URGENT Tuition Assistance Update

Two branches of the military, the Marine Corps and the Army, have announced suspension of tuition assistance benefits due to sequestration.  Army folks have until 1700 EST today, 8 March 2014, to submit new requests for tuition assistance via the GoArmyEd portal.  I expect that the other services will soon be announcing similar messages, so get moving NOW to enroll in any classes you are considering taking.

Marine Corps

In an ALNAV message released 2 March 2013, it was announced that the Department of the Navy would immediately “CEASE NEW USMC ENROLLMENTS IN VOLUNTARY EDUCATION TUITION ASSISTANCE.”  This is one of numerous drastic measures being taken by the Navy,including shutting down a carrier air wing and cancelling numerous deployments .


The notice released by the Army yesterday gives soldiers a little bit of time to organize last minute educational plans.  New tuition assistance requests will be suspended at 1700 EST today, 8 March 2013.

The Army currently has more than 201,000 active duty, Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers receiving tuition assistance.  The annual cost for this benefit is  about $353 million.

Air Force, Navy

There is little doubt that the Air Force and Navy will be announcing tuition assistance cuts soon.  Members in these two services would be wise to speed up their educational plans in order to maximize their benefits while they are still available.

I have long said  that tuition assistance would be cut as the services struggle with shrinking budgets.  Their value as a recruiting and retention tool is diminished as the military decreases its force size.

Servicemembers seeking to continue their education should look for other sources of funding, such as private and public scholarship programs and the Post 9/11 GI Bill.  GI Bill benefits, as a Department of Veterans Affairs program, are specifically exempt from sequestration cuts.  Other ways to help complete education include using College Level Examination Program (CLEP) examinations and taking advantage of the tax benefits available for educational expenses.

Army, Navy, and Air Force folks – get moving now!


About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Aaron

    Two letters B.S and that doesn’t stand for Bachelor of Science

    • Charlie

      Now, now. Be nice. Look at the good side. King Barrack still has money set aside to fly Air Force One (at a cost of $180,000 per hour) to some tropical island so wife and kids can play on the beach and he can play golf.

      • Pete61W

        This is just an ignorant comment. The President –ANY President–flies on AF1 for reasons of security and traveling equipped to run the country. He has done nothing different from any previous President with regard to this.

    • Ed
  • Jon

    Yet we can still afford to send $52B to Egypt? Sound good… o_O

    • Jon

      Sounds good… o_O *

  • pete

    What a joke. But hey its the military get use to it. I mean we only take a vow to defend this nation. Thanks for the support

    • susan

      Stumbled across this site, and just wanted to say “Thank You Pete” and to the rest of our service men and women. I had the honor to be married to a ex marine for 27 years, who served 2 tours of nam voluntarily. He would have been the first to say that after the fact, his government did nothing for him. Its sad to see how much they are chipping away at everything you all are entitled to. Military personnel and families make great sacrifices, its sad to see how much is being taken away.

  • sean

    I actually use TA, this is beyond retarded. The military stresses education, but now they wont give it to us? As a soldier with a family, car payment, and kids one can no longer be able to attend school. Way to go! Next goes the family healthcare I bet.

  • Amy

    Anyone know how GI bill transfer and GI bill use works now with this? My husband transfered his entitlement to out son, with the fact he would use TA assistance during his last three years to get his degree. Can he still use the GI Bill, now and take away a benefit that was a good idea at the time

    • KateKashman

      Amy, the sponsor always retains the right to modify or revoke a transfer. I wouldn’t recommend that he revoke the transfer, but rather reduce the amount that he put in your son’s name to 1 month. While he is in there, I would also recommend that he give you a month. A month acts as a placemarker, allowing him to make changes in the future. That way, if he doesn’t use it all himself, you or your son can use it in the future.

  • salliemae

    This is only going to get worse. The next thing you know your going to have thousands of soldiers kicked out, and the remaining soldiers on serving on food stamps like they were during the Clinton Administration. Irresponsible government spending is out of control.

  • Amanda

    How does this affect the Post 911 GI Bill? I’m suppose to start school in Aug and the Post 911 GI Bill is my only source of TA. Since I am a veteran I had no notification of the change until i saw it in the news.

    • KateKashman

      Amanda, there has been no change to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Everything under the Department of Veterans Affairs is exempt from sequester cuts. This change only applies to active duty tuition assistance programs. Good luck with your studies!

  • eric

    I transferred my GI Bill to my wife so she could finish her final two years and I was using the TA since I didn’t need the GI Bill at the time, this really sucks, looks like I will be fileing for some scholarships and grants.
    Thanks alot Washington, I think that you should have your entitlements, pay, and benefits cut until you all get your freaking acts together, better yet you come and try to our my jobs and we will go and show you how to do yours.

    • KateKashman

      eric, you can still use your GI Bill, especially if your wife is only using two years of benefits. The servicemember always retains the right to modify the transfer, and any unused months always belong to you. I hope that helps.

  • Carly

    You may want to actually sign this petition. It has more signatures and is closer to the 100,000 needed.

  • will

    Oh yea lets just give reduced tuition to illegal immigrants too!

  • Chris

    I find all of this to be extremely disheartening, given the fact that we have served our country and have been told that education is a “perk” of our job when transfered to billets that promote school. I have served the military for 9 years, and now am being transfered to a shore based facility only to find out that my opportunity might not be there. I’m glad i worked so hard for nothing.

  • Lynn

    The article states 2 dates for submitting requests in the ARMY…is it March 8, 2013 or 2014? This is certainly not the army my son signed up for. I think this is a horrible way to enforce Obama’s inability to run his finances. Agree with earlier post, should cut white house decorations, etc. These benefits that our guys receive in the armed forces are NOT where sequestering should hit !!

  • carla

    the air force announced today it suspended TA effective last night at 5pm. The Coast Guard has also suspended their TA; the only one left is the Navy and they’ll probably cut theirs tomorrow. SAD.

  • cherrie jane
  • Cornell