Funding for a college tuition assistance program for Iowa National Guard members has been increased to meet rising demand. Gov. Terry Branstad signed a bill Tuesday increasing funding for the National Guard Education Assistance Program from $3.1 million to $4.4 million. The program covers about 90 percent of tuition costs for returning service members at the state's colleges and universities. Demand for the program increased substantially in the 2011-2012 school year, with more than 1,400 Guard members applying for it compared to 800 who used the program last year. The Guard had prepared to reduce tuition awards in the spring semester before the funding came through on Tuesday. The bill, approved unanimously by lawmakers, is the first one signed by Branstad this year.