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Military tuition assistance affected by sequester

Monday, March 11, 2013

Thousands of military service members enroll in college programs using tuition assistance benefits, including those covered by the Post–9/11 GI Bill. However, the future of these initiatives looks bleak as budget cuts, due to sequestration, forced the Army and Marine Corps to cancel their tuition assistance programs last week with the Air Force following suit this week.

Navy officials are still considering the future of the program, and a final decision will be forthcoming soon. A spokesperson for the U.S. Army confirmed that soldiers will not be permitted to submit new requests for tuition assistance. Service members currently taking advantage of such programs will not be affected by the decision, and will be able to complete their studies.

"The Army understands the impacts of this action and will re-evaluate should the budgetary situation improve," said Lt. Col. Tom Alexander, spokesman for the Army's personnel chief.

Michael Dakduk, executive director of Student Veterans of America, told Inside Higher Ed, a publication providing information and career services for higher education professionals, that military tuition assistance programs enabled him to earn his bachelor's degree after completing his tour of duty in the Marines in 2008. He added that if action is not taken to restore tuition assistance initiatives for veterans, the impact could be devastating for the 1 million service personnel expected to transition back into civilian life during the next five years. - helping you find colleges and universities that offer the accredited programs that most interest you.

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