RELEASE: PHOTOS: Gov. Whitmer Signs Legislation Lowering Costs of College Tuition for Military Spouses and Children 

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May 20, 2023 



Gov. Whitmer Signs Legislation Lowering Costs of College Tuition for Military Spouses and Children 


Lansing, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined National Guard members, their families, and state lawmakers to sign legislation that expands the Michigan National Guard state tuition assistance program eligibility for spouses and dependents. Tuition assistance helps with recruiting, retention, and the overall quality of life for the Guard members and their families.  


“Today’s bipartisan bill will lower the cost of higher education for spouses and children of Michigan National Guard Members,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am proud that we can work across the aisle to support our service members and their families, who put their lives on the line to keep us safe and stand tall for our values and freedoms. As Michiganders, we will have their backs.” 


“Since the program’s inception, over 6,000 guard members have benefited from MINGSTAP and now thousands of eligible spouses and dependents will have the same opportunity to earn a tuition-free degree or professional certificate,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “Today’s announcement by Gov. Whitmer signals Michigan is serious about supporting military families who have made significant sacrifices on behalf of our state and nation.” 


House Bill 4199 expands eligibility for tuition assistance to spouses and dependents of National Guard members and increases the funding cap from $10 million to $15 million. The Michigan National Guard Tuition Assistance Program provides financial assistance for service members attending any public or private college, university, vocational school, technical school, or trade school located in Michigan. 


“With the signing of HB 4199 into law, National Guard families in Michigan will have the flexibility to use the educational benefits that they have earned,” said state Representative Jennifer Conlin. “The law will fulfill a dual purpose: directly providing opportunities to service member spouses and dependents and tackling the challenge of recruitment and retention head-on through the offering of this incentive.” 


Charles Dick Medal of Merit 

After the governor signed the bill, the National Guard Association of the United States presented her with the Charles Dick Medal of Merit, an award that recognizes the contributions by elected representatives at the state and national levels to the National Guard. 


Governor Whitmer’s Support for Michigan’s Service Members and Veterans 

Governor Whitmer has worked to ensure Michigan’s service members, veterans, and their families have the opportunities and support they need to succeed. The administration has boosted outreach to veterans, ensuring they and their families have affordable healthcare, attainable housing, and paths to good-paying jobs. 


  • Appointed over 100 active military and veterans to numerous boards and commissions.  
  • Appointed by President Biden to the Council of Governors to work with state and federal officials on defense, National Guard, disaster response, and other security issues. 
  • Pushed for a new fighter mission at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Macomb County.  
  • Secured resources to bolster Selfridge and proposed an additional $11.5 million to improve base infrastructure, support service members and their families. 
  • Signed bipartisan bills to make it easier for military service members, veterans, and their dependents to enter a licensed profession.  
  • Announced a partnership between the Michigan National Guard (MING) and Michigan Helmets to Hardhats, a program connecting veterans to skill-training opportunities and careers in the construction trades 
  • Secured funding for the construction of a new veteran's home in Marquette and celebrated the opening of two new Michigan Veterans Home facilities 
  • Invested in the modernization of all Michigan National Guard armories to accommodate female service members 
  • Opened the Kelly Johnson Joint All Domain Innovation Center for military members, government, and industry professionals to research and collaborate.