Military forced to suspend federal college tuition assistance

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Updated: 3/15/2013 9:26 am Published: 3/14/2013 10:17 pm

Military service members' federal tuition assistance for college courses is suspended because of sequestration cuts. 

Last week, the United States Army, the Marine Corps, and the Air Force all cut the FTA program.

“I am mad,” said Kim Perry, wife of Spc. Patrick Perry, who serves in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. “The tuition assistance is exactly why my husband joined the Guard.”

The Oklahoma National Guard Education officer said this suspension is set to last through the end of this fiscal year, September 30th; however it could last longer. 

Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe and North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan are writing a bill to restore the federal education assistance to military service members.

“The president wants Americans to feel the pain of the arbitrary across-the-board budget cuts from sequestration, but to cut off promised education assistance for our service members when there are other lower priority spending programs to draw from is an injustice," said Senator Inhofe. 

The FTA program could give recipients up to $4,500 a year for college courses.  Last year, nationally 201,000 soldiers used the program.  The Oklahoma National guard reports 380 soldiers used it – many times for each one. 

“It’s just not fair,” said Perry. 

The military said there are other funding options, including the GI bill and state tuition assistance.  It encourages service members to call their education centers for guidance. 

There is a petition to restore the FTA.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

OkGuardWife - 3/16/2013 11:23 AM
0 Votes
There is still plenty of assistance available. TA is not a promised benefit, but a supplement. There is still plenty of assistance availabe. My husband is in the guard and was deployed with Perry, and he qualifies for chapter 33 benefits and is able to get his tuition and books paid for. Although it is unfortunate that TA is being cut, it's not the only form of asaistance available and is not as dramatic as Mrs. Perry is putting on.

james340 - 3/15/2013 4:09 PM
0 Votes
oklahoma guardsmen can go to any state supported school tuition free. just have to pay for labs and books.

CowBot9000 - 3/15/2013 7:06 AM
1 Vote
Meanwhile, government assistance continues for millions of people who have entered and stayed in the U.S. illegally.
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