FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 14, 2015) – Last week it came to the attention of Governor Bevin that nearly 700 Kentucky Guard members had been denied tuition assistance due to an unforeseen funding shortfall. Upon hearing of this situation, Governor Bevin immediately began to work with Adjutant General Hogan and State Senator Chris McDaniel to find a solution to allow these Guard members to enroll in classes for the spring semester.
Today, Governor Bevin met with leaders of the Kentucky higher education institutions to request that the Kentucky National Guard members be able to enroll for the spring semester with the understanding that the state will reimburse the universities for any funding shortfall in the upcoming budget session.
“I am pleased to announce that we have found a solution for the Guard members who were denied tuition assistance due to a lack of funds,” said Governor Bevin. “This afternoon I met with the university and community college presidents and they have graciously agreed to front the tuition assistance for the Guard members until the state is able to provide reimbursement.”
“This solution will ensure that the Kentucky Guard members’ academic enrollment is not adversely impacted while we work to finalize funding,” Governor Bevin continued. “I thank the leaders of our higher education community, Sen. McDaniel, and Adjutant General Hogan for partnering with us in this effort to restore the benefits that had been promised. This program is a small token of appreciation for the sacrifices made by the men and women serving us proudly in the Guard.”
The General Assembly set aside $5.3 million for the program, but that is approximately $1 to $2 million short of the total amount needed to fully fund the requested assistance. The Administration is looking at funding options both within the current budget as well as the budget for the upcoming session. The House and Senate leadership have expressed commitment to ensure that this obligation is met in the next budget cycle. The Kentucky National Guard members that have been affected should directly contact their higher education institution with questions.