Tuition assistance back online for soldiers, but not yet for airmen and Marines

The Army has restored tuition assistance for soldiers for the remainder of the year, acting on a directive from Congress that required the service, along with the Air Force and Marine Corps, to continue the program. Tuition assistance was temporarily halted in connection with budget cuts brought on by sequestration.

The Army’s online portal for requesting tuition assistance was reactivated on Tuesday, allowing soldiers to once again apply for the aid. Roughly 300,000 servicemembers used the military tuition assistance programs last year.

“This will allow Soldiers to request Tuition Assistance for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13),” the Army announced on its education website. “For the balance of FY13, the eligibility rules for use of TA, the $250 semester hour cap and the annual ceiling of $4,500 remain unchanged.”

Last month, Congress rolled back plans to halt all new enrollments to the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps tuition assistance programs after veterans groups and military advocates protested the budget-saving moves. Despite congressional action to mandate the continuation of tuition assistance, the Army, Marines and Air Force were unable to immediately reactivate education benefit enrollments amid budgetary confusion.

With the Army’s program now back on track, the Air Force and Marines are expected to soon follow suit. The Navy has continued to offer tuition assistance to sailors.

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