White House Military Tuition Assistance Petition Reaches Quota

US Army uniform
The Sequester’s budgetary cuts have affected more than just contractors and new purchases for the military. Now, the educational access once promised to millions of enlisted members has been slashed.

Due to the budget cuts caused by the Sequester, the Army, Air Force, and Marines have all cut Tuition Assistance for service members. As a result, a petition on the White House’s website has rallied supporters to voice their opposition to these cuts.

The petition calls for the President, as Commander in Chief, to reinstate Tuition Assistance for all of the armed service branches; without which many of the enlisted would be forced to borrow student loans in pursuit of an education.

“In spite of our countries [sic] current economic situation and the polarizing politics involved, Service member benefits such as Tuition Assistance should not be compromised as a result,” reads the petition.

Since the petition was created on March 8th 2013, it required 100,000 signatures before April 7th, 2013. Fortunately for supporters, and the millions of eligible service members, the petition has surpassed its threshold.

Now that this quota has been reached, a formal response from the White House is expected.

If the Tuition Assistance benefits for service members are returned to their previous levels,  military members will enjoy up to $4,500 in educational aid each year. This aid can be put towards both high school and college diplomas.

Aside from the Air Force, Army, and Marines cutting Tuition Assistance, so too has the Coast Guard. Fortunately for those in the Navy, that branch has yet to implement or even decide on whether to cut Tuition Assistance.

Assuming the President and leaders within the military fail to reinstate Tuition Assistance, then all is not lost.

The current cuts are only in effect until the end of the current fiscal year on Oct. 1, 2013. Funds could be available for the reinstatement of Tuition Assistance in the following fiscal year.

Until then, enlisted service members will be forced to rely on their savings or student loans in order to pursue or continue their education.