Governor Matt Mead announced Wednesday that he will preserve funding through the fall semester for a state program that provides tuition assistance for veterans and their loved ones.

The program, administered by the Wyoming Community College Commission, was slated to become a casualty of budget cuts by the beginning of the fall semester. Under the program, veterans are eligible for 10 free semesters at any Wyoming community college and the University of Wyoming, as are their spouses and dependents.

"This program is important to our veterans and their families -- many rely on it as they pursue their degree," Governor Mead said in a press release Wednesday. "Declining revenues make the state budget difficult to predict. Veterans, colleges and the University will now have time to transition to a program that leverages existing federal assistance and looks at state priorities."

Governor Mead did not rule out the possibility that the program could receive state funding in the coming years depending on the results of a review.

According to the Governor's press release issued Wednesday, the program provided tuition assistance to 162 veterans at Wyoming's seven community colleges and the University of Wyoming during 2015.

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