By Cpl. Martin Egnash April 25, 2013
Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C. --
Shortly after tuition assistance was approved to be reinstated April 8, tuition assistance began being processed again April 15.
According to the Marine Administrative Message 203/13 concerning TA, it will be approved retroactively for enrolled courses from April 8 and later.
“I’m glad tuition assistance is back,” said 1st Sgt. Ryan Hayes, Company F first sergeant at Camp Geiger, who is currently enrolled in college. “Tuition assistance has given me the kind of education I would not have received without financial assistance.”
To help Marines make sense of their tuition assistance and provide them with education guidance, education counselors at Education Assistance located in building AS-212 aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River are standing by to lend a hand.
“We’re here to help Marines and Sailors acquire tuition assistance, make sure they understand what kind of scholarships might be open to them to set them on the right path through education,” said Rick McCormic, air station education counselor.
The first step toward getting tuition assistance is the screening process.
“Everyone interested in receiving tuition assistance must take a placement test and complete the college 101 course,” said McCormic.
The air station education office can help set up the screening process for individuals. Once completed, their next step is to acquire a tuition assistance request form and have it signed off by their staff noncommissioned officer in charge, officer in charge and the commanding officer of their squadron.
According to McCormic, having these signatures allows the individual’s command to know their intentions and prevents Marines who might have some military duty preventing them from completing the course.
Aside from processing tuition assistance, the education office can point students in the right direction for scholarships.
“There are many scholarships available to you,” said McCormic. “My advice is to locate a few that you are qualified for, and spend a few hours each week working to get one. You never know what might happen.”
In addition to scholarships, another resource available to military students is the College-Level Examination Program.
“CLEP exams can save time and money by allowing students to take a college-level test, and receive credit for it,” said McCormic. “Not only is the time-saving aspect perfect for a lot of Marines, but CLEP tests are free for active-duty military students.”
Marines and Sailors can also submit their Joint Services Transcripts, formerly the Sailor-Marine American Council on Education Registry Transcripts, to their college of choice. These transcripts are the American Council on Education’s recommended amount of college credit Marines and Sailors should receive for their military training.
“Education is extremely important,” said Hayes. “No matter how much you love the Marine Corps, eventually you are going to have to separate. You are going to want to have an education when that time comes. And if you don’t take advantage of tuition assistance, you are basically giving your money away.”