A bill that would extend the deadline for Wyoming students to apply for Hathaway Scholarship money from the current two years after they graduate from high school to four years is making its way through the Wyoming Legislature.

House Bill 31 has already passed the Wyoming House of Representatives and two readings in the Wyoming Senate. It faces a scheduled third and decisive reading in the Senate on Wednesday.

Park County Republican Senator Hank Coe, one of the Senate co-sponsors of the bill, told Senators on Monday that the legislation would be helpful to many Wyoming students who join the military or go on religious missions immediately out of high school.

He says under the current two-year limit, many returning students find they are no longer eligible for Hathaway scholarship money, a problem that would be greatly reduced by extending the deadline by another two years.

Coe said the bill would also line up well with Governor Mead's ENDOW economic diversification initiative by increasing the number of state residents with post-secondary degrees. He added the bill would also allow students and their families more time to save money for post-secondary education without losing the scholarship money.

The bill's primary sponsor is Rep. Bill Henderson [R-Laramie County].