Topeka ROTC students at KU headed for the Kansas National Guard will receive a tuition waiver this fall despite the university's loss of legislative authority to grant waivers.
About 40 ROTC students at Kansas University can put their weapons back on the rack.
The Kansas Board of Regents agreed last week to honor tuition waiver commitments to ROTC students at KU and three other state universities who agreed to serve in the Kansas National Guard upon graduation.
"That's reasonable," said Lt. Col. Joy Moser of the Kansas National Guard. "It's one way in which the state of Kansas can encourage young people to get an education and encourage them to be a part of the Guard."
Problems arose in 1994 when the Legislature's audit division discovered that the law allowing universities to offer waivers to future Guard members expired in 1991.
"It was a fact overlooked by the institutions and the Legislature," said Ray Hauke, regents budget director.
In the 1995 session, the Senate passed a bill that would have extended the tuition grant program. However, the House never acted on the bill.
Hauke said the Legislature did include funding in the regents budget to accommodate the waivers.
Regents will lobby in the 1996 session for a clarification of legislative intent. No additional tuition waivers will be offered until the Legislature acts.
The board's action means 108 returning ROTC students and 52 freshmen entering the program at the four universities will receive a waiver.
At KU, 22 returning and 18 new ROTC students will avoid $35,000 in tuition payments in fall 1995.
The four universities offering waivers -- KU, Kansas State, Emporia State, Pittsburg State -- will save students $125,000 this fall.
Waivers have been offered to regents university students since 1979.
Participating students must meet certain qualifications, including a stipulation to serve at least four years in the National Guard upon completion of degree programs.