The U.S. Coast Guard announced that tuition assistance is reinstated for the remainder of Fiscal 2013, which ends September 31, 2013. However, the Coast Guard made some significant changes to the eligibility requirements that will impact chief petty officers and officers.
Under the new policy active duty Coast Guardsman E-6 and above and drilling Coast Guard reservists will no longer be eligible to use TA. Activated reserve members E-6 and below will be able to use TA. In addition, TA may no longer be used for post-graduate studies and eligible members will only be allowed to take up to 6 credit hours per fiscal quarter.
According to ALCOAST 175/13 (below), the Coast Guard has yet to determine if the new eligibility requirements will carry over into FY2014.
The official ALCOAST message:
SUBJ: RESUMPTION OF COAST GUARD TUITION ASSISTANCE (TA) FUNDING A. Performance, Training, and Education Manual, COMDTINST M1500.10 (series) B. COMDT COGARD Washington DC 090550ZMAR 13 / ALCOAST 099/13 1. Tuition Assistance (TA) funding has resumed for the remainder of FY13, with new eligibility and internal controls.
2. In addition to the criteria described in Ref (A), the following additional eligibility constraints apply:
A. Active Duty,
B. E-6 or below at the beginning of the academic course,
C. Undergraduate courses only, and
D. Limited to six credit hours per fiscal quarter per member.
The limit of six credit hours applies to course start dates (i.e., 6 credit hours for courses starting between 1 April 2013 and 30 June
2013 and 6 credit hours for courses starting next quarter from 1 July
2013 to 30 September 2013).
E. TA is not available for Reservists in a drilling status. TA is available for Reservists on long-term ADOS or EAD that meet the rest of the criteria.
3. Commands shall apply the following additional controls to ensure members meet the following criteria before approving TA:
A. Satisfactory progress toward completion of unit qualifications,
B. Satisfactory progress toward watch station qualifications,
C. Satisfactory proficiency of craft, and
D. Satisfactory conduct during the previous six months prior to TA application.
4. COs, OICs or first O-6/GS-15 in the chain-of-command are expected to ensure individuals meet the newly imposed eligibility criteria. TA approval shall not be delegated below the Executive Officer, Executive Petty Officer, or Deputy level.
5. The pre-sequestration credit hour limit of 250 dollars and 4500 dollar annual cap and all other policies found in Ref (A) remain in effect for the remainder of FY13 for those that meet the revised eligibility requirements.
6. Effective the Date-Time Group (DTG) of this message, the Coast Guard Institute (CGI) is accepting TA applications based on these new eligibility criteria and internal controls for future courses.
Applications that were submitted after the DTG of Ref (B) have been removed from the queue and must be resubmitted under these revised eligibility and internal control measures. TA is not available retroactively to cover courses taken during the suspension of TA as directed in Ref (B). Members are reminded that TA is not approved until they have received TA Authorization, Form CGI-1560, from the CGI. Members should take care when registering for courses to ensure they have alternate means of payment unless they have an approved Form CGI-1560 from CGI.
7. Policy for TA based on available funding beyond FY13 is under development and will be released later this year.
8. For field level questions please refer to your local ESO.
Questions from unit ESOs should be directed to CWO4 Tex Collier (CGI) at (405) 954-7233, email Devale.J.Collier(at)uscg.mil. Commanding Officers and Officers-in-Charge may direct questions to the Voluntary Education Program Manager, Mr. David Padley (FC-Tepd) at (202) 475-5475, email David.M.Padley(at)uscg.mil.
9. RADM S. E. Mehling, Commander, Force Readiness Command, sends.
10. Internet release authorized.