Education has been the ley to the Missouri National Guard reaching full strength for the first time in several years. A concentrated recruiting effort with a major incentive – 100-percent college tuition incentives – has been very important in the Guard reaching its levels of strength. The tuition assistance program, based on the credit-hour cost at the University of Missouri-Columbia, has been reduced to 50 percent since the guard reached full strength. Part of that is because of the state’s tight budget.