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Is the Navy Cutting Out Tuition Assistance?

March 16, 2012

This past February, the Council of College and Military Educators (CCME) met in Orlando, FL. This event symbolizes a great occasion for military leaders, educators and students to meet and discuss ways to help one another, as well as provide information to veterans about jobs, educational opportunities and degree programs. Military and education leaders in each branch of the military met to discuss educational opportunities for military service members and veterans. The programs were noted as being "vital to recruitment and retention." There are also a variety of other important issues that are brought to up at the conference, such as the latest budget news and looking at current tuition assistance data. At this year's conference, there was another issue that caught the attention and also started up a rumor mill regarding the Navy's plans for future tuition assistance.

The CCME was considered to be a huge success. There were an estimated 1,000 representatives in attendance from military, government and higher education communities. In addition, the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy noted that the Department of Defense is committed to providing opportunities to service members and families to advance their civilian education. Some schools from's military friendly schools list were also in attendance.

There have always been problems between the rising costs of education and the diminishing Department of Defense budget. As cuts continue to shave off government aid, certain programs have suffered. With rumors about tuition assistance being cut from the G.I. Bill in the past, it was no surprise that rumors began over a presentation made by the Naval Education and Training Command's Development, Planning and Analysis Division director.

As the director gave his presentation, he made a comment that the Navy would begin forcing Sailors to payback tuition and fees if they received a "D' in any of their undergraduate courses. This comment was a bit shocking to students, since "D" is actually considered a passing grade, though below a 2.0. However, this was only a rumor and the source of misinformation. This policy is not going into effect for undergraduate courses but graduate level course work, where a "D" is considered a failing grade if in a Master's degree program. The qualifications and requirements are outlined on for financial aid awards and tuition assistance.

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