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Army drops waiting periods for college tuition assistance

Servicemembers, veterans and military retirees have multiple financial aid options they may be qualified for beyond military service-provided tuition assistance, according to military officials.

NELL KING/U.S. ARMY

By WILLIAM HOWARD | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 27, 2018

The one-year wait is over for soldiers planning to use tuition assistance for an undergraduate degree, while others wishing to pursue a master’s degree no longer have to wait 10 years.

Beginning Aug. 5, the new Army Tuition Assistance Policy will categorize soldiers into two tiers depending on their level of civilian education.

Soldiers pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree, or those with a bachelor’s degree who haven’t previously used the Army tuition assistance program and want to continue their education fall under tier one.

Tier one tuition assistance will be available for soldiers of all components who have completed advanced individual training, meet existing eligibility requirements and have no disciplinary problems.

Officers and warrant officers who have completed their basic courses are also eligible for tier one tuition assistance.

Soldiers who previously used tuition assistance for their undergraduate degree and wish to pursue a master’s degree fall under tier two. Tuition assistance cannot be used for a doctorate, according to Army guidance.

Enlisted soldiers who have successfully completed the advanced leader’s course, warrant officers who have graduated their advanced course and officers who have graduated the captain’s career course or its equivalent are eligible for tier two tuition assistance.

Less than 20 percent of soldiers currently use tuition assistance, said Pamela Raymer, director of the Army Continuing Education System.

“We’re hoping this new policy will encourage more soldiers to sign up for tuition assistance, as this will help them professionally when they’re in the Army and increase their employability when they separate,” Raymer said in a statement.

howard.william@stripes.com
Twitter: @Howard_Stripes

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