Harrisburg, Pa. – Governor Tom Wolf is encouraging PA National Guard members to take advantage of the new Military Family Education Program, or PA GI bill, now open for enrollment.
“This program will allow us to recognize military members and their families for their sacrifice by providing them with up to five years of college at no or reduced cost,” Gov, Wolf said. “Think of what a difference this program will make to the lives of our military families. As Pennsylvanians, the least we can do to thank these military families is to ease the burden of paying for education. I encourage all eligible Guard members to enroll today.”
Gov. Wolf signed the bill, the first in the nation, in July. Under the bill, Guard members who commit to an additional six years of service can receive five years of higher education benefits for their spouses and children. The program will provide for 10 semesters of tuition-free education for family member(s).
The benefit must be used at a Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) approved educational institution, and at the tuition rate set by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).
The PA GI bill could benefit up to 8,000 military family members. Enrollment began Oct. 29 and 20 families have already signed up.
Currently, Guard members themselves are eligible for the Education Assistance Program with their initial service obligation of six years that provides a non-transferable educational benefit. “We already have a tuition program for our enlisted and veteran Pennsylvania National Guard Members,” Gov. Wolf said. “It’s a program that has helped thousands of military families get ahead in their careers without piling on debt. The expansion of this program to spouses and children will help more military families succeed, all while allowing us civilians to say, ‘Thank you for your service.’”
Interested Guard members can apply through their unit to the PA National Guard Education Office. Tuition benefits will begin for the 2020-2021 academic year.