The U.S. Army and Marine Corps have pulled the plug on their tuition assistance programs one week after across-the-board federal spending cuts known as sequestration went into effect.
Soldiers and Marines will be able to finish up courses they’ve already started, but they won’t be able to enroll in new courses, the Defense Department announced.
“This suspension is necessary given the significant budget execution challenges caused by the combined effects of a possible year-long continuing resolution and sequestration,” Pentagon Army spokesman Paul Prince told Stars and Stripes. “The Army understands the impacts of this action and will re-evaluate should the budgetary situation improve.”
According to Stars and Stripes, the Army’s program allowed for soldiers to complete a high school diploma, certificate program or college or master’s degree with the service paying all tuition and fees up to $4,500 per fiscal year.
“This week, DOD’s comptroller issued guidance indicating that the services should consider significant reductions in funding new tuition assistance applicants, effective immediately and for the duration of the current fiscal situation,” Pentagon spokesman Nathan Christensen told the Marine Corps Times.
According to the Defense Department, Navy and Air Force officials are reviewing their options and are expected to announce a decision about continuing their own tuition programs next week.