Pulaski Technical College and the Arkansas Army National Guard have just entered into a new partnership. Scholarship money provided by the Arkansas Army National Guard and Pulaski Technical College will now be available to cover 100 percent of the cost of tuition for qualified members of the Arkansas Army National Guard that elect to attend Pulaski Technical College.
The partnership was formalized at a tuition assistance signing ceremony Tuesday, June 22, on the Pulaski Tech campus. Major General Don C. Morrow, the adjutant general of the Arkansas National Guard, and Dr. Dan F. Bakke, college president, signed the agreement.
Portions of the funds are part of a Department of Defense program that provides 75 percent tuition assistance to eligible Arkansas Army National Guard personnel. Pulaski Tech has agreed to waive the remaining 25 percent of the tuition costs for members of the Arkansas National Guard attending the college.
Arkansas General Assembly ACT 1045 permissively agrees to allow state-supported colleges and universities the power to provide this program to members of the Arkansas National Guard. The states that surround Arkansas -- Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Louisiana -- have full tuition assistance programs and allow their soldiers to attend any state-supported school.
This partnership between the Arkansas Army National Guard and Pulaski Technical College now gives this benefit to soldiers, bringing the state into the competitive education arena of the region.
Currently qualified members of the Arkansas National Guard attending institutions of higher education qualify for federal tuition assistance from the Department of Defense program, which is limited to paying 75 percent of the tuition, up to a maximum of $200 per credit hour and having a cap of $4,000 a year. The program also pays for a maximum of $500 a year toward fees as long as the $4,000 yearly cap is not surpassed. The new Arkansas National Guard school partnership raises the 75 percent to cover full tuition costs.
Part of the partnership agreement will allow both organizations to assist one another in publicizing and promoting educational programs offered by Pulaski Technical College and the Arkansas National Guard. This includes the Arkansas National Guard agreeing to print literature to promote Pulaski Technical College as a partner school offering a 100 percent tuition assistance program to members of the Arkansas National Guard under the provision stated in the partnership agreement.
"We are very excited about this opportunity to partner with the Arkansas National Guard in providing well-deserved scholarships to those in service to our state and nation," Bakke said. "We look forward to offering Guard members educational opportunities that lead to career advancement, increased earning potential and, ultimately, an improved quality of life in our communities."