LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead signed a bill giving in-state students up to four years after graduating from high school to apply for a scholarship.

The Laramie Boomerang reports the bill, sponsored by Republican State Rep. Bill Henderson, was signed Monday and allows young people four years to apply for the Hathaway Scholarship instead of two, which had been the case since the scholarship was first awarded in 2006.

Henderson says the extra time to decide a course of study will help University of Wyoming students get more out of the award.

The two-year grace period benefited mainly student veterans and those taking part in religious missions, but it was and remains open to all. The four-year window extends this benefit to anyone taking time off for any reason.

Wyoming's Hathaway Scholarship program provides assistance to graduates of state high schools attending state colleges.