The University of Mississippi and Mississippi National Guard are partnering to ensure National Guard service members will have their tuition needs met so they can focus on their service and education.
“From being recognized as one of America’s Top Military-Friendly universities to our Purple Heart Campus designation, our commitment to comprehensively serving our veterans, military and dependents runs deep throughout our institution.” Chancellor Glenn Boyce said during a signing event Wednesday.
“Today’s MOU for this new tuition program with the Mississippi National Guard is another positive step in upholding and increasing that commitment. It’s tangible evidence of how we are invested in the overall success of our military Ole Miss students and to growing their presence on our campus.”
The program, which will operate similarly to the Ole Miss Opportunity program, will help fill tuition funding gaps for qualifying National Guard service members after their other federal, state, institutional and price scholarships have been applied.
“I think this is going to help a lot of students out, including myself, and making it easier for me and my family on the financial side,” said Deangelo Brown, a freshman integrated marketing communications major from Vaughan. “It gives me more time to focus on my academics rather than worrying about the cost of school – while still being able to serve in the National Guard.”
The program will be a benefit to all parties involved, not just the students, said Maj. Gen. Jason Boyles, adjutant general of Mississippi.
“This program is not about me, or about the university,” he said. “It’s about the young men and women who serve.
“These young men and women who serve are self-starters, they finish what they begin and they are great employees and great students for any organization they’re a part of. If we can’t offer them an opportunity to go to college at a great institution like this, then we have missed our mark.”
Andrew Newby, assistant director of veteran and military services, echoed Boyles sentiment, saying the program would not only be of great help to the men and women of the National Guard, but also a powerful tool to attract top student leaders to the university.
“This is a great program that we get to offer now,” Newby said. “It offsets tuition and helps us to try and capture some of the best and brightest to get them to come home to Ole Miss while also serving their country.
“I’m proud to say we’re proud to be partners with you and look forward to a great long-term relationship.”
Before signing the official memorandum of understanding, Boyce told service members in attendance that it is a personal and professional honor to serve members of the Army and Air National Guard through the new tuition program in return for their brave service.