CU identified as PNGAS Guard-Friendly School

CLARION The Pennsylvania National Guard Associations unanimously-approved and announced another 13 colleges and universities, including Clarion University, have earned the designation,PNGAS Guard Friendly School.

Developed by the PNGAS Education Advisory Council, thePNGAS Guard Friendly Schoolstandards were designed to recognize colleges, universities and trade schools which meet or exceed 10 baseline criteria that create a supportive learning environment to assist members of the Pennsylvania Guard and their families in pursuing post-secondary degrees.

Originally, 30 schools earned the designation as a PNGAS Guard Friendly School.

The active and participatory PNGAS Education Action Council is chaired by retired Brigadier General George Schwartz.

Through his leadership, volunteers from some of the state's leading colleges and universities voluntarily review applications, guidelines and recommend approval decisions and improvement criteria for each applicant.

For many years, the Education Assistance Program has been the number one recruiting tool for the Pennsylvania National Guard.Since its inception, Pennsylvania has distributed more than $281 million through the EAP so guard members can get college, university and trade school degrees.

The EAP provides a tuition benefit equivalent to the yearly tuition rate set by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education so that members of the Pennsylvania National Guard can attend one of 488 Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) approved schools.

Presently, the EAP is an almost $32,000 tuition benefit for each guardsman.

With the July 2019 enactment of the Military Family Education Program, there is now a non-lapsing fund providing EAP-like tuition benefits to spouses and children of members of the Pennsylvania National Guard when a guardsman re-enlists for another six-year term too.

Next year, the MFEP will be an almost $32,000 tuition benefit for spouses and/or children of a guard member that reenlists for six-years.

As state and national emergencies and global warfare become increasingly sophisticated, technology-driven, and complex, having a well-trained and educated guard force is more strategic and valuable than ever.

"We are very confident the designation, PNGAS Guard-Friendly School, will keep producing immediate and long-term benefits and synergies for students, faculty, alumni, guard-members, veterans, their spouses, families, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its economy," Kathleen Fabrizi, executive director, PNGAS and Pennsylvania National Guard Foundation.

PNGAS is a non-profit organization, not associated with or legally connected to the Pennsylvania National Guard, the state or federal government, the U.S. military or the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.