The children of active-duty Purple Heart recipients who live in South Carolina would get free tuition at public colleges and universities if a bill introduced by state Sen. Jake Knotts, R-Lexington, becomes law.
Knotts’ legislation is in the Senate Education Committee, where it has the support of that committee’s chairman, state Sen. John Courson, R-Richland.
The children of S.C. military veterans who are wounded or killed in action already are eligible for free tuition at public colleges and universities in South Carolina. Knotts’ proposal would make clear that the children of active-duty Purple Heart recipients from South Carolina get free tuition, too.
Courson said a review of enrollment records showed that 27 students over the past five years would have met the criteria laid out in Knotts’ legislation.
There is no estimate of how much tuition revenue the schools would lose, but Knotts said he was more concerned about honoring those asked to take risks for the country.
“Of course, money’s always an issue,” Knotts said. “Money’s not an issue when you take a young man and put a gun in his hand and he gets wounded. Money’s not an issue then. But when you try to educate his children, money’s an issue.”
Officials at the state’s largest schools said they don’t know the precise impact of Knotts’ legislation. They noted the children of eligible veterans already use the federal G.I. Bill to attend their schools.