NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody sent out a letter March 12 to Airmen stating military Tuition Assistance has been suspended for the rest of the 2013 fiscal year due to sequestration.
In October 2002, TA went from 75 percent not to exceed $3,500 to 100 percent not to exceed $4,500 within a fiscal year. As of now, TA has dropped to 0 percent.
“Our nation and our Air Force are working through some significant fiscal challenges. The combined effects of continuing resolution and sequestration are forcing some very tough decisions,” Cody said.
In FY12, 104,422 Airmen used TA to:
- Receive their Community College of the Air Force degree
- Get promoted
- Prepare for a civilian career when they separate or retire from the military
“You know the Air Force has been a strong supporter of education,” said Alice Patton, 99th Force Support Squadron chief of education and training. “[A] well educated work force is a better work force.”
There are other avenues for Airmen to receive funding to attend off-duty education. Airmen can utilize scholarships or grants. Some schools also offer in house financial assistance. Airmen can also use CLEP and DANTE testing offered through the education office. CLEP and DANTE tests are free to military for the first test for each class.
“Don’t give up on education just because this one door closed,” Patton said. “We have other doors opening.”
Every Thursday at 2 p.m. the education office gives a GI Bill and financial aid options briefing.
“People need help, and we need to counsel people on what they need help for,” Patton said. “The worse thing for me is for an Airman to come in and say, ‘Oh, I didn’t know about that,’ or ‘Oh, I’d wish I’d known about that.’”
Sources say as of now TA will come back online by FY14 at the latest.
“Headquarters is telling me it’s on the books for FY14,” Patton said. “[TA will have] a different look, but it’s on the books. We’ll know more information as October approaches.”
For more information, call the education office at 702-682-5281.