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Some Tuition Assistance Impacted by Shutdown

Empty classroom computer screens.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The recent shutdown of the U.S. government has led to disapproval of some Sailors' requests for Tuition Assistance (TA), Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) leadership said Oct. 25.

"No fiscal year 2014 funds were available to approve TA requests during the Oct. 1-16 government shutdown," said Ernest C. D'Antonio, Navy Voluntary Education Program director. "Approximately 1,200 Sailors were affected since their webTA applications were not approved for funding prior to the start date of the course they wanted to take."

The Navy follows guidance from Department of Defense Instruction 1322.25, which states that service members are required to request and receive approval for TA funding before the official date a course begins. The DoD instruction does not allow funding to be awarded retroactively, so TA requests for classes starting before Oct. 17 that weren't authorized prior to the Oct. 1 shutdown will not be funded. 

"The instruction is very explicit, so we aren't able to approve waiver requests," D'Antonio said. 

Sailors who received authorization for their webTA application for courses that began prior to Oct. 17 are not affected because their webTA requests were submitted and funded with FY-13 funds. This may have caused confusion for Sailors who did not receive TA approval.

The Virtual Education Center and Navy College Offices worldwide have been fielding questions from Sailors, some who started a course without approved TA funding. Navy education professionals are recommending those Sailors contact their school representative regarding withdrawal options, financial aid or a school scholarship, or to contact Veterans Affairs regarding possible use of their veteran's education benefit.

"This is not the news we wanted to give Sailors," said Capt. John P. Newcomer, CPPD commanding officer. "It's a very unfortunate situation, but TA program guidance is very clear. As always, we strongly encourage Sailors to submit their TA requests up to a month prior to a course start date."

Sailors who want additional information can visit https://www.navycollege.navy.mil/ta_payments.aspx, and contact their servicing Navy College Office, or the Virtual Education Center at vec@navy.mil; DSN: 492-4684 or toll free: 1-877-838-1659.

CPPD is responsible for providing a wide range of personal and professional development courses and materials, including General Military Training, Navy instructor training, alcohol and drug awareness program training, suicide and sexual assault prevention, bystander intervention, and personal responsibility classes. CPPD's required leadership training is delivered multiple times throughout a Sailor's career via command-delivered enlisted leadership training material and officer leadership courses in a schoolhouse setting. CPPD also administers the Navy's voluntary education program, which provides Sailors with the opportunity to earn college degrees. CPPD additionally manages the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP), which offers Sailors the opportunity to earn civilian apprenticeship certifications.

For more information about the Virtual Education Center, visit: https://www.navycollege.navy.mil/.

For more information about the Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD), visit: https://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/cppd/.

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