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Military Connection: Changes to Army TA: By Debbie Gregory

army TAActive duty Army soldiers, wishing to utilize Tuition Assistance Program (TA), should be advised that some changes have recently taken effect.

The changes are reflected in the rules that set the standards of performance and service for institutions receiving student tuition payments through the online GoArmyEd system.

Soldiers are encouraged to check the Defense Department website at www.dodmou.com, to see if their school has signed the required memorandum of understanding. If their school is not listed, soldiers are instructed to contact their nearest education center to discuss options for enrolling in an institution that does qualify for TA.The deadline has passed for schools to sign the memorandum of understanding.

Soldiers should also know that the Army has implemented a new rule that links their eligibility to their final grades. Soldiers utilizing TA must achieve a grade of “C” or higher in undergraduate college courses, “B” or higher in graduate courses, and a “Pass” for courses that only issue pass/fail grades. The restriction does not apply to courses that are currently in session.

Also, beginning Oct. 1, 2014, Army TA funds only can be used to pay for tuition costs of up to $250 per semester hour, and will not cover the instructional fees associated with some courses.

The Army is also changing the timeline for requesting Tuition Assistance. TA requests must be approved before a soldier’s class start date. Soldiers attending schools that do not upload their course catalogue into GoArmyEd should generate their TA request at least 10 days before the class start date, in order to provide sufficient time for processing.

Tuition Assistance is a retention tool utilized and managed at the discretion of each individual military branch. TA can only be used by active duty personnel to take courses or earn degrees that progress their military careers.

The Army expects to spend about $275 million on TA in fiscal year 2014. As of late summer, more than 115,000 soldiers were drawing funds from the program, with many of them enrolled in multiple classes.

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Military Connection: Changes to Army TA: By Debbie Gregory