ACE and 12 other higher education associations sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today, requesting that he reconsider recent decisions by most branches of the military to suspend their Tuition Assistance (TA) programs.
The Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard have all announced they will accept no new enrollments in their TA programs due to Defense Department cuts mandated by sequestration. The Navy is still reviewing its options, according to reports.
The TA programs provide up to $4,500 per fiscal year for active-duty troops who are attending high school completion courses and certificate programs, or are working toward college degrees. The change will not affect service members who currently receive tuition assistance.
“TA benefits are an important investment in members of the military and their ability to contribute to the defense of our nation,” the associations wrote. “While we appreciate the many considerations that must be taken into account as you implement the sequester, we respectfully ask that you reconsider the decision to eliminate new TA benefits.”
Sens. Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) have introduced an amendment to the Senate version of the FY 2013 continuing resolution that would instruct DoD to restore TA funding.