NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The Air Force tuition assistance program changed its policies Jan. 3 to emphasize the importance of Airmen maintaining a 2.0 grade point average and a 3.0 for graduate level degrees.
The new policies are set in place to ensure Airmen are focusing on school and are dedicated to further their education without misusing the program.
“The Air Force decided [it was] going to emphasize GPAs to help students maintain a C average,” Patton said. “Otherwise, Airmen would just be wasting their time as well as Air Force funds.”
Policy changes include those pertaining to waivers, missing grades and maintaining a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher for undergraduates and a 3.0 for graduate levels.
“When they originally made the policy, waiver actions were common for people who had to withdraw from the class due to deployment, illness or failure,” Patton said. “For failure of a class, the student would pay back the money for the class, and the F would not be counted towards the GPA.
“As of Jan. 3, the Air Force has reversed that policy, and now we count all grades used with the TA program,” Patton said. “If any classes are failed for any reason, the student must pay for those classes.”
Students must also take their grades to their education office no later than 60 days after the class had ended to avoid paying out of pocket for the class. This can be done by bringing a printed-out copy of the grades to the education office.
Airmen who fail to maintain a 2.0 GPA after 15 semester hours will face other consequences with regards to the TA program as well.
“If a [2.0 GPA is not] maintained, your records will be locked, tuition assistance will be denied, and you will have to pay to take classes to bring your GPA up to a 2.0. After the GPA is brought back up, TA will be available to you again.”
TA counselors are available to guide students in the right direction with regards to this new policy.
“Apply early, get started in school and take the first class, because that’s the hardest part,” Patton said. “Come in to the education center and see us.”
The tuition assistance program provides students with $4,500 a year or up to $250 per semester hour and is available to assist Airmen with getting advanced academic degrees.
For more information, call the education office at 702-652-5280 or DSN 682-5280. Walk-ins and appointments are also available.