State legislature passes National Guard tuition assistance act

Michigan residents looking to enter the National Guard may soon have additional incentive.

The Michigan House of Representatives and Senate both passed House Bill 5451, also known as the Michigan National Guard Tuition Assistance Act, late last week. The bill introduces a state-level tuition assistance program to Guard recruits.

“This is in addition to the G.I. Bill; this is in addition to the Army Federal tuition assistance program. This is money specifically for the Guard,” said Brigadier Gen. Mike Stone, Assistant Adjutant General for Installations for the Michigan National Guard. “Michigan was one of seven states that didn’t have a state tuition program. We are now one of the 44 that have one, as soon as the Governor signs it into law.”

The bill allows for Guard members in active service who meet various criteria consistent with the Michigan National Guard recruiting and retention requirements to apply for Guard-specific tuition assistance at an eligible educational institution located within Michigan. Students will be required to maintain a 2.0 minimum grade point average on a 4.0 scale during their course of study to retain the financial assistance.

The bill, which is currently awaiting Governor Rick Snyder’s signature, also includes provisions for the creation of a tuition assistance fund to provide the money for eligible applicants.