Air Force joins Army, Marines in cutting tuition assistance

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An airman speaks with a Grand Canyon University representative at an education fair at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Aug. 16, 2012.   U.S. Air Force, Flickr
From Stripes.com
An airman speaks with a Grand Canyon University representative at an education fair at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Aug. 16, 2012. U.S. Air Force, Flickr

Air Force joins Army, Marines in cutting tuition assistance

by: Charlie Reed | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: March 12, 2013

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The Air Force has joined the Marines and the Army in dropping tuition assistance due to sweeping federal budget cuts.

Word of the decision began trickling down to the Pacific on Tuesday morning. During a commander’s call at Yokota Air Base, 374th Airlift Wing commander Col. Mark August told airmen that applications for tuition assistance submitted after March 12 likely would be rejected by the Air Force.

“I suggest you call and see where your application’s at,” he said.

Because the Air Force is also strictly limiting TDY, professional education at the service’s Non-Commissioned Officer Academy and Squadron Officer School, both in the U.S., would also be limited, he said.

Commanders would likely have to limit and prioritize airmen scheduled to attend those schools, August said.

Air Force Pentagon officials and Pacific Air Forces officials did not immediately respond to requests from Stars and Stripes for further information.

August told airmen who are concerned about how the cuts in education would affect their promotion prospects that review boards would factor in the education cuts.

The Air Force has been providing $250 per semester credit hour and up to $4,500 a year to airmen pursuing associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The Air Force does not charge for professional education courses.

reed.charlie@stripes.com