News: Tuition assistance reinstated for Marines
Story by Lance Cpl. Cayce Nevers
IWAKUNI, Japan - All around the world Marines were affected when Marine Administrative Message 616/11 was approved and release, Oct. 17. However, MARADMIN 639/11 was released Oct. 27 restoring tuition assistance to its previous amount.
The amount of money Marines received from using the eligible TA exceeded the amount the Marine Corps was given. Last year education offices Marine Corps wide were given a TA budget of 54 million dollars, 58 million dollars were spent.
MARADMIN 616/11 stated “Marines shall be restricted to 5 semester hours per year for TA reimbursement (875.00 dollars per fiscal year).”
This cost was significantly lower than last years’ TA cost.
“A ceiling of 175.00 dollars per semester hour for undergraduate classes, 225.00 dollars per semester hour for graduate courses, and 3,500.00 dollars per FY is the established Department of Defense TA rates,” MARADMIN 616/11 stated. “However, Marine Corps TA analysis confirms that most Marine TA users take an average of four or five semester hours per year.”
While MARADMIN 616/11 has officially been renounced, the education office will continue to push other alternatives to receiving money for school besides using only TA .
There are many other opportunities available for interested students to further their education.
“For education specifically, TA (instability) doesn’t have to affect an average Marine at all,” said Mary Cory, Station education services officer, “There are so many other ways to fund a college education.”
Other ways to fund a college education include, grants and scholarships.
“One that we are directing folks to is FAFSA.gov,” said Cory. “Make sure you don’t go to the .com website, that is a false website that takes money from you.”
While loans are another way to fund your education, they are not recommended.
“We don’t want people to accept loans because those you have to pay back,” said Cory.
With these other opportunities available to students, the TA should be used as a backup.
“I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to continue my current work load,” said Cpl. Justin Brock. “After doing some research, I found out that I rated the full amount of FAF SA, and that I could take most of my classes for free using that.”
With MARADMIN 616/11 repealed, and the other opportunities available, students can complete their education for free with no worries.
“I was excited, especially since I had already been approved for FAF SA,” said Brock. “Now I have additional funding for courses.”
Students can relax and continue to further their education. If you would like to find out more about TA or available options contact Mary Cory at the Building 411 education office.