March 15, 2013 -- MCAS Yuma's Public Affairs Office spoke with the station Education center about the U.S. Marine Corps' suspension of the Tuition Assistance Program and what alternatives are available.
1. If a Marine is currently using TA to cover a class they are taking now, how does this change affect them?
Marines who received a Tuition Assistance (TA) Authorization form before March 4, 2013 will still have their class paid for with Tuition Assistance funds. However, no further TA authorizations will be processed for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2013.
2. If a Marine has turned in TA forms for upcoming classes but has not started these classes yet, how does this change affect them?
Tuition Assistance (TA) funding for new enrollments ceased effective March 4, 2013. However, this decision will not affect Marines who were authorized before March 4, 2013 to use TA. So in other words, if a Marine already received a Tuition Assistance Authorization form through the Education Center before March 4, 2013 than their class will be covered with Tuition Assistance funds regardless of the start date.
3. Is this change for all military personnel or just U.S. Marines?
Currently, the Marine Corps, Army and Coast Guard have decided to suspend Tuition Assistance.
4. How long will TA be suspended from use?
The Marine Corps has decided to suspend Tuition Assistance for the rest of FY2013.
5. What services is the Education office offering to help Marines find other ways to fund their education goals?
The Education Center is assisting in providing information on applying for federal financial aid, scholarships, Montgomery GI Bill and Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. We also proctor DSST exams at the Education Center for free. CLEP exams are also available at National Test Centers for a nominal fee. DSST and CLEP exams are exams that allow a student to try to test out of a college class.
6. If a Marine wants to start taking classes, will the Education Center still provide an introductory class on how to get started?
Yes, the Education Center is still providing the College 101 Orientation class every Friday at 1300 in Bldg. 598 on a walk-in basis. The class discusses how to start taking college classes and also reviews alternative funding sources to the tuition assistance suspension to include Federal Financial Aid, Scholarships and GI Bill benefits. Individual counseling sessions are also available with an Education Counselor. Please contact 269-5614 or 269-3589 to schedule a counseling appointment.
7. What colleges are here in Yuma that prospective students can attend in-classroom and what level of higher education can they achieve? Associates, Certification, Bachelors, Masters,...?
Locally, Arizona Western College offers classes in a classroom setting for vocational and college level courses that will allow a student to earn a certificate or an associate's degree. Northern Arizona University-Yuma campus offers classes for Bachelor and Master degrees. University of Phoenix offers classes in a classroom setting for Bachelor and Master degrees, and University of Arizona offers classes in a classroom setting for Bachelor degrees.
For more details, read Marine Administrative Message 125/13, Suspension of the Marine Corps Tuition Assistance Program.