Internal Memo from DoD to Service Branches Says to Consider Cutting Program Funding
Citing the “current fiscal challenges,” the U.S. Army (USA) announced that effective March 8, 2013 new U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) voluntary education Tuition Assistance (TA) enrollments will be suspended until “the fiscal situation matures.” Servicemembers who are currently enrolled and participating in courses approved for TA will not be impacted, however. This decision follows the March 2, 2013 announcement by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus that the U.S. Navy (USN) will cease new U.S. MarineCorps (USMC) enrollments in TA. According to today’s Air Force Times article DoD urges ‘significant’ tuition assistance cuts, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) is contemplating a similar suspension of TA enrollments apparently in response to an internal DoD memo to the services, which told them to consider cutting funding for the program. These recommended cuts are a byproduct of sequestration, a process that triggers automatic, across-the-board cuts from most government departments and agencies, which went into effect on March 1, 2013 when Congress and the Administration were unable to reach agreement on deficit reduction legislation.
Following suspension of USMC TA enrollments, the key student veteran service organization, Student Veterans of America (SVA), released a statement in response to the announcement and plans to issue a similar statement today in response to the USA announcement. SVA is prepared to issue future releases should the remaining service branches announce a similar suspension of TA. SVA has also shared that they plan to be fully engaged on fighting for the educational rights of all TA-eligible students with key decision makers.