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Iowa National Guard Education Grant Remains at 90 Percent

  • Published
  • By Tech Sgt. Rich Murphy
  • 185th Public Affairs
Iowa guard members enrolled in college classes this year will not see a big change in their tuition assistance. The National Guard Educational Grant (NGEAP) will cover approximately 90 percent of tuition costs for guard members for the 2012-2013 semesters.

This percentage has decreased since the 2008-2009 semester, when the NGEAP covered 100 percent of tuition costs. In order to determine the amount the grant will provide, the Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, Maj. Gen. Timothy Orr, must consider several factors including the cost of tuition and the number of members using the benefit.

With an increase in both tuition and National Guard members enrolled in classes during the 2009-2010 school year, the NGEAP was only able to provide 80 percent of college tuition. Last year, with another increase in both tuition and grant applicants, some worried that the grant coverage would continue to decrease. This was not the case. Students saw the benefit bump up to 90 percent for the 2011-2012 school year.

Master Sgt. George Mendoza, the 185th Air Refueling Wing's retention specialist, assists guard members applying for benefits. "The guard provides excellent benefits. With 90 percent tuition assistance and benefits like the GI Bill and the Post 9/11 GI Bill, going to college is still affordable."

The NGEAP, a program established through appropriations by the Iowa legislation, was developed to offer Iowa citizens in the Iowa National Guard at least 50% tuition assistance. The tuition rates are based on an average of the major public schools and universities throughout the state.

In addition to the NGEAP, Iowa Guard members also have several other benefits they can take advantage of. All guard members who have completed basic training and their advanced individual training are eligible for Chapter 1606, the Montgomery GI Bill for Reservists. This benefit provides $345 per month to guard members enrolled full time in an Iowa college or university.

Additionally, guard members who have deployed for over 90 days after September 11, 2001 are eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, which offers a monthly housing allowance, tuition assistance, and assistance with books and supplies.

With the continued growth of educational benefits, Master Sgt. Mendoza said that interest in going back to school is increasing. "Over the last few years, we have seen a lot more inquiries. Several guard members who have been putting off going back to school have stopped by my office asking about the benefits."

For more information about the educational benefits for the Iowa National Guard, visit Or contact a recruiter or retention specialist at