The New Jersey National Guard tuition free program can now pay for both college and graduate school.
On January 29, Governor Christine Todd Whitman signed a bill that increases the number of tuition-free credits available under the tuition program and allows guard members to attend graduate school.
Previously, guard members could take 12 credits per semester tuition-free; that number has been raised to 15. All state colleges and universities participate in the program, as well as all state community and county colleges. Under the new law, New Jersey Guard members can also use the tuition assistance in graduate programs at the same colleges and universities.
New Jersey National Guard members have to meet the following qualifications to participate: complete initial active duty training and be in good standing as a part-time member of the NJNG; must be accepted to pursue a course of undergraduate/graduate study and be enrolled as a undergraduate/graduate in the college or university; must apply for all available state and federal grants and/or scholarships that they are eligible for; and, there must be available classroom space in the class and tuition-paying students constitute the minimum required for the course.
In addition, any child or surviving spouse of a NJNG member who had completed initial active duty training and was killed in the performance of his or her duties while on active duty with the Guard may also take part in the program.
When looking at the cost of college today, this program can mean a tremendous savings. For a full list of the colleges participating in the program, visit the following websites: