Marine Corps Slashes Tuition Assistance Program by 75%

Barry Lenson

Marine Corps Slashes Tuition Assistance Program by 75%

“Tuition assistance slashed by 75 percent for Marines,” an article by Travis J. Tritten in Stars and Stripes, reports some bad news for American Marines who want to start college while they are in the service. Their tuition assistance program has just been slashed.

To quote from the article . . .

“The Marine Corps announced Tuesday it has slashed tuition assistance by 75 percent for service members who take classes on their off-duty time . . . The change went into effect immediately and reduces the maximum education assistance available from the Department of Defense standard of $3,500 per year to just $875 per year for Marines — about enough to cover two university courses, according to a service-wide bulletin.”

Although the post-9/11 GI Bill and other sources of government funding are still in place to help all American service people and veterans finance their educations, this is the first direct cut in educational funding programs for any military personnel.

Why did the Corps decide to make these cuts? When announcing them, the service said it was because Marines on average were only using the funding to earn four to five credit hours a year, which the service valued at about $875. Okay, fair enough. But what about Marines who would like to take more courses than that? Shouldn’t these men and women, who are serving all Americans, have the option to study more and learn more? We think they should.

We realize that we are in a period when lots of people favor cutting the funding for all kinds of government programs. But is cutting tuition support for Marines a good choice to make? And will it be only the first of more cuts to educational funding for service people and veterans?

We hope not. As citizens of this country, we need to stand in support of the men and women who have done so much for us.

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