Military Tuition Assistance Program loses funding

Military Tuition Assistance Program loses funding

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Military tuition is now the target of budget cuts.

Service members depending on financial aid from the military to further their education may be out of luck.

The tuition assistance program is the latest casualty of sequestration.

Hundreds of service members in the Idaho National Guard will be affected and more than 100 students from BYU-Idaho and Idaho State University will see their tuition cut next semester.

The Army announced March 8 that soldiers would no longer be able to submit new requests for tuition assistance. The decision will exempt those service members already enrolled in courses. According to the Army, more than 200,000 soldiers took advantage of the program last year.

The Marine Corps and Air Force also suspended its tuition assistance program, while the Navy is considering its options.

Col. Timothy Marsano of the Idaho National Guard said, "tuition cuts are definitely a concern to us...we want our force to be well-educated and unfortunately this may have some bearing on what we have to offer new recruits...tuition assistance benefits have traditionally been one of the draws in joining our force."

The Idaho National Guard says as of now, recruitment hasn't been affected, but it hopes the tuition assistance program will be restored. An amendment by two U.S. senators is currently being introduced to reinstate the tuition.

Military agencies say they understand the impacts of this decision and will re-evaluate if the budgetary situation improves.

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