By Associated Press - Wednesday, August 8, 2018

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi State University is guaranteeing free tuition for Mississippi National Guard members studying full time for an undergraduate degree.

University President Mark Keenum and National Guard commander Maj. Gen. Janson “Durr” Boyles signed the agreement Tuesday.

University spokesman Sid Salter says Mississippi State receives $2,250 per guard member for tuition already. Mississippi State charges a full-time resident $8,650 for two semesters of tuition and fees, but many people pay less because of aid.

The university will help students apply for other aid, but promises it will make up any shortfall.

The 22,000-student university says its students include 650 military members and veterans.

Keenum says the program builds on the university’s history of support for the military.

Boyles says guard leaders believe the offer will help attract more National Guard members.

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