Merski: Governor signs into law Military Family Education Program

Allows Guard members to earn college education benefits for family members

HARRISBURG, July 1 – Pennsylvania National Guard members who reenlist for a second obligation will be able to earn college education benefits for their family members under a new law signed today by Gov. Tom Wolf, according to state Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, a co-sponsor of the legislation.

“It’s terrific to know that this legislation – the first of its kind in the nation – is now law,” Merski said. “I supported the legislation because it accomplishes several important purposes. First, it promises to boost our state Guard retention rate by offering members who commit to a second obligation of six years a chance to earn college education benefits for their spouses or children.

“Second, the law provides a meaningful way to thank the many Guard family members who sacrifice time with their loved ones whenever they must report to duty. We have one of the largest and most committed Guards in the nation, and that’s a testament both to our service members and their supportive families. This is a great way to honor them.”

Merski noted that under the program, 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 family members with 10 semesters of tuition-free education.

The benefit must be used at an educational institution approved by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and at the tuition rate set by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.