The University of Alaska Fairbanks is offering a new program that will waive fees for local soldiers who will be deployed during the upcoming school year.

Although the program will be available to more branches of the military, it arose following the March announcement that Fort Wainwright’s 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division will be deployed to Iraq later this year.

“When we saw that that was going to happen, we attempted to find out what we could do to thank them,” said Jackie Morton, director of UAF’s Department of Military and Veteran Services.

This program gives scholarship money to cover student fees and is open to any active-duty soldier or airman, or Alaska National Guard service member stationed in the Fairbanks North Star Borough who is deployed as part of a named military operation during fall 2019 and spring 2020, according to a news release from the university.

Morton said that as long as a soldier is deployed at any point during those two semesters, even if they deploy later in the semester, they can still apply for the program and have money go toward covering fees.

“So when they apply we have someone at admissions who’s reaching out to them helping them get enrolled in classes,” she said.

From there, interested applicants have to fill out a deployment verification form, which is then handled by the UAF Department of Military and Veteran Services. Morton added that the Office of Admissions and advisers would be available to applicants throughout the process.

Application fees will also be waived for qualifying applicants who are new students.

Morton said she is glad to see the program has been well received thus far.

“We’ve already received 17 applications,” she said. “Actually in the first 24 hours I think we had three and then within 48 hours we maybe had seven.”

Contact staff writer Kyrie Long at 459-7572.