Governor signs bill providing tuition assistance to Oregon National Guard
SALEM, Ore. –Gov. Kate Brown signed House Bill 4035 on April 3, which authorize the state to provide tuition assistance for service members in the Oregon National Guard.
The bill will allow Oregon National Guard Soldiers and Airmen to receive state-funded tuition assistance to help them achieve an associate or baccalaureate degree at Oregon public universities and community colleges.
The grant program is scheduled to begin in the 2018-2019 academic year.
House Minority Leader Rep. Mike McLane introduced the bill and it received bi-partisan support across the legislature, as well as support from the governor.
“I’m proud to sign a bill into law that deepens Oregon’s commitment to our National Guard service members,” said Governor Brown. “Extending tuition assistance to Guard members is one important way to show our appreciation for their service by investing in their education and future.”
Maj. Gen. Michael Stencel says the new law will help make up for the federal tuition assistance shortfall. He expects it will serve as a huge recruitment and retention tool.
Service members statistically cite the cost of education as the number one reason they join the military.
Service members who already receive federal education benefits such as the Montgomery G.I. Bill or the Post 9/11 Bill will need to use those benefits before they receive state tuition assistance funding.
Qualified students can use up to 90 credit hours at an Oregon community college and up to 180 credit hours at a public university.
To receive tuition assistance, they must be in good standing with their Oregon National Guard commitments and their educational institution.