COLUMBUS – Rep. Adam Miller (D-Columbus) today introduced legislation that would create a State of Ohio Tuition Assistance for all Armed Force Reservists serving in Ohio, regardless of component or branch.
“It’s important that Ohio support higher education for all service members—whether they are Active, Guard, or Reserve. Under current law, Reserve service members are not given the same level of tuition support as other components. This bill corrects that disparity by placing state higher education tuition support for Reserve service members on par with National Guard service members. Leveling up state tuition support for Ohio’s Reserve service members is good policy and promotes national security. This is another tangible measure Ohio is taking to recruit and retain service members in all components to serve and stay in Ohio,” said Rep. Miller. “This program works for our National Guard and provides opportunities to move up and excel in the military and in the private sector. Creating a similar program for our reservists puts Ohio at a competitive advantage while assisting our service members.”
Currently, the State of Ohio Tuition Assistance program is only for Ohio National Guard members. Ohio has more than 10,000 members in reserve forces in addition to the approximately 16,000 members of the Ohio National Guard. The bill would simply create a companion for Ohio Reservists and would put them at par with Ohio Guard members.
The Ohio National Guard Scholarship Program covers 100% of tuition for qualifying members, and applies to those seeking an associate or bachelor’s degree, a diploma-granting nursing program, as well as approved trade certification, credential-certifying, or licensing programs at participating public colleges and universities. The Reserve program would be run out of the Department of Higher Education.
The bill now awaits referral to a House committee.