DOD clarifies post-secondary tuition

| January 18, 2013 | 0 Comments

Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department has issued new policy guidelines intended to provide better protection for members of the military and veterans seeking tuition assistance for post-secondary degrees.

The department’s revised voluntary education partnership policy specifies the expectations and agreements that colleges, universities and technical schools must adhere to in order to receive DOD underwriting, said Carolyn Baker, chief of voluntary education for DOD’s military community family and policy office.

The guidelines, part of a new memorandum of understanding (MOU), “ensure certain protections for military members so that they have a quality education,” said Baker.

Tuition assistance is a benefit available to Guardsmen, reservists, active duty members and veterans, allowing a degree from a Department of Education-accredited college or university.

To receive it, participating institutions must sign the MOU, and provide the student with clear information about financial procedures, course information and graduation rates.

“The MOU protects service members in providing them with information, so a service member can make a wise choice as to the institution they attend,” Baker said. “We ask that all institutions provide service members with an education plan that states course requirements and evaluate credits earned at other schools, so the service member can move forward and actually obtain their degree.”

The new guidelines clarify oversight, enforcement and accountability for educational institutions receiving military tuition assistance, Baker said.

Currently about 2,000 institutions participate in the tuition assistance program, and Baker said she encourages more to do the same.

The overall initiative supports the executive order establishing the President’s “Principles of Excellence,” Baker said. Those were issued in response to reports of aggressive and deceptive targeting of service members, veterans and their families by some educational institutions after the Post-9/11 GI Bill became law.

The guidelines pertain only to institutions accepting Title 4 funding, said Baker.

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Category: Education, News

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