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Top Air Force NCO on Tuition Assistance: Budget Issues?

Congress voted this week to restore tuition assistance through the end of September, but while new Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force believes reinstatement of assistance should happen "fairly quickly," but has expressed concerns whether it can be restored to previous levels.

In an interview with Stars and Stripes, Cody discusses the issue, and offers this take on the potential budget issues:

“If we were to fund it at the same rate that we were funding it, meaning 100 percent, everybody’s eligible, the same rules apply,” he said, “we anticipate that bill would be between $75 and $90 million for the remainder of the fiscal year.”

More than 110,000 airmen were using tuition assistance, to the tune of about $107.8 million so far this fiscal year, Cody said. At that rate, the service was on track to well exceed its budget for the program over the next six months.

For the fiscal 2014, the Air Force has budgeted slightly more than $100 million for tuition assistance, Cody said.

Despite these concerns, Cody remains confident that a proper solution will be arrived at: “Things will change in the future … we’re still going to be OK. This is not something that we should get in a tailspin over. We have a great opportunity here to shape our Air Force for the future; to determine what things are the most important things to us.”

For the complete story, visit the Stars and Stripes article, and for the latest update on the state of military tuition assistance, see this news story by Military.com.

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