BANGOR (AP) — The University of Maine System is extending in-state tuition rates to all members of the military.

The trustees’ executive committee on Friday gave final approval to the new policy that applies to all current and former members of the military. It goes into effect in time for the spring and summer sessions.

The system currently offers in-state rates to active duty members, veterans using the GI Bill and members of the Maine National Guard. But officials said 19 veterans enrolled last year didn’t receive in-state tuition rates.

Retired Adm. Gregory Johnson of Harpswell, the trustees’ vice chairman, said it’s important to have the policy in place as the U.S. military draws down in Afghanistan and more soldiers return to civilian life.

Twenty states have laws providing in-state tuition to veterans.

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