The Department of Defense (DoD) announced Friday it is nearing completion of a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) that colleges and universities must sign to participate in DoD’s Tuition Assistance Program.
DoD is now coordinating the revised MOU with the Pentagon, according to officials. Once coordination is complete, institutions will have “ample opportunity” to review and sign the MOU before the policy goes into effect sometime later this summer.
A 90-day extension that expired March 30 allowed DoD officials to work with stakeholders to address issues associated with the original memorandum released in March 2011. ACE was among the groups advocating for revisions.
“We are grateful to the Department of Defense for working with us to address the concerns raised by institutions regarding certain provisions in the original MOU,” said Anne Hickey, ACE’s director of Government Relations. “We look forward to seeing the revised document and remain optimistic that these changes will allow additional institutions to sign the MOU and to continue their participation in the TA program.”
“I am pleased that over the past 90 days we have been able to collaborate with our partners including the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, American Council on Education, National Association of Institutions for Military Education Services and numerous Veteran Service Organizations and Military Service Organizations,” Robert L. Gordon III, deputy assistant secretary of defense said in DoD’s statement. “As a result, we have a stronger, clearer memorandum.”
Institutions participating in the Tuition Assistance Program will continue to receive assistance, regardless of whether they have signed the original MOU. Once the new policy goes into effect, only institutions that have signed an MOU with the department will be able to receive tuition assistance.