FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- A grade that a Soldier receives in a course, or failure to heed new tuition assistance rules, could mean paying back money or no tuition assistance for courses that start on or after Sept. 5.
The Army will begin recouping money for grades below a C minus for undergraduate work, and for grades below a B minus for graduate-level courses, under changes to Department of Defense Instruction 1322.25, Voluntary Education Programs, which governs tuition assistance.
Additionally, included in the changes that begin Sept. 5, the Army will no longer pay fees such as laboratory and course fees.
Students attending non-letter-of instruction schools will need to request tuition assistance 10 days prior to the course-start date.
"That means, for courses starting on Sept. 5, students will need to request tuition assistance on or before Aug. 26," said Tom Kelly, Fort Leonard Wood education services officer.
Under the new rules, students attending LOI (letter-of-instruction) schools can request tuition assistance up to the first day the term starts.
"They no longer have until seven days after the course start date to request their tuition assistance," Kelly added.
Non-LOI school refers to accredited, post-secondary education schools that have not signed a letter of instruction with the Army to integrate their schedule of classes and course registration processes with GoArmyEd. Those schools only need a Web-based GoArmyEd account to process tuition assistance invoices for Soldiers using tuition assistance at their school and to record Soldiers grades for tuition assistance-funded classes.
According to Kelly, Sept. 20 is the deadline for requesting tuition assistance for courses that begin this fiscal year.
"What this means is if Soldiers don't request their tuition assistance before the start date of their LOI course and 10 days prior to non-LOI courses, they will not be authorized that assistance and will have to find another way to pay for their courses," Kelly said while noting Soldiers should have already been informed of the changes.
The education office has sent an email to every Soldier in the Fort Leonard Wood footprint by way of GoArmyEd last month, Kelly said.
"We are sending an executive summary of the changes through command channels for dissemination," Kelly said. "We have signs posted in the education center, at post colleges and asked on-post colleges to contact their students."
Family members could be affected indirectly by Soldiers not adhering to the new changes, according to Kelly. "If a mistake is made by a spouse in requesting the tuition assistance, it could affect the family budget."
"It is vital that Soldiers understand the new grade requirements," Kelly said. "Soldiers working toward earning an associate or bachelor's degree cannot earn a D or F, and those earning a master's degree can't receive a C, D or F. If so, they will face recoupment."
Soldiers wanting more information on the changes or for other education assistance should visit the Truman Education Center in Building 732, located on the corner of Minnesota and Iowa avenues.