By Debbie Gregory.
Across the United States, there are over 1,700 approved tuition assistance military schools, veteran schools, military colleges, and veteran colleges.
Senator Dick Durbin, D-IL has concerns about the nation’s top military tuition assistance school, American Military University (AMU). Durbin is concerned that AMU’s name could be tricking service members into thinking the school is directly affiliated with the military. Although AMU is a college that is approved for the military tuition assistance school program, Democratic lawmakers have accused for-profit institutions of vacuuming up federal education dollars, while offering little in return to students.
Education has always been at the forefront of military benefits since the second World War. The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 known as the G.I.Bill was enacted to provide a range of benefits for returning World War II veterans. One of the benefits was cash payment for tuition and living expenses to attend college, high school or for a vocational study.
The DOD created the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC). The SOC Association includes approximately 1,900 institutional members that enroll hundreds of thousands of service members, their family members, and Veterans annually. Their programs range from associate and bachelor degrees to graduate-level degree programs, and take place on school campuses, armories, and military installations within the United States and overseas, and through a variety of distance learning methods.
Hundreds of thousands of servicemembers and their families are enrolled each year in SOC. Coursework can be done in the classroom, or at a distance by computer. Two-year, four-year and graduate-level programs are available. The Army has a special version of SOC called the Concurrent Admissions Program (ConAP).
Today, the military provides a huge range of educational opportunities to service members to study before, during and after their military commitment. Lawmakers feel a huge sense of responsibility to make sure that these benefits aren’t pilfered or wasted. When servicemembers put their lives on the line to secure these benefits, they deserve nothing less than a first class education that puts them on the road to a rewarding career.