Military Advantage

Coast Guard to Cut Tuition Assistance Payment Rates

The Coast Guard announced that they are reinstating the pre-2001 75/25 cost-share based Tuition Assistance Program for Fiscal Year 2014.

The new 2014 tuition assistance policy will mark the return of the pre-2002 75% coverage formula for tuition assistance. Coast Guardsmen will now have to pay at least 25% of their tuition out-of-pocket. In addition, the Coast Guard will only cover up to $187.50 per credit hour - the member will be responsible for paying any balance above this amount.

Under the new (old) policy, the FY2014 annual per member tuition assistance limit will be set at $2,250, which is a 50% cut from the previous year's annual tuition cap.

The Coast Guard 'All Hands' blog offered the following statement:

"The Coast Guard is committed to supporting its members’ personal and professional educational goals," said Rear Adm. Scott Buschman, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Force Readiness Command. "Any changes to the Tuition Assistance Program were made in the best interest of our personnel and mission execution within the constraints of an ever-tightening budget environment."

Earlier this year the Coast Guard restricted eligibility to junior enlisted active duty members. This new policy reopens tuition assistance to the active duty force, but with "a focus" on serving the education needs of its enlisted and prior-enlisted officers.

To qualify, members will be required to maintain good conduct, satisfactory progress toward watch station qualifications and sufficiency in their rating proficiency.

The Coast Guard also announced that tuition assistance benefits will no longer be extended to civilian employees, Coast Guard Reservists in a drilling status. This officially brings the "Team Coast Guard" focus which allowed reserve and civilians to access to Coast Guard education benefits. Those active duty Coast Guardsmen pursuing a graduate degree or another degree at the same level which they already possess will also be excluded from the tuition assistance program in FY2014.

This new policy will be in place from Oct. 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2014. Read the full story on the Coast Guard's 'All Hands' official blog.

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