April 15, 2013
Washington, DC – U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) today applauded the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps for restarting the tuition assistance program for servicemembers. Inhofe and Hagan successfully passed a bipartisan amendment last month requiring the Services to reinstate the program.
"I applaud the Services' decision to restore tuition assistance in full for our active-duty military members, an earned benefit many rely on to improve their quality of life and pursue leadership opportunities," said Inhofe. "One of the top reasons men and women join our all-volunteer military is for the opportunity to pursue higher education, and it is important we keep this promise to those who have sacrificed greatly for our freedoms. I appreciate Sen. Hagan for joining me on this effort and for the bipartisan support in Congress to reinstate the tuition assistance program."
“I am pleased that the Services have restarted tuition assistance, which hundreds of thousands of our servicemembers use to advance their educations,” said Hagan. “This is a great victory for servicemembers in North Carolina and around the country, and I am proud to have worked with Sen. Inhofe to reinstate this critical program. We must keep our promises to our men and women in uniform who sacrifice so much for us everyday.”
The Inhofe-Hagan amendment was passed by the Senate and signed into law by the president in March. The amendment prohibited tuition assistance funds from being reduced beyond the overall percentage by which the Services’ Operations and Maintenance accounts are cut because of sequestration.
Amid reports that servicemembers were still unable to access benefits earlier this month, Inhofe and Hagan sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to request an update and timeline for the Department of Defense’s (DOD) plan for reinstating the tuition assistance program. The full text of the letter can be viewed here.
The tuition assistance program allows servicemembers to earn college degrees while serving their nation. In FY2012, approximately 300,000 servicemembers participated in the program. In the same time period, more than 50,000 degrees, diplomas or certificates were earned by servicemembers enrolled in the program.