Updated March 13th, 2013
Update Alert: Tuition Assistance has been restored to all services. Read more here.
All U.S. Armed Forces except the Navy have recently announced that Tuition Assistance (TA) will be suspended until further notice due to sequestration. The measure will not affect soldiers currently enrolled in courses; however, no new applications will be accepted for enrollment. The Navy is still weighing it’s options and pending a decision. It is believed that the Navy is trying to keep in tact a reduced amount of TA.
Press Secretary George Little placed the blame on a “sequestration” mechanism in budget law that kicked in March 1, triggering across-the-board spending cuts that Pentagon officials repeatedly had warned would harm the nation’s military readiness.” The suspension is expected to affect hundreds of thousands of soldier’s including over 200,000 soldier’s in the Army and 29,000 soldiers in the Marines.
Soldiers can continue to access their GI Bill® benefits, Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) and Reserve Assistance Program or utilize another funding source. Additional options include grants, scholarships, state tuition assistance programs and military discounts offered by schools.
Defense officials say Tuition Assistance is important but because of the current fiscal situation they are evaluating all programs across the department. They have also said they will do their best to have tuition assistance reinstated. However, each military branch will likely need to review the eligibility requirements to ensure sustainability. Another education program that is in jeopardy of being cut or suspended are the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA). The DoD has not suspended the MYCAA program to date but it is widely believed they are strongly considering.
Tuition Assistance covers the cost of undergraduate or graduate programs up to $4,500 per fiscal year and payments are capped $250 per semester-hour of instruction.
View more about the Army’s Tuition Assistance (TA) suspension below.