certificate, or adoption papers for dependents)
Step 3: Submit Your Application
To apply for Hazlewood benefits, you must submit your application to the Hazlewood Act Coordinator at your college or university. You can find the contact information for the Hazlewood Act Coordinator on your college or university's website or by contacting the school's admissions or financial aid office.
The application documents may include:
DD Form 214
Proof of Texas residency
Proof of eligibility for Hazlewood benefits
Other required documentation, as specified by the Hazlewood Act Coordinator
After you submit your application, the Hazlewood Act Coordinator will verify your eligibility and approve your application if you meet the eligibility requirements. The verification and approval process may take several weeks, so submitting your application as early as possible is important.
Renew Your Benefits
If you are approved for Hazlewood benefits, you must renew your benefits each semester or term. To renew your benefits, you may need to submit additional documentation, such as proof of enrollment and proof of continuing eligibility.
How long does it take for a Hazlewood application to be approved?
The length of time it takes for a Hazlewood Act application to be approved can vary depending on several factors, including the completeness of the application, the volume of applications being processed, and any issues or questions that may arise during the review process.
Generally, the Hazlewood application process can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to complete. Therefore, submitting a complete application with all required documentation is important to help expedite the review process. Additionally, applicants may be required to provide additional information or documentation if there are questions or concerns about their eligibility for the program.
If you have submitted your Hazlewood application and have not received a response after several weeks, you may wish to contact the Hazlewood Act program office for an update on the status of your application.
Will the VA cover the cost of repeating a semester?
Generally, students are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to receive help from the Hazlewood benefit. However, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may cover the cost of repeating a semester under certain circumstances. Generally, the VA will only pay for courses that are required for a student's degree program, and courses that a student has already completed and passed will not be eligible for VA education benefits.
However, there are a few situations where the Hazlewood exemption kicks in. For example, if a student received an unsatisfactory grade in a course due to extenuating circumstances such as a medical issue or family emergency, the VA may consider paying for the course to be retaken. Additionally, if a student withdraws from a course due to a service-related disability, the VA may cover the cost of retaking the course.
It's important to note that Veterans Affairs generally only pays for a course to be retaken once. If a student fails a course twice, they may not be eligible for the Hazlewood benefit to cover the cost of retaking the course a third time.
If you are a qualified veteran or service member using your VA education benefit and are considering repeating a semester, it is recommended that you contact the Veteran Affairs educational benefit hotline or your school's VA certifying official to discuss your specific situation and eligibility for VA benefits.
How Benefits can help me
Are you looking to receive tuition exemption for yourself or a loved one? Look no further than Trajector!
Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to helping military veterans and their dependents navigate the complex process of applying for and receiving Hazlewood Act benefits. We understand the challenges that veterans and their families face, and we are committed to providing personalized, compassionate support to each and every one of our clients.
Whether you need assistance with the application process, help gathering the necessary documentation, or guidance on maximizing your benefits, we are here to help. We will work closely with you every step of the way to ensure that you receive the benefits that you are entitled to.
If you or a loved one is eligible for Hazlewood Act benefits, contact us today to schedule a consultation.