RI Veterans: Did you know? 13 January 22 – John A. Cianci

by John A Cianci, Department Veterans Service Officer,

                             Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)

Did you know that any Rhode Island resident veteran receiving a minimum of 10% Veteran Administration is eligible for free tuition at any State of Rhode Island college or university?

Veterans Receiving Veterans Administration Monthly Compensation Eligible for Free College Tuition  

Disabled veterans who reside in the state of Rhode Island could be eligible for free college tuition at any Rhode Island college or university.

According to State of Rhode Island General Laws Title 30 Military Affairs and Defense § 30-30.1-1:

Any veteran who is a permanent resident of this state who submits proof sufficient to establish a veterans rated ten percent (10%) to one hundred percent (100%) disability by the department of veterans’ affairs as a result of military service shall be entitled to take courses at any public institution of higher education in the state without the payment of tuition, exclusive of other fees and charges

With the current restriction due to the COVID virus, many colleges and universities offer courses normally requiring in person attendance now online, remote, and or hybrid. Most don’t require in-person attendance.

For working veterans, rare opportunity exists to start and or complete an education that does not require in-person attendance. Moreover, the veteran could be eligible for free tuition and other assistance to pay 100% of all expenses related to attending college.

Example, a veteran could be receiving 10% VA compensation for hearing and tenuities from the VA. The veteran would be eligible for the free tuition. Another example of a 10% VA rating could be from residue of scar(s), headaches, etc.

How does a veteran know if he or she is eligible for free tuition?

Is the veteran receiving a monthly Veterans Administration (VA) compensation of at least 10%?

If yes, the monthly deposit on the first of the month would be a minimum of $152 a month.

According to Rhode Island General Laws § 30-30.1-1, any veteran who is a permanent resident of this state who submits proof sufficient to establish a veterans rated ten percent (10%) to one hundred percent (100%) disability by the department of veterans’ affairs as a result of military service shall be entitled to take courses at any public institution of higher education in the state without the payment of tuition, exclusive of other fees and charges.

VETTIP: If the veteran is signed up for , he or she can print out the required document for submission to prove the veterans rating being at least 10%.

How do I prove permanent residency in the State of Rhode Island?

Any of or a combination of the following documents:

  • A letter from your landlord.
  • A valid Rhode Island driver’s license.
  • Additional identification to show your name and address.
  • Signed lease agreement.
  • Rent receipt.
  • Mortgage papers.
  • Non-heating utility bills.
  • Letter from a landlord or roommate to show you pay room and board.

What does the veteran have to do to obtain the waiver for free tuition?

Step 1 Decide on the state college or university courses you want to take.

Step 2 Contact the college or university and ask to speak to the veteran liaison or military resource center. All Rhode Island colleges have a veteran liaison who will assist the veteran with the application process for the waiver.

Step 3 After application is approved, sign up for the courses you want to take.

VETTIP: The process of applying is painless and approval is usually with a day or two after the veteran applies.

Although the tuition is waived, the veteran would still be required to pay other fees, however, many of the other fees are waived and or the veteran receives financial assistance to pay them.

With current COVID restriction, why not take advantage of a state benefit the veteran earned and is entitled to.

In conclusion, the State of Rhode Island has one of the best tuition waiver benefits for disabled veterans. Moreover, eligibility to establish permanent residency is easily obtained by the veteran seeking the waiver for free tuition.


January 22, 2022 , 2-8 p.m., Rhode Island National Guard Reunion, Orlando Florida, 13110 Lake Mary Jane Road, Orlando FL., $20 per person. More information contact Patti Ryan,

January 29 Marine Corps , 1-4pm , Open House, Cranston FOP 1344 Cranston Street, Cranston RI , the Department of Rhode Island, Marine Corps league will be hosting.

The Department of Rhode Island of the Marine Corps League is looking to add some more fire

teams to its ranks.  If you are Active Duty, Marine veteran or served in the Navy with the FMF

and miss the camaraderie, serving your community, enjoying time with those who understand

you then this is the organization for you.!



Applebees Applebee’s – Military Discount … With more than 2,000 locations, Applebee’s is a family grill restaurant. Applebee’s gives 10% off for active duty and veteran. Last verified 07/31/2028

Denny’s, Hartford Save Johnston Offers 10% discount for veterans and active duty . Denny’s is a table service diner-style restaurant chain.  Last verified 07/31/2028 (PS I had breakfast there on Saturday).

Outback Steakhouse 10% Discount to active and veterans. Last verified 07/28/2021

99 Restaurant & Pub: The 99 Restaurant & Pub offers a 10% military discount to members of Veterans Advantage. Available at select locations only. Bring valid military ID


Advance Auto Parts 10% for Active Duty, Veterans and families. Last verified 07/28/2021

Bass Pro Shops: Bass Pro Shops offers a 5% discount to active-duty military, reservists, and National Guard. Sign up and verify your status online or bring your military ID when you shop at your nearest Bass Pro store (source).

BJs Wholesale Reduced membership fee. J’s offers all military personnel over 25% off their Membership. Last verified 07/28/2021

Lowes. Enroll in the Lowe’s Military Discount Program to Activate Your 10% Discount

Our way of saying “Thank You” to our active duty, retired and military veterans and their spouses with a 10% discount on eligible items.

Verification of your military status is fast and easy through our partner, is our trusted technology partner in helping to keep your personal information safe.

GameStop is offering a 10% in-store military discount on all pre-owned products, collectibles, and select new products. Available to current and former military members who bring any valid proof of service or when they verify through 

Home Depot Home Depot offers a 10% OFF military discount on regularly priced merchandise for in-store purchases for active duty, retired military, and reservists at participating locations. Customers are required to show a valid government-issued military ID card to redeem this offer.

Kohls 15% Kohl’s offers active military, veterans, retirees and their immediate family members a 15% discount on purchases made on Mondays, in store only. In order to receive the military discount, eligible customers must present proper identification along with any tender type.


We didn’t want to wait for Veteran’s Day to express our appreciation and gratitude for your service. That’s why every Team Car Care owned and operated Jiffy Lube® service center is offering our BEST discount of 15% OFF as a “Thank You” to the men and women of our Armed Forces for their service to our country. *Disclaimer*- I.D. required. No coupon is required. Excludes batteries and brakes, alignment, and diagnostic services. Available only at select locations listed below:

Tioque Ave, Coventry RI

Bald Hill Road, Warwick RI

Park Ave, Cranston RI

Michaels . Michaels Stores offers a 15% OFF military discount on the entire in-store purchase including sale items for active duty, retired military, guard, reservists, veterans and family members. How to get,

  1. Create an Account. Log in or create a Michaels Rewards account.
  2. Get Verified. Provide your military information to get verified instantly.
  3. Go Shopping! To use your discount online and in store, just sign into your account or provide your Michaels Rewards phone number at checkout.

O’Reilly Auto Parts 10% discount on in store items for Active Duty, Veterans and families. Last verified 3/4/21.

If you are a retailer and or a veteran aware of a business not listed above, please forward ,  the business’s name , location, and military and veteran discount offered

If you have an event, meeting, other pertinent veteran information, or email questions or help needed, contact the Italian American War Veteran Service Officer, John A Cianci,, ITAM Office 1-(401)677-9VET(9838)


To read all columns in this series go to:

John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.