By Hendrick Simoes – Stars and Stripes
Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes
MANAMA, Bahrain — While the “Pay our Military Act” spared military paychecks from the impact of a partial government shutdown, tuition assistance and other military educational programs fell victim to it.
Every military branch has stopped processing tuition assistance applications until either a continuing resolution — a stopgap spending measure — or budget to fund the government for Fiscal Year 2014 is passed.
“Tuition Assistance funding for those classes starting after Oct. 1 will not be available until … funding is released,” according to a post on the U.S. Navy’s official ‘Navy Live’ blog site. No tuition assistance documents will be processed, it said. All Navy College offices are closed.
Marines and Sailors can still apply for tuition assistance online, but applications will not be processed until the government reopens, according to officials from both services.
The Air Force issued a statement saying all tuition assistance for classes starting on or after Oct. 1, the start of Fiscal 2014, would be suspended until further notice.
“Airmen with approved TA for FY14 may incur debt with their school should they attend classes,” Kimberly Yates, with the Air Force force development office, said in the statement. “Students should take action to withdraw from their current class or pursue using another funding source, such as the Montgomery GI Bill or the Post 9/11 GI Bill.”
The U.S. Army’s GoArmyEd tuition assistance website posted an urgent message on the suspension.
GoArmyEd “will reject all approved and pending TA requests for classes scheduled to start on or after” Oct. 1, until Congress adopts either a budget or Continuing Resolution. That means that any approved tuition assistance requests for classes that start during the shutdown are essentially void, and soldiers may incur debt if they attend those classes.
Soldiers will be able to resume filing tuition assistance requests once the situation is resolved, but will not be able to request assistance for classes that started during the suspension, the website said.
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