A Southwest Asia veteran who enrolls in a technical college program, and who is a Minnesota resident whose entire education has not included completion of at least one technical college program is eligible for a state grant of $500 per year if the veteran has GI Montgomery Bill benefits, or $1,000 per year if the veteran does not have GI Montgomery Bill benefits, until the veteran has completed the lesser of (1) 115 credits in a technical college program, or (2) one technical college program. The grant is based on full-time attendance and shall be prorated if the student is attending less than full time. To be eligible for the tuition relief, a veteran must enroll in a technical college within two years of the date of discharge. All veterans enrolled under this program must maintain a minimum of six credits per quarter. Total grants may not exceed the available appropriation.
For the purpose of this section, the following terms have the meanings given to them:
(a) "Southwest Asia veteran" means a person who:
(1) served in the active military service in any branch of the armed forces of the United States any time between August 1, 1990, and February 27, 1992;
(2) became eligible for the Southwest Asia Service Medal as a result of the service;
(3) was a Minnesota resident at the time of induction into the armed forces and for the one year immediately preceding induction; and
(4) has been separated or discharged from active military service under conditions other than dishonorable.
(b) "Technical college" means a technical college or consolidated community technical college under the governance of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.