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Senator Chris Brown

Senator Chris Brown

Deployed Service Members Get More Options on College Courses under Brown’s Bipartisan Bill

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Service members who are enrolled in a course at a public college or university but are unable to complete a course due to deployment, reassignment, or other military obligation will have more flexibility in making a decision that works for them under a bipartisan bill sponsored by State Senator Chris Brown.

Sen. Chris Brown’s legislation would provide service members enrolled at a public college or university with more options when they are unable to complete a course due to deployment, reassignment, or other military obligation. (SenateNJ.com)

“Your life can turn around quickly when the military calls you into action,” said Brown, who was in law school and had already paid for his tuition and books when he was deployed to serve in the Persian Gulf War. “Men and women in uniform should not be penalized when our country sends them overseas to fight our enemies, so this bill gives those college students a menu of options to get their academic affairs in order when they are deployed while also making it easier for them to resume their education when they return.”

The bill would permit deployed service members to choose whether or not to: receive a letter grade; receive a grade of pass or fail; receive a grade of incomplete; or withdraw from the course. Under the legislation, a grade of incomplete would remain valid for a period of one year after the student returns to school. A military student who chooses to accept a grade of pass or fail may, within one year after returning to school, receive a letter grade for the course by completing the work required for the course, in which case the letter grade shall replace the pass or fail grade as the student’s grade for the course. A military student who chooses to withdraw from a course shall receive a full refund of tuition and fees attributable to that course.

Further, a military student who has paid for room, board or fees shall receive a refund of that portion of those amounts attributable to the time period during which the student did not use the services for which payment was made.

Brown’s bill also directs each public college and university to establish policies and procedures to permit the late registration of a student who is a veteran or a service member upon the student’s return from deployment, reassignment, or other military obligation. Under the bill, the institution cannot charge a late fee on registration.

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