Changes in Tuition Assistance

A few days ago I read on the changes that Tuition Assistance (referred to as TA) is making some changes. One was they were going to not allow someone to use TA if they fail a PRT (physical readiness test) or if they do bad in other areas of their jobs (evaluations). Another change is how TA will be distributed – the example given being someone going for their AA or first BA degree would get preference over someone going for their second Masters degree.

However the changes that the article said were going to be implemented throughout the year, have already been implemented. My husband came home that night after we read the article and said they were notified about it that same day.

I understand the thinking and where they are coming from, but it seems like a sort of punishment for those who are working at more degrees and trying to take advantage while they can. My husband is working on his second Masters degree right now – he is using his GI Bill because he used all the TA he was allowed to use for the year (16 credits a year are allowed, it was 12 but they upped it). He was planning on using TA when the new fiscal year starts, however now he won’t be able to. He said they won’t let him use TA again until he is working on a PhD.

A few of the people he works with were also caught by surprise – another change is if you have less then 6 months left in the military you won’t be allowed to use TA. One person he works with has less then a year left and was told he can’t use TA anymore, and he is just a few classes away from his degree.

My advice is to find out if you are eligible for TA and start using it. The GI Bill has different rules for using it and we put the latest classes on a credit card until we will be reimbursed – which means a few months of making payments because it takes that long for everything to come through. Start working on the degree of your choice today, while you can.

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