Soldiers may not need to repay tuition

Oct 15, 2009

By STEVE REEVES, Fort Jackson Leader 
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- A Soldier who needs to withdraw from a college course might not have to repay tuition assistance if the withdrawal was for military-related reasons, thanks to a new system.
Valid military reasons include, but are not limited to, deployment, attending professional development courses and medical issues, said Shirley O'Neal, education support officer for Fort Jackson.
"If the withdrawal is for a military reason, the Soldier will need to show some kind of paperwork verifying the reason," O'Neal said.
In order for a Soldier to be relieved of responsibility in paying back tuition assistance, the request must be approved by an officer, lieutenant colonel or higher, typically the battalion commander or the first lieutenant colonel in the Soldier's chain of command.
For Soldiers needing to withdraw from a class, must do so online through The withdrawal will be forwarded to the school. 
If a Soldier withdraws for personal reasons, the new system will initiate tuition assistance repayment procedures. Personal withdrawal reasons require the Soldier to repay the assistance. 
Repayment will take place electronically between the Army and Defense Finance and Accounting Service, or DFAS. 
O'Neal said if a Soldier has to withdraw from a course for non-military reasons, such as a sick spouse, such cases are reviewed on an individual basis.
"If a Soldier has any questions, he or she should come in and talk with an educational counselor," O'Neal said.
Army Tuition Assistance provides financial assistance for voluntary off-duty education programs in support of a Soldier's professional and personal self-development goals. 
The program is open to nearly all Soldiers (officers, warrant officers, enlisted) on active duty, and Army National Guard and Army Reserve on active duty.

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