Effort to Save Tuition Assistance Stumbles – UPDATE

March 19, 2013 | Terry Howell

UPDATE – Senators Inhofe and Hagan were able to push their amendment through today on a voice vote. Now the Continuing Resolution and amendments are headed to the House for a vote. The House is now set to vote on the CR as it is written.

The amendment to the Senate’s Continuing Resolution offered by Senators Kay Hagan and Jim Inhofe would stop the termination of military Tuition Assistance. It originally fell short earlier this week. But against the odds it was passed Wednesday afternoon.

The amendment is part of a growing bipartisan response to the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard and Marine Corps suspension of the Tuition Assistance program, which was brought on by the so-called sequestration. The military tuition assistance program was created to help servicemembers reach their academic goals and prepare for their inevitable transition back to the civilian workforce. Military members took 870,000 courses and earned 50,500 degrees diplomas, and certificates in 2012.

Last week military leaders warned that suspending TA would result in low morale and difficulty recruiting and retaining quality servicemembers. (read the full article on Military.com)

According to Senator Hagan’s press release, “Prominent national groups including the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), American Legion, Marine Corps League, American Military Retirees Association, AMVETS, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Non Commissioned Officer Association (NCOA), and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) have endorsed the amendment. Other endorsements include local community colleges and families personally affected by the discontinuation of these funds.

In addition to the amendment to the Senate CR, several in Congress are raising questions about how the U.S. can continue paying foreign aid to Egypt and Pakistan (specifically education aid) when we are cutting important programs like TA for troops. In response, Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., introduced HR 1039 which would block aid to Egypt and appropriate funding to restore TA.

Like the Hagan- Inhofe amendment, HR 1039 is not likely to pass. Rick Maze, staff writer for the Military Times network, reported that Congress is reluctant to protect a single program as it could “spark efforts by other lawmakers to protect hundreds of other programs hurt by the cuts.” He added that according to congressional aides, “the measure will get no serious consideration until Congress takes up the 2014 federal spending bills.”

Congress is not the only source of pressure on the DoD to save TA; the White House is also being pressed by the public through a petition to save the tuition assistance on its “We the People” web site. Yesterday the petition reached the 100,000 signature threshold, which requires the WH to make a public comment on the suspension of TA.

Let your elected officials know how you feel about this important issue.

Stay tuned for further updates…

About Terry Howell

Before becoming the Managing Editor for Military.com, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.

Comments

  1. I love how we support a country that has been harboring terrorist. But take the benefits away from the men and women who keep us free and bleed for this country. They'll change their minds when they need us. Which appears to be sooner rather than later. Politicians should learn how to get their priorities straight.

  2. So, take away TA from US troops who pay taxes, pay schools and all associated jobs entailed but we can give Egypt 250M??
    This just in!

    "The most recent example comes from Al Hafiz TV, an Egyptian Islamic station. During a roundtable discussion on the U.S. and foreign aid to Egypt, an Islamic cleric, clearly of the Salafi bent—he had their trademark mustache-less-beard—insisted that the U.S. must be treated contemptuously, like a downtrodden dhimmi, or conquered infidel; that Egypt must make the U.S. conform to its own demands; and that, then, all the money the U.S. offers to Egypt in foreign aid can be taken as rightfully earned jizya."

  3. TA is an entitlement, so it's subject to the whims of the budget. GI Bill is a benefit, not subject to budget whims. There's a difference.

    There are other ways to finance education besides TA.

    However that being said, it's still BS that it's come to this. That $250M for Egypt could've gone towards the Army's $300M TA budget. The military continually harps on education then cuts (except the Navy) the major funding source for it.

    The govt needs to get their priorities in order. Figure the odds on that.

    • I could not agree more….this from a mother that has a son that benefited from TA. Such a waste of money!

      • Idmtmedic says:

        A mind is a terrible thing to waste……what's to do when our new recruits understand the "game"is up? Money and entitlements are getting them to sign up. No money, no entitlements= no recruits.

        • idmedic,

          Well, I'll be keeping up that for you! My guess, is that if you ask a new recruit what is TA, he wouldn't know what in the world you're talking about.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Lmao Charles, ok then let me ask you what it was that ENTICED you to join? It is now 2013, not 1960's. If you think TA is not an important decision then you are WROOOOOONG. As usual. Your wayyyyyy out of touch with current Needs and requirements. Your old and not relevant……..however I am also older, but not old.

          • idmedic,

            Nothing enticed me to join, other than I needed a job. TA, the GI Bill, and other educational be had zero influence on me as to whether I was going to sign up.

            Go to my site I've given you several times, and look at the family picture. That pic my help you.

            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MyMilitaryHistory/?…

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Great you got a job!!! Does your website talk about your current JOB? Blahhhhh blahhh blah. Thousands of pics like that. Ever seen one without a loved one in it because of war?
            Now back to TA. what are your thoughts again? Would you like me to quote you?

    • InsiteFUL says:

      Brian – legally, TA is NOT an entitlement. It is an incentive that is and always was an option for services to use for enlistment and retention. For years, the Navy Reserve did not have TA. Why? Because they had so many enlistments and reenlistments, they did not need to incentivize.

      Contrast that with the GI Bill, which is an entitlement, which means if must be funded by Congress annually.

      Also, the MyCAA program is miniscule compared to TA. But, I do agree this sends a bad message.

    • Brian,

      I think you have you're definitions backwards about TA and the GI Bill. There ate Entitlements, Benefits and Incentives.

  4. Mericn2dabone says:

    here is a thought….take it for what its worth. all these officers are college degreed and most have the ability to get teaching certified. so lets have the services create their own college. with a national teaching certification program let there be a stipend as well. you teach soldiers a college course..you get a little extra. you wanna get out, you have a viable and sellable asset. this will also get rid of the diploma mills that plague the TA/GI bill system.

  5. Idmtmedic says:

    Concerned it may be sending them the wrong signal? Now where have I heard that before from somebody on this blog? If I remember correctly, this argument has no affect on enlistments because it is 7th on the list….lmao. Well well, let's see how this entitlement plays out for FUTURE enlistments. Wish I could get some stats on 2014 enlistments………..or 2005? Lololol. Ohhhh wait they have them for 2005.

    • Idmedic,

      This information was given to you about 9 months ago!

      Recruiting and Retention Statistics

      Updated October 13, 2005

      The Department of Defense has announced its recruiting and retention statistics by the active and reserve components for the month of September. This closes out the Fiscal Year 2005 recruiting year. The Fiscal Year 2006 recruiting year began on 1 October (2005).

      Active duty recruiting. All of the active duty services met or exceeded their recruiting goals for the month of September.

      http://usmilitary.about.com/od/joiningthemilitary

    • Idmedic,

      DOD Announces Recruiting and Retention Numbers for Fiscal 2013, Through January 2013

      The Department of Defense announced today recruiting and retention statistics for the active and reserve components for fiscal 2013, through January.

      Active Component.

      Recruiting. All four active services met or exceeded their numerical accession goals for fiscal 2013, through October.

      Army – 20,273 accessions, with a goal of 20,175; 100 percent

      Navy – 10,990 accessions, with a goal of 10,990; 100 percent

      Marine Corps – 9,244 accessions, with a goal of 9,230; 100 percent

      Air Force – 9,589 accessions, with a goal of 9,589; 100 percent

      • Idmtmedic says:

        2014????? Throw me a bone Charles, got a crystal ball? No "facts" as you call them? Facts are relative to information, which make them STATS. You love quoting STATS NOT FACTS.

        • idmedic,

          You will get the facts as they become available. I can't post the stats for 2014 because it is still 2013. Do you understand?????

          • Idmtmedic says:

            No shi#. You mean STATS right? Amazing that everybody else in the free world understands cause and affect but you?

  6. This is a very strange and abused program. My husband (retired military) was registrar for a med. sized college for many years (after his retirement from the military) and thinks it is a terrible waste of money. There is an unneeded number of admins., just to run it and it puts an unintended and nearly undoable burden on which ever school the reciever of the benefits attends. There are other ways it could be implemented through existing programs, like the GIBill.

    • Well, I can understand that. I am retired military and spent years working in military education. 350,000 people took at least one class and over 70,000 people earned degrees last year. I don't think they would say it was a waste of money.

      The problem with using the GI Bill while serving is the clock starts (15 year window use) and the usage amount is measured by months, regardless of full or part time enrollment – with only 36 months available if someone takes 6 hours and loses a month compared to someone enrolled full time and losing a month.

  7. Why was tuition assistance cut for military service people, but NOT for their spouses? Shouldn't the spouses tuition assistance be cut before our soldiers' TA?

    • Jassuz8,

      I agree, makes one wonder.

      • Idmtmedic says:

        Does it? You already stated it should be cut regardless?

        • Jassuz8,

          I agree, makes one wonder.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Then cut only what you decide lmao…….thanks for the OPINION…

          • Thanks for staying on topic!

          • Jassuz8,

            Welcome. You've got to do this with this guy, or he'll have you talking about everything but the damn subject.

            Later

          • It amazes me that nobody cares. The military leadership looks at where they're spending and decide that tuition assistance is expendable…and eliminate it…but they want they let the spouses keep it. No one questions the wisdom or the process of that kind of decision making. Everyone in Washington is well educated and well paid and supposedly capable of making reasonable decisions…and they pull shenanigans like this and no one scrutinizes or really questions it. We're so doomed…

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Guess you don't realize who your responding to. He believes TA SHOULD be cut permanently for all services. Try and check out the other blog subjects and understand his position then ask questions. Ever heard the term " wolf in sheep's clothing"? Well he is a sheep in wolf's clothing….. Don't believe me? Ask him about TA. LOLOL. going to love his response. AND, RULE#1, don't ever talk about CON-gress. RULE #2 don't ever talk about CON-gress…….to him your just another whiner, complainer who wants more, more, more. Good luck ;)
            Later Gator

          • Jassuz8,

            Welcome. You've got to do this with this guy, or he'll have you talking about everything but the damn subject.

            Later

    • Innahouse says:
      • Innahouse,

        Since when does the DOD Budget pay for undocumented citizens to use TA?????

        • Idmtmedic says:

          Last I checked, taxpayer money IS government money, regardless of where it is spent or allocated.

          • idmedic,

            Ok, show me who (if not DOD) is paying for TA for undocumented citizens!

          • Idmtmedic says:

            That's easy, CHARLES. Taxpayers. You decide how it is paid and from where. We getting money from foreign governments to help with humanitarian aide? Our taxpayer money goes and goes to foreign aide.

          • idmedic,

            So what is you TA question????? Maybe this is a question you can answer!

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Sure Charles. TA is an incentive, "entitlement" to get enlistees to sign up to serve their country. Patriotism is absolutely a driving factor. Now show me the money!!!!!!!!
            YOU didn't"t sign up for just patriotism did you? You obviously received something? Mmmmmmm what legal thing would that be? As if you knew at the time you signed. Lmaooooo

          • idmedic,

            Your posting crap that is way off the subject and has nothing to do with the subject. Why I joined has nothing to do with chit. I've asked you several times to take your sniveling to my website located at:

            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MyMilitaryHistory/?…

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Got a tissue? Would you pleeeeease stop promoting your website. Nobody cares. Doesn't matter, not relevant. YOUR not relevant. Your opinions on miltary entitlements, benefits, enticements are stuck in pre 80's mentality.
            Later
            Gator

          • idmedic,

            Your posting crap that is way off the subject and has nothing to do with the subject. Why I joined has nothing to do with chit. I've asked you several times to take your sniveling to my website located at:

            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MyMilitaryHistory/?…

          • Idmtmedic says:

            TA is the subject……..HELLO. Would you care to respond? You just gotta keep asking this guy about the topic. TA???? Not a website, not YOUR personal opinion that it should be cut. TA is important. PERIOD.

          • idmedic,

            Yes, I know what the subject is, ego every other post of mine is attempting to get you to stay on the subject and stop following me around and only posting to me about something else.

            Your posting crap that is way off the subject and has nothing to do with the subject. Why I joined has nothing to do with chit. I've asked you several times to take your sniveling to my website located at:
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MyMilitaryHistory/?…

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Better if you take your sniveling to your own web site.. That way you can get two thumbs up on every post. Take your post count sidekick with you. I happen to love this site. Very informative.
            Later
            Gator

          • idmedic,

            Yes, I know what the subject is, ego every other post of mine is attempting to get you to stay on the subject and stop following me around and only posting to me about something else.

            Your posting crap that is way off the subject and has nothing to do with the subject. Why I joined has nothing to do with chit. I've asked you several times to take your sniveling to my website located at:

            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MyMilitaryHistory/?…

  8. 20% of federal workers basic pay is getting slashed by congress and WH. TA and any other entitlements for our military should be on the table as well. We want to balance our budget lets do it. Start with foreign aid then downsize spending of Defense and other Federal agencies. Let the states pick up the more of the burden and clean thier own house as well without federal intervention. Lets all do our part to bring down debt. 800,000 federal workers will be the first to volunteer 20% of thier paychecks. Let see if our politicians and leaders will follow suit and give up 20% of thier pay as well. Holy crap this is all but a dream!!! NIMBY

    • What an idiot. The military should be left out nutcase. Who fights our wars? Its not you! You get rid of overseas help, pork barrel projects, idiot projects such as the F35 fighter that is way over cost but we want the toy so bad. We are not doing anything about our broke banking. We should have had 1/2 of our country weaned off of OPEC. We should be using more solar energy to bring down the risks of using nuke energy. We need to strategize where we can get money besides taxes as well as where to save money.

  9. Robert Mondloch says:

    As a future recruite for the Marine corps, I’m very angry about the TA being cut as it was used as a huge incentive to make me feel more secure on my choice of joining. I’m still not second guessing my choice but I would like to see it definitely reinstated as I would like to further my education past high school sooner rather than later. With the TA I would be able to always be developing my mind further acedemically with no worries financially. I feel that’s the last thing the military members need to be worried about is financial issues. I understand there are other programs to ‘help’ pay for an education but they don’t compare with TA. We need to start slashing social programs for civilians and foreign aid. No where in our constitution does it say the government is entitled to provide social programs. That is what the churches ect are for. Helping people get through tough times but not just giving them free shit. Now adays you can live for free on the governents dollor. We need to take America back. I don’t know how half these people got elected into office to make these decisions. They aren’t thinking straight.

    • No where in the constitution does it say to provide you with TA. Many soldiers before never got it.

  10. Obama finds more way to dismantle this great country! And all his dem buddies have to follow for politics sake. Shameful! Pass a budget already. We do our jobs the gov. Needs to do there’s! It would be nice to see the top brass show cuts. Lead by example ??

    • Congress is doing this, not Obama. They are to blame. Let's vote them out!!

      • Idmtmedic says:

        Your right Gigi, no president is to blame for anything. It's not their fault? Why vote for one and why do we have a president? Ever had a boss?

  11. ayoungguard says:

    Hi Because Government Promised to pay for my tuition, I joined the National Guard and promise to give my life to protect the constitution, train, keep myself in shape and on call 24/24 whenever the state and fed need me. Now they break their promise, Can I withdrawn from the military without negative consequenses? Or Can I sue the Government for false promising?

    • TA is not a promise there buddy. You were asked if you wanted the GI bill which is not taken away. TA is a benefit not a right. Suck it up and use your GI bill.

      • TA is actually the only way national guard service members pay for their school dumb ass what are you talking about? Whats the benefit of being in the guard if you cant get your school paid for? I have friends that have to report to drill on the weekends but cant go to school because their ta got cut.

        • G-ro,

          "sgt" is correct, you nor the active military has a right to TA. It has never been an ENTITLEMENT and never will be. This is the damn problem with benefits, once they been around for awhile, all of a sudden everyone think they have some "RIGHT" or "ENTITLEMENT" to them. If you want more than what you're getting from the Nation Guard, then join the Active Military.

          Later

    • ayongguard,

      LMAO, as for the Government Promised to pay for your tuition, that is bullchit, TA isn't now and has never been a Entitlement.

      • Idmtmedic says:

        Or a promise. Now why hasn't the GOVERNMENT given guidelines as to what a recruiter can say or promise. Culpable negligence would be start. Why not video every meeting with a recruiter and let's compare. Why is it you figure every other recruit is held to the nth standards but recruiters are not subject to that? They do what they are TRAINED to do. No more no less. Last time you have seen a CMSGT, or GENERAL recruiting?

        • ayongguard,

          LMAO, as for the Government Promised to pay for your tuition, that is bullchit, TA isn't now and has never been a Entitlement.

        • idmedic,

          They have, where have you been. But then again, what does this have to do with Tuition Assistance (TA)??????????
          http://www.army.mil/article/87110/Army_completely

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Your article mention ANYTHING about Congress approving of or overseeing recruitment materials? How about Generals or CMSGT's recruting? They revamped it? Ok, now what? So if your point is that now somebody is accountable for "promises or "ENTICEMENTS" that are not part of a written contract are somehow from rogue recruiters with no official backing is upsurd. TO include TA. When was the last time you have heard a recruiter in a HS GYM not push TA or GI bill first? Mmmmm are they trained to add in that congress may change anything at anytime "as in the fine print you see or hear on any used car salesman commercial"?

          • idmedic,

            You're answer can be found:

            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MyMilitaryHistory/m

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Only answer there is a bloated ego and nothing to back it up. Start your own blog yet?

          • Of course it's a reservist. Get off your high horse. We all volunteered. And you did so of your own accord. The American People owe you nothing. We chose to do this. Now drink water and drive on.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Then send your retirement back. Unless of course you are owed that?

          • idmedic,

            Explain why everytime someone disagrees with you or says something without your stamp of approval, you as them to send their retirement check back to the Government.

            What the hell does his or my retirement check have to do with TA anyway?????????? NOTHING

          • Idmtmedic says:

            He said the American people owe us nothing while accepting a check from the American people. So you tell me.

          • idmedic,

            We're paid by DEFENSE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING SERVICE, DOD not joe down the street, so he is correct. you owe me nothing.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            The DOD gets it's money from the American people as well as the entire government. It's not monopoly money that magically appears. Apparently people think its government money…..lmao. The government doesn't make money, outside of printing it, they only spend it. OUR money.

          • idmedic,

            Ok, I'll play your dumb arse game. So who makes the monies we use, right, great big machines run by the Government.

            Just try and remember, that once you spend you dollar or give it away, or pay taxes, it doesn't belong to you anymore. Try buying a Car with your good looks or telling the IRS it isn't their money, it's your money, and your going to spend your way.

            Try and remember there medic, once your money leaves you pocket and is spent, it's gone, not your's anymore, someone else's to do as they wish.

            The Spin Stops Here

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Lmao…..oooooooook. The government can only exist because of OUR money. We feed it. Apparently in civics class you missed a portion. ANY GOVERNMENT SPENDING NOW is on credit thanks to our kings and queens and POTUS.

          • idmedic,

            I've made my point, we're done here.