As many of you are aware, the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force have suspended their Military Tuition Assistance Programs while the Navy still considers their options.
NASFAA joined other groups by signing onto a letter from ACE to the Secretary of Defense expressing concern over the suspension of the military tuition assistance programs. As the above article notes, the cancellation of TA does not pertain to veteran’s benefits, as they are largely exempt from sequestration.
On an additional note, I have been in contact with Senator Burr’s Office (R-NC) in regards to this matter as he is a ranking member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Several of you provided me information regarding the number of students affected and the amount of dollars involved in these cuts. I have provided detailed information from all of you that wrote to me to Burr’s education and VA legislative aides.
Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) has joined Senator Jim Inhofe from Oklahoma in introducing a bipartisan amendment to reinstate the Tuition Assistance program. Senator Hagan also sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense expressing her grave concerns. Unfortunately, the Senate failed to reach an agreement to consider amendments to the Continuing Resolution, including the Inhofe-Hagan amendment. However, Senators Hagan and Inhofe have introduced a bipartisan standalone bill, Senate bill S. 614, to reinstate the Tuition Assistance Program.
Below are two articles regarding the proposed bill:
Fayetteville, NC is home to Fort Bragg. Fort Bragg is home of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces of the United States Army.
Jacksonville, NC is home to the Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune. Camp Lejeune is home of the Expeditionary Forces.
Information on Senate Bill S. 614 can be found below on govtrack.us:
I have also communicated with Senator Kay Hagan and her legislative aides regarding our concerns about the suspension of the military tuition assistance program. I sent the same information to her that I did to Senator Burr’s office regarding how these cuts impact our military students.
Unfortunately, I cannot predict the outcome of this situation or S. 614. However, I think our common goal is the same. We want to continue to be able to assist and educate the over 300,000 service members in this country who receive TA to complete their degrees.
To be continued…
SASFAA Legislative Relations Chair