The National Guard is one branch of the military that funds 100 percent of tuition for its members.
It was a little over a year ago the North Dakota Army National Guard was having trouble funding the tuition assistance initiative.
Since then, they have doubled the funds toward tuition assistance.
“We have phenomenal support from our state and our state legislatures and they came to us and said, ‘What’s going on, why aren’t we doing this?’ And we went to emergency commission and asked for more money and we were able to utilize some money to cover, so we didn’t have to do that,” explained Lee Bushaw, National Guard Education Service Officer.
One of the reasons for the need to increase funds is the rise in recruitment numbers in the National Guard over the past few years.
“If there was people I would’ve met before college so that I could’ve told them the opportunity to join the military and get your school paid for. Because I’ve had a lot of friends who have had to drop out or take a semester off just because college is too expensive and they can’t afford it,” shared Hannah Kraiter, a Senior Airman and University of Mary student.
With the tuition assistance program, you can go to school for any degree you want. These funds don’t only apply to college, members could also use it at a technical, vocational or trade school.
“The main reason that I joined was looking at schools and realizing how expensive they were,” said Kraiter.
“I enlisted when I was 21 and I was able to pay it off graduate college debt-free. So it is an awesome opportunity,” said Erik Rustvang, Air National Guard Recruiter.
Another benefit of joining the National Guard is being able to serve right here at home.
Members of the Army National Guard also receive the G.I. Bill on top of tuition assistance, which they said is a big help covering any additional bills outside of school.