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    Subdivision 1. Definitions. (a) The definitions in this subdivision apply to this section.
    (b) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of veterans affairs, unless otherwise specified.
    (c) "Cost of attendance" for both graduate and undergraduate students has the meaning given
in section 136A.121, subdivision 6, multiplied by a factor of 1.1. The tuition and fee maximum
established by law for four-year programs shall be used to calculate the tuition and fee maximum
under section 136A.121, subdivision 6, for a graduate student.
    (d) "Child" means a natural or adopted child of a person described in subdivision 4,
paragraph (a), clause (1), item (i) or (ii).
    (e) "Eligible institution" means a postsecondary institution under section 136A.101,
subdivision 4.
    (f) "Program" means the Minnesota GI Bill program established in this section, unless
otherwise specified.
    (g) "Time of hostilities" means any action by the armed forces of the United States that is
recognized by the issuance of a presidential proclamation or a presidential executive order in
which the armed forces expeditionary medal or other campaign service medals are awarded
according to presidential executive order, and any additional period or place that the commissioner
determines and designates, after consultation with the United States Department of Defense, to be
a period or place where the United States is in a conflict that places persons at such a risk that
service in a foreign country during that period or in that place should be considered to be included.
    (h) "Veteran" has the meaning given in section 197.447. Veteran also includes a service
member who has received an honorable discharge after leaving each period of federal active
duty service and has:
    (1) served 90 days or more of federal active duty in a foreign country during a time of
hostilities in that country; or
    (2) received a service-related medical discharge from any period of service in a foreign
country during a time of hostilities in that country.
A service member who has fulfilled the requirements for being a veteran under this paragraph
but is still serving actively in the United States armed forces is also a veteran for the purposes
of this section.
    Subd. 2. Program established. The Minnesota GI Bill program is established to provide
postsecondary educational assistance to eligible Minnesota veterans and to the children and
spouses of deceased and severely disabled Minnesota veterans.
    The commissioner, in cooperation with eligible postsecondary educational institutions,
shall administer the program for the purpose of providing postsecondary educational assistance
to eligible persons in accordance with this section. Each public postsecondary educational
institution in the state must participate in the program and each private postsecondary educational
institution in the state is encouraged to participate in the program. Any participating private
institution may suspend or terminate its participation in the program at the end of any semester or
other academic term.
    Subd. 3. Duties; responsibilities. (a) The commissioner shall establish policies and
procedures including, but not limited to, procedures for student application record keeping,
information sharing, payment of educational assistance benefits, and other procedures the
commissioner considers appropriate and necessary for effective and efficient administration of the
program established in this section.
    (b) The commissioner may delegate part or all of the administrative procedures for the
program to responsible representatives of participating eligible institutions. The commissioner
may execute an interagency agreement with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education for
services the commissioner determines necessary to administer the program.
    Subd. 4. Eligibility. (a) A person is eligible for educational assistance under this section if:
    (1) the person is:
    (i) a veteran who is serving or has served honorably in any branch or unit of the United
States armed forces at any time on or after September 11, 2001;
    (ii) a nonveteran who has served honorably for a total of five years or more cumulatively as a
member of the Minnesota National Guard or any other active or reserve component of the United
States armed forces, and any part of that service occurred on or after September 11, 2001;
    (iii) the surviving spouse or child of a person who has served in the military at any time on or
after September 11, 2001, and who has died as a direct result of that military service; or
    (iv) the spouse or child of a person who has served in the military at any time on or after
September 11, 2001, and who has a total and permanent service-connected disability as rated by
the United States Veterans Administration;
    (2) the person providing the military service described in clause (1), items (i) to (iv), was
a Minnesota resident within six months of the time of the person's initial enlistment or any
reenlistment in the United States armed forces;
    (3) the person receiving the educational assistance is a Minnesota resident, as defined in
section 136A.101, subdivision 8; and
    (4) the person receiving the educational assistance:
    (i) is an undergraduate or graduate student at an eligible institution;
    (ii) is maintaining satisfactory academic progress as defined by the institution for students
participating in federal Title IV programs;
    (iii) is enrolled in an education program leading to a certificate, diploma, or degree at an
eligible institution;
    (iv) has applied for educational assistance under this section prior to the end of the academic
term for which the assistance is being requested;
    (v) is in compliance with child support payment requirements under section 136A.121,
subdivision 2
, clause (5); and
    (vi) if an undergraduate student, has applied for the federal Pell Grant and the Minnesota
State Grant.
    (b) A person's eligibility terminates when the person becomes eligible for benefits under
section 135A.52.
    (c) To determine eligibility, the commissioner may require official documentation, including
the person's federal form DD-214 or other official military discharge papers; correspondence
from the United States Veterans Administration; birth certificate; marriage certificate; proof of
enrollment at an eligible institution; signed affidavits; proof of residency; proof of identity; or any
other official documentation the commissioner considers necessary to determine eligibility.
    (d) The commissioner may deny eligibility or terminate benefits under this section to any
person who has not provided sufficient documentation to determine eligibility for the program.
An applicant may appeal the commissioner's eligibility determination or termination of benefits
in writing to the commissioner at any time. The commissioner must rule on any application
or appeal within 30 days of receipt of all documentation that the commissioner requires. The
decision of the commissioner regarding an appeal is final. However, an applicant whose appeal
of an eligibility determination has been rejected by the commissioner may submit an additional
appeal of that determination in writing to the commissioner at any time that the applicant is able
to provide substantively significant additional information regarding the applicant's eligibility
for the program. An approval of an applicant's eligibility by the commissioner following an
appeal by the applicant is not retroactively effective for more than one year or the semester of the
person's original application, whichever is later.
    (e) Upon receiving an application with insufficient documentation to determine eligibility,
the commissioner must notify the applicant within 30 days of receipt of the application that the
application is being suspended pending receipt by the commissioner of sufficient documentation
from the applicant to determine eligibility.
    Subd. 5. Benefit amount. (a) On approval by the commissioner of eligibility for the program,
the applicant shall be awarded, on a funds-available basis, the educational assistance under the
program for use at any time according to program rules at any eligible institution.
    (b) The amount of educational assistance in any semester or term for an eligible person must
be determined by subtracting from the eligible person's cost of attendance the amount the person
received or was eligible to receive in that semester or term from:
    (1) the federal Pell Grant;
    (2) the state grant program under section 136A.121; and
    (3) any federal military or veterans educational benefits including but not limited to
the Montgomery GI Bill, GI Bill Kicker, the federal tuition assistance program, vocational
rehabilitation benefits, and any other federal benefits associated with the person's status as a
veteran, except veterans disability payments from the United States Veterans Administration.
    (c) The amount of educational assistance for any eligible person who is a full-time student
must not exceed the following:
    (1) $1,000 per semester or term of enrollment;
    (2) $2,000 per state fiscal year; and
    (3) $10,000 in a lifetime.
For a part-time student, the amount of educational assistance must not exceed $500 per semester
or term of enrollment. For the purpose of this paragraph, a part-time undergraduate student is a
student taking fewer than 12 credits for a semester or term of enrollment and a part-time graduate
student is a student considered part time by the eligible institution the graduate student is attending.
    Subd. 6. Insufficient appropriation. If the amount appropriated is determined by the
commissioner to be insufficient to pay the benefit amounts in subdivision 5, the commissioner
must reduce the amounts specified in subdivision 5, paragraph (c), clauses (1) and (2).
History: 2007 c 144 art 2 s 49

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes