OLR Research Report

April 29, 2004





By: Veronica Rose, Principal Analyst

You want to know under what circumstances a veteran qualifies for tuition waiver at Connecticut state colleges.


The law requires state colleges to waive tuition fees for honorably discharged wartime veterans (1) accepted for admission to the institutions and (2) residing in Connecticut at the time of acceptance (CGS 10a-77(d), -99(d), and -105(e)). It applies to the University of Connecticut, Connecticut State University (CSU), and Community-Technical College System. Under the institutions' policies, students must normally be enrolled in a degree program to be eligible for the waiver.

For purposes of the waiver, a wartime veteran is any member honorably discharged from active service in the U.S. Armed Forces and who served at least 90 days during a period of war, as defined in law, unless he was separated earlier because of a Veterans' Administration-rated service-connected disability or the war lasted for a shorter period and he served its duration. People who served in the armed forces of any government associated with the United States during the qualifying periods are also eligible (CGS 27-103, as amended by PA 03-85.) To get the waiver, the veteran must submit a copy of his separation from service document (DD 214) and honorable discharge certificate (DD 256).


The law requires state higher education institutions to waive tuition for eligible veterans. It defines “tuition” as a “direct charge for institutional programs, which is clearly delineated from any other fees (CGS 10a-26). The waiver applies only to courses paid for out of colleges' tuition revenue and not to so-called “extension-fund” courses paid for from student fees. Extension courses are typically summer and evening classes. Often they are noncredit “enrichment courses” that are not part of degree programs. Typically, all students, including veterans who participate in these programs, are charged course fees, which are not tuition fees as defined in statutes. But CSU waives 50% of these course fees for veterans who qualify for a tuition waiver, and this waiver is basically the equivalent of the tuition waiver, according to the CSU legislative liaison. The course fee waiver is made pursuant to CSU Board Resolution 98-10, Tuition and Fee Waiver Authorizations. (The complete text of the resolution is available at


By law, veterans honorably discharged from active service who served at least 90 days during wartime and, in some cases, qualified survivors (usually spouses and dependent children) are eligible for a range of benefits not availabe to other veterans. These include tuition waivers at Connecticut state colleges. Table 1 shows the wars and operations occurring since 1940 that qualify as wartime service under state law. This includes any time served since August 2, 1990 (CGS 27-103 as amemded by PA 03-85). If the veteran was separated from service early because of a service-connected disability, he must provide documentation of this.

Table 1: Post-1940 “Service in Time of War”



World War II


Korean War


Lebanon Conflict*


Vietnam Era


Lebanon peacekeeping mission*


Grenada invasion*


Operation Earnest Will (escort of Kuwaiti tankers flying U. S. flag in Persian Gulf)*


Panama invasion*


Persian Gulf War

8/2/1990 until a date prescribed by the President or law


Period beginning on date of any future congressional declaration of war and ending on the date prescribed by the presidential proclamation or concurrent resolution of Congress

*Service must be in a combat or combat-support role