For the third consecutive year, Immaculata University has been recognized as a Guard-Friendly School by the Pennsylvania National Guard Associations (PNGAS). Immaculata was one of the first educational institutions to be awarded Guard-Friendly School status.
This designation recognizes universities and trade schools that meet or exceed 10 criteria that create a supportive learning environment to assist members of the Pennsylvania Guard and their families pursuing post-secondary degrees. The Guard-Friendly School standards were developed by the Pennsylvania National Guard Associations Education Advisory Council.
Immaculata professor and Brigadier General (Retired) George Schwartz, Ed.D. was chair of the PNGAS Education Action Council during the development of the standards. “Guardsmen have unique responsibilities that active duty troops and reservists do not have, and this creates different challenges for them when pursuing a degree,” he said. “These schools have made a deliberate effort to be flexible, accommodating and supportive of Guardsmen-Students and are deserving of recognition.”
One of the standards includes acceptance of the state’s Education Assistance Program (EAP) which provides eligible members of the Pennsylvania National Guard a tuition benefit equivalent to the yearly tuition rate set by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The tuition benefit is approximately $32,000 per Guard member.
Since its inception, Pennsylvania has distributed more than $281 million through the Education Assistance Program so Guard members can get college, university and trade school degrees. Currently, Immaculata has several students who serve in the PA National Guard.
With the July 2019 enactment of the Military Family Education Program, there is also now a fund providing EAP-like tuition benefits to spouses and children of members of the Pennsylvania National Guard who re-enlist for another six-year term of service.
Of the more than 480 schools eligible that receive Education Assistance Program funds, only 57 schools earned the right to be designated a Pennsylvania National Guard Associations Guard-Friendly School in 2022.
“Immaculata values the commitment of our military members and their families, and we thank them for their service. Our Guard-Friendly designation is a testament to the support we provide to our service members, and we are proud of this distinction,” states President Barbara Lettiere.