Newly released Marine Corps TA policy ends speculation on DoD's plan to cut tuition assistance.
The Marine Corps has made it official, as of October 1, 2011, (yes that was 17 days ago) the Corps will only cover up to $175 a credit ($525 for a typical 3 credit class). In addition, TA can only be used for up to 5 semester credit hours ($875) a year. That is a pretty substantial restriction considering the FY2011 DoD restriction was $4,500 a year.
But the big news in Marine Corps policy message (MARADMIN 616/11) is that it refers to the new -- as of yet unreleased-- DoD Tuition Assistance limits to be set at $175.00 per semester hour for undergraduate courses, $225.00 per semester hour for graduate courses, and $3500.00 per fiscal year.
That's down from the FY2011 TA rates which were capped at $250 per semester credit ($750 for a typical 3 credit course) and $4,500 per fiscal year. Pretty big reduction.
The MARADMIN also introduces new eligibility policies in regard to requirements for first permanent duty stations, combat readiness and fitness, and promotion eligibility.
The third paragraph of the MARADMIN seems to indicate that the reason officials are behind the cuts is that the GI Bill can be used to fill the void. How many of us didn’t see that coming when they created the Post-9/11 GI Bill?
The other service branches will likely stick to the DoD TA guidelines, but we’ll have to wait and see.