The first quarter of this fiscal year shows a decline of 75% in the number of US Marines enrolled in the college assistance program. As reported by Military.com, this could represent a savings in the tens of millions of dollars for the Corps and DOD.
Even though officials are hesitant to place blame on the eligibility restrictions that went into effect last October, it’s fairly obvious they’ve had a dramatic impact.
[quote_simple]“It is difficult to speculate at this time because the drop could be the cause of a variety of reasons, such as government shutdown and deployment,” said Marine and Family Programs Division’s Shawn Conlon.[/quote_simple]
Some of the changes in place today:
- Applicants will no longer be considered for tuition assistance funds if they are in their first two years of service, are ineligible for promotion or if they have yet to complete certain military training courses
- First-time applicants are being limited to one course, unless the servicemember has an associate’s degree or 60 academic credits and a minimum grade point average of 2.5
- Funds will not be approved for new courses prior to the completion of old ones nor for courses that count toward duplicate degrees, such as a second associate’s degree or a double major.
- Requests for funds can now be submitted only within 30 days of the start date of a class. Under prior rules it was within 60 days.
- The tuition assistance budget will be divided up into fiscal quarters. Once the quarterly funds are gone, approvals will be deferred to the next quarter.
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