Kentucky National Guard tuition aid falls short

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – The Kentucky National Guard says a financial shortfall is causing hundreds of the state’s soldiers to lose college tuition funding.

Guard spokesman Walt Leaumont tells local media that with Kentucky Guard members no longer deployed as often to Iraq and Afghanistan, applications for the tuition assistance program spiked this year. That depleted the $5.3 million set aside by the General Assembly, leaving the Guard $2.8 million short.

As a result, the Guard last week had to deny 696 guard members funds for spring semester next year.

Officials are encouraging Guard members to try to fill the gap with federal military tuition assistance, though it’s not clear whether they can get funding in time for next semester.

Guard leads say they plan to lobby the General Assembly to increase funding.