Governor Jeff Colyer today signed a bill that makes changes to the college tuition assistance program for members of the Kansas National Guard.
Pending approval from the Legislature of a budget that fully funds National Guard tuition assistance, this bill would then give current guard members the opportunity to earn 15 credit hours of college credit per semester at no cost to them.
They can utilize this benefit as long as they have at least one year remaining on their enlistment contract at the beginning of any semester for which they receive assistance. They also must agree to serve actively in good standing with the Kansas National Guard for at least 24 months upon completion of the last semester that they use the benefit.
“We value our men and women of the Kansas National Guard and the service they provide for our state,” said Governor Jeff Colyer, “This program is a way for us to show our gratitude for these dedicated servicemembers and hopefully give them great opportunities for their future.”
“The improvements to the Kansas National Guard Educational Assistance Act will help make a college education more accessible and affordable for servicemembers,” said Kansas Board of Regents President Blake Flanders. “That is a tremendous benefit to members of the Guard and their families, as well as the Kansas economy.”
“With the passage of HB 2541, the Kansas National Guard can offer increased educational benefits to our Soldiers and Airmen that are comparable to the benefits offered in our surrounding states.” said Major General Lee Tafanelli, the Adjutant General of Kansas. “Investing in the education of Kansas Guardsmen incentivizes service to our great state and nation while also providing Kansas employers with a more educated workforce.”
Governor Colyer is hopeful that the legislature will see the value of this program as they make their final decisions on the budget.
“Funding for this program is currently included in the budget on the House side. However, the Senate has not yet added funding for this important effort to give back to those who serve. I am calling on the Senate to ensure that they include tuition assistance for our guard members in the budget. These men and women have earned that right,” said Gov. Colyer.