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Santa Maria Sun / School Scene

The following article was posted on May 1st, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 8 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 8

Coast Guard offers school help again

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

After attempting to meet the sequester’s budget restrictions by suspending tuition assistance, the U.S. Coast Guard announced it was reinstating the program for the rest of the fiscal year 2013.

But the reinstatement comes with new eligibility requirements to ensure the $4.6 million set aside for Coast Guard tuition assistance will last until the end of the year.

Members must be on active duty at the petty office first class rank or below and pursuing undergraduate coursework. Reserve members on extended active duty also quality. Benefits are restored to pre-suspension levels for all eligible members: $250 per credit hour and a yearly cap of $4,500.

Over the last three years, the Coast Guard has enrolled nearly 10,000 members a year and expects around the same number this year. Before the program was suspended earlier this year, 7,000 members had participated.

All military services were able to reinstate tuition assistance programs after an amendment to the Appropriations Bill directed them to do so. Suspending the program was the military service’s attempt to meet provisions outlined in the Budget Control Act.