to help the newest members of our Sun Devil community by easing the transition from leaving the military, to entering into the largest university in the
country. I remember my first time setting foot on ASU's campus. Being from the east coast, I hadn't had time to visit the campus before the semester started, so as I walked to my first class I was quite taken aback. The throngs of 10's of thousands of students hustling to class, seeming to know exactly where to go as I sat there trying to re-orient a hastily printed out map. The bicyclists and skateboarders, another rare sight for a North Easterner, zipping carefully (and sometimes not so carefully) between even the smallest of gaps between people. It really was something. So hopefully through this series, we can highlight some of the features ASU has to offer, and demystify the campus.
For our first installment, we’ll be talking about in-state tuition. I’ll be sharing my story of how I got my instate tuition, and as an added bonus, I’ll be writing up the highlights at the end of the article so you can use that as a quick reference. For many of us, the cost of education, even with our GI Bill, was a huge determinant in why we chose to come to ASU. For me, even paying out of state at ASU was considerably cheaper than the in-state rates for any of the schools in my home state. Part of that low cost, is being able to easily and quickly receive in state tuition. It’s a savings of 10s of thousands of dollars every year, and as you’ll see the process has been made quick and easy.
In 2011 the Arizona legislature passed HB 2410, which effectively granted in-state tuition status for
Veterans attending any Arizona university. Many Veterans groups from all over the state, worked incredibly hard with many members of the state legislature, and for that we should all be very thankful. Two years later, Arizona still stands as one of the few states to have such a program in place, and since then we’ve seen our numbers grow as more and more Veterans decide to take advantage of it.
When I first came to ASU, in the fall of 2010, we didn’t have such a program, so when I first heard of HB2410, I thought, “Great, where do I sign up?” So I headed on down to the registrar’s office (at that time the Pat Tillman Center didn’t exist and all we had was a single window at student services) and politely asked the lady at the window “I’m a Veteran, can I have in-state tuition now please?” To my dismay, she looked back at me incredulously, asked me for my license and asked if I had filled out the requisite forms. I handed her my DD214 and license with a smirk, assuming that was all she needed. She looked over my license and paperwork, handed them back to me, with an additional piece of paper, and said, rather coldly,
“I’m sorry, you need an Arizona license. When you get one come back and have the other form I gave to you properly filled out”
When I got home that day I thoroughly reviewed ASU’s residency policies as well as the text of the actual legislation. I called them, thinking that because the policy was new, the lady I had talked to simply didn’t know and that I would be able to walk back in with my DD214 and get my in-state tuition. To my dismay I found out that I actually needed an Arizona license, and voter’s registration card.
So I located the nearest DMV, grabbed a book and headed down to get my new license. When I got there, they asked for my current license and asked me to fill out and return a short form. To my delight, immediately after I returned the filled out form, they told me to go over to the photo area to get my picture taken for my license. After my picture was taken, I had a short 5 minute, wait, and sat with an agent who asked me a few more questions and then handed me my brand new Arizona license. I didn’t even have time to open my book! Coming from the Pennsylvania DMV system, I was amazed at how quick the whole process was. I had anticipated a 6 hour long, marathon session full of lazy disgruntled workers. Instead, I was in and out of there in less than 30 minutes.
As for the voter’s registration, all I had to do was check a box on a form, and they gave me a receipt and indicated that my card would be mailed to me in the next few weeks. Feeling confident, I took this receipt, the filled out (and notarized) ASU form, and my new license back to the registrar’s office. I handed everything in, started explaining the voter registration situation, and
was quickly stopped
“That’s okay,” the man at the window said, “just be sure to bring it in, or fax us a copy when the card
Amazing, I thought. I had anticipated they would turn me away and tell me to come back when I had the card. The man thanked me and informed me that I should see my new status reflected on my account in the next few weeks. All in all, the process took me under 3 hours (I stopped to grab lunch between the DMV and the registrar’s office) and I went from paying close to $30,000 a year to close to
$10,000 a year.
Hopefully my personal story demonstrates how quick and easy to process can be and it will help you navigate through the red tape and get access to the benefits you’ve earned. Check out the recap section below to see a summary of the steps you need to take, as well as the deadline for getting everything in. Next week we’ll be writing about basic campus navigation (where to park, where to eat, quiet places to study, etc) and how to utilize your GI Bill benefits. Please feel free to comment below, or email us if you have any questions, or if you have any topics you’d like us to talk about in future articles.
AZ Drivers license --> Find your nearest DMV and just bring your current license and $25 to
cover the license fee
AZ voter’s registration --> Just check the box when filling out your AZ license application
and you’ll have it in the mail in a few weeks
Notarized Residency Re-classification form --> Fill this out, print it, and get it notarized. Most banks offer
free notary services to their customers. However, they also have a notary public on staff at the registrar’s office so you can always just bring the form in and have it done there.
DD214 --> It’s mentioned on the Residency form, but don’t forget to bring a copy of your DD214 to verify your status as a Veteran.
Bring these forms to the registrar’s office (the bottom floor of Student Services Building) and take it to the residency classification windows (the first 1-3 windows depending on how busy it is). Hand them the forms by August 28th (click the link for non fall 2013 dates) and viola, within the next 2-3 weeks you’ll see your status changed in your myasu.