Bloomsburg University earns PNGAS Guard-Friendly School designation


By Tom McGuire, Director of Communications and Media Relations

Bloomsburg University is one of 57 colleges and universities earning the Pennsylvania National Guard Associations' (PNGAS) Guard-Friendly School designation for 2022.

The PNGAS Guard Friendly School designation is designed to help optimize taxpayer dollars, increase the positive impacts of the EAP/MFEP program for Guard recruitment and retention, promote and champion best practices of the schools that meet and exceed the ten Guard-Friendly standards adopted by PNGAS.

"This recognition demonstrates our university's commitment to supporting and celebrating our students who proudly defend our nation," said BU President Bashar Hanna. "As a university community, we strive to serve our military students in exemplary ways because they deserve nothing less than our very best."

Bloomsburg University earns PNGAS Guard-Friendly School designation

Since its inception, Pennsylvania has distributed almost $300 Million through the Education Assistance Program ("EAP"), the number one recruiting tool for the Pennsylvania National Guard. The EAP provides a tuition benefit equivalent to the yearly tuition rate set by the State System of Higher Education Schools. The Pennsylvania National Guard members can use EAP funds at one of the 488-PHEAA approved schools. With the July 2019 enactment of the Military Family Education Program (MFEP), there is a new non-lapsing Fund providing EAP-like tuition benefits to spouses and children of members of the Pennsylvania National Guard when a Guard member re-enlists for another 6-year term.

This year, EAP and MFEP tuition benefits will exceed $64,000 per Guard member, and state budget funds for these programs will exceed $30 million in tuition benefits.

Developed by the PNGAS Education Advisory Council, the PNGAS Guard-Friendly School standards were designed to recognize colleges, universities, and trade schools that meet or exceed ten (10) baseline criteria that create a supportive learning environment to assist members of the Pennsylvania Guard pursuing post-secondary degrees.

Bloomsburg University is the educational destination for over 300 military students and has been growing steadily in recent years. BU is different from many other colleges and universities in its unique appreciation that military students have different needs and attributes than non-military students.

The centerpiece of those efforts is the Office of Military and Veterans Resources. The Military Office works for current and former military members, spouses and dependents, and ROTC cadets. They have also developed strong relationships with area military recruiters to facilitate conversations for people interested in joining the military. 

PNGAS is a non-profit organization not associated with or legally connected to the Pennsylvania National Guard, the state or federal government, the US Military, or the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.