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Tuition assistance changes start taking effect on Saturday

Sep. 4, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Among the new changes going into effect on Sept. 6 is a new rule linking eligibility for TA reimbursement to a soldier's grade upon completion of their course.
Among the new changes going into effect on Sept. 6 is a new rule linking eligibility for TA reimbursement to a soldier's grade upon completion of their course. (Army)
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New policies affecting which soldiers are eligible for Army Tuition Assistance will take effect in the coming days and weeks.

Prominent among those changes is a new rule linking eligibility for TA reimbursement to a soldier’s grade upon completion of an approved academic course.

Effective Saturday, soldiers must achieve a grade of “C” or higher in undergraduate college courses, “B” or higher in graduate courses and a “Pass” for courses that only issue pass/fail grades.

The restriction applies to courses that start Saturday or later, not to courses already in progress on that date.

And in another near-term change, colleges and universities have until midnight Friday to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Army that sets certain standards of performance and service for institutions that receive student tuition payments through the online GoArmyEd system.

Soldiers should check the Defense Department website, www.dodmou.com, to see if their school has signed the memorandum of understanding. If a school is not listed, soldiers should contact their local education center to discuss options for enrolling in an institution that does qualify for TA, according to guidance issued by the Army Continuing Education Division.

In another TA change scheduled for Oct. 1, Tuition Assistance funds only can be used to pay for tuition costs of up to $250 per semester hour, not for the instructional fees associated with some courses.

The Army also is changing the timeline for requesting Tuition Assistance.

As in the past, TA requests must be approved before a soldier’s class start date. In an Oct. 1 procedural change designed to facilitate that requirement, soldiers attending schools that do not upload their course catalogue into GoArmyEd should generate their TA request at least 10 days before the class start date to provide sufficient time for processing.

Education officials note that with the end of fiscal 2014 nearing, Sept. 19 (11:59 EST) will be the last day for soldiers to request TA for classes that begin on or before Sept. 30 because of the Army’s fiscal year close out. There are no exceptions to this requirement.

The policy does not apply to requests for classes that will start Oct. 1 or later in fiscal 2015.

The Army expects to spend about $275 million on TA in fiscal 2014. As of late summer, more than 115,000 soldiers were drawing funds from the program, with many of them enrolled in multiple classes.

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