FAQ Question

    Do I get any benefits if I have a Purple Heart or other superior combat decoration?

Answered By: Kathryn Fulco
Last Updated: Jul 07, 2021     Views: 5

If so did you know you can get a fee waiver for your tuition? This applies to both veterans and active duty military personnel.

Senate Bill 122 was signed into law June 20, 2006, effective July 1, 2006. This legislation, which amended Florida Statute 1009.26, took effect at the beginning of the 2006-2007 academic year, and provides a fee waiver to recipients of the Purple Heart or other combat decoration superior in precedence if the recipient is enrolling in a Florida public community college or state university, and provided he or she meets specific criteria:

Admitted as a full-time, part-time, or summer-school student in an undergraduate program of study leading to a degree or certificate;

Is currently, and was at the time of the military action that resulted in the awarding of the Purple Heart or other superior combat decoration, a resident of Florida; and

Submits to the community college or university Department of Defense Form 214 (DD-214), issued at the time of separation from service, as documentation that he or she has received a Purple Heart or other combat decoration superior in precedence.

This waiver is applicable for 110 percent of the number of required credit hours of the degree or certificate program for which the student is enrolled.

The combat decorations that would qualify students for the provisions of this waiver include:
Purple Heart
Bronze Star (must be “V” designation or device)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Legion of Merit (must be “V” designation or device)
Silver Star
Air Force Cross
Navy Cross
Distinguished Service Cross
Medal of Honor

To be considered a “combat decoration superior in precedence to the Purple Heart,” the Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit must include the “V” designation or device.

The following documents can be used to show residency at the time of the military action that resulted in the awarding of the Purple Heart or other superior combat decoration:

DD-214, military separation document
DD Form 2058, military state of legal residence certificate
Leave and Earning Statement (LES) or the Defense Finance and Accounting Service 
(DFAS) Form 702, which specifies place of residence
Letter or affidavit from the military administrative office verifying residence at the time of combat
One or more state or federal documents evidencing legal ties to Florida (e.g., homestead exemption, driver’s license, vehicle registration)

The following can be used as evidence to show receipt of the Purple Heart or other combat decoration superior in precedence: A DD-214 documenting the appropriate combat decoration should be the standard eligibility verification document.

If financial aid application deadlines preclude providing a DD-214 in time to meet such a deadline, the official (service specific) transmitting correspondence that would normally accompany such an award to a previously discharged service member would suffice until an updated DD-214 could be obtained and presented to the postsecondary institution by the start of the student’s next term of enrollment for continued eligibility for the waiver.

If you are on active duty and have not been issued a DD-214, the official (service specific) transmitting correspondence that would normally accompany such an award or certification of the appropriate combat award by the service specific administrative record holder [e.g., Adjutant, G-1 (general staff officer – personnel), or JAG (Judge Advocate General)] would meet the documentation requirement

**IMPORTANT – THIS WAIVER COUNTS AS “countable aid” FOR STUDENT FINANCIAL AID PURPOSES. THAT MEANS IT COUNTS AGAINST THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF STUDENT FINANCIAL AID YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE.