|At the Pentagon – New Military Tuition-Assistance Rules Delayed
The Defense Department has pushed until this summer new oversight rules for colleges and universities to participate in the military’s tuition-assistance program.
Officials are also revising the rules after working with several education groups that were concerned about the original requirements.
Hundreds of colleges, including some Ivy League schools and many of the nation’s top public research universities, refused to sign on to the original new rules, saying they favored for-profit institutions and failed to protect service members from unscrupulous providers.
The new program was to go into effect Jan. 1, 2012, but the Pentagon delayed implementation for 90 days after lawmakers and some associations?including NGAUS?wrote to the Defense Secretary Leon Panetta saying that rules designed to protect service members actually did the opposite.
DoD says the revised rules, which are still being finalized, will now be in place by “sometime this summer.”
They will include guidelines that require institutions to provide a financial aid adviser to military students, outline tuition and program fees for service members and ban aggressive marketing to military students.
Troops will not be able to use federal tuition at schools that do not sign a memorandum of understanding with DoD covering the rules.
Those using veteran education benefits available through the Post-9/11 GI Bill are not affected.
Only 2,200 of the nation’s 7,000 colleges and universities have thus far signed the MoU. NGAUS is concerned that the revised rules may not go far enough to allay the concerns of the nonsignatories.
About 320,000 service members currently use federal tuition assistance, a Pentagon official said, and that assistance totaled $545 million in fiscal 2011.
More information about the program and a list of schools agreeing to the MoU is available at www.dodmou.com.