13-55-2. Veterans entitled to free tuition at state institutions--Period of entitlement.

Any person residing in this state who is a veteran as defined by §§ 33A-2-1 and 33A-2-2 or who performed active war service, such as nursing or assisting in the care of soldiers and sailors in any government hospital, field, or camp, as a member of the Red Cross or any other similar organization engaged in war relief work which has been recognized and approved by the government of the United States, during any of the periods or combat operations specified in § 33A-2-2, upon compliance with all the requirements for admission and after qualifying for resident tuition, may attend and pursue any undergraduate course in any state educational institution under the control and management of the Board of Regents or any course at a technical college as defined in § 13-39A-1 without the payment of charges for tuition for each month of qualified service or major fraction thereof a month in academic time. However, no eligible veteran is entitled to less than one nor more than four academic years of free tuition pursuant to this section. Residence at the time of entry into military service or active war service does not affect eligibility for the entitlement created in this section. Any person who qualifies under § 33A-2-2 as a veteran based solely on a service-connected disability may receive free tuition under this section only if the veterans administration disability rating is ten percent or greater.

No tuition benefit may be provided by the state under this section until the applicant has applied all federal tuition benefits. Before receiving funds from the state for the tuition of any eligible applicant under this section, the Board of Regents or postsecondary technical institute shall verify that all federal tuition benefits have been exhausted.

Source: SDC 1939, § 15.0717; SL 1944 (SS), ch 1, § 1; SL 1953, ch 49; SL 1966, ch 37; SL 1982, ch 155; SL 1990, ch 139; SL 1994, ch 142, § 1; SL 2011, ch 1 (Ex. Ord. 11-1), § 20, eff. Apr. 12, 2011; SL 2020, ch 65, § 1.