FARGO, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Emergency Commission has approved steps to help the National Guard cover a shortfall in tuition assistance for students attending state colleges on ROTC scholarships.
The commission, which is led by Gov. Doug Burgum and includes Secretary of State Al Jaeger and legislative leaders, on Monday voted in favor of a Guard proposal to move $450,000 within its budget and to have an additional $110,000 transferred from the state's contingency fund.
"The combination of these funds will enable us to continue assisting with tuition for the 2019 spring semester for our members that qualified for state tuition assistance," Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, the North Dakota Guard's adjutant general, said in a statement.
The Legislative Budget Section must give final approval. The group meets Dec. 5.
The ROTC students were expecting free tuition that for years has been covered by a combination of federal and state funds. The Guard recently said the state no longer has enough money to cover a shortfall created by tuition increases and declining federal support.
The cutback would hit ROTC scholarship students the hardest because the state tuition assistance program is their primary source of funding. Ryan Schulz, a longtime ROTC recruiter who now works in that capacity at North Dakota State University, told The Associated Press earlier this month that students were shocked to get a letter this fall informing them of the changes for next semester.
Loss of tuition assistance would affect about 60 undergraduate cadets and 35 graduate students, most of whom attend NDSU.