Important changes have been announced to Tuition Assistance for military families. In a communication recently released by the Marine Corps, the Lifelong Learning program has been modified. The changes became effective October 1, 2013, and are described below.
- Marines that are on Active Duty for the first time must serve at least 24 months and be eligible for promotion. No disciplinary issues can be on the service record.
- Prior to the Education Service Officer (ESO) approving Tuition Assistance, the member must complete Leadership (8012B) and Personal Financial Management (3420F) courses. Accomplishing this. shows that the member is prepared to manage duty requirements with coursework.
- First-time applicants will be authorized one course at a time unless significant prior coursework is completed. For example, a service member with an Associate Degree or at least 60 credits completed (with a minimum GPA of 2.5) may be authorized more than one course.
- Good academic standing must be maintained while working towards a degree or authorized certificate. Completed courses must maintain a “C” or above and a repeated course is not authorized for reimbursement.
- Duplicate degrees and incomplete courses are not eligible for Tuition Assistance. This means that a second Associate’s Degree is not authorized; tuition must be used towards a Bachelor’s Degree instead. Outstanding fee issues must be resolved prior to additional courses being approved. Courses completed without authorization will not be retroactively reimbursed.
- Service members must have sufficient time at their duty station to complete the requested course. When EAS is less than 60 days from the completion of the course, it will not be approved.
Tuition Assistance funds are managed on a quarterly basis. Marines must comply with all eligibility requirements and fund availability. There are other educational programs that they may participate in. Marines have a good selection of personal and professional development courses that are designed to enrich their Military Occupational Specialty skills. These courses chart the career path and position the service member for promotion. Additionally, apprenticeships and credit-by-exam courses are available. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers no-cost classes for military members.
Tuition Assistance has helped many military members advance their careers. A completed degree gives veterans an edge in the civilian job market, too. Military members, and their spouses, can take advantage of convenient online degree and certificate programs. They are turning to colleges that understand the military family. These programs design their coursework, and delivery methods, with military families in mind. Changes to Tuition Assistance are, also, understood by these colleges as they continue to assist military families in achieving their educational goals.