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Federal tuition assistance suspended

But Iowa National Guard members will continue to receive education benefits

Published: Friday, March 15, 2013 11:36 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, March 15, 2013 11:37 a.m. CDT

Due to the current fiscal challenges, the Army and Air Force have announced the suspension of the federal Tuition Assistance program, effective immediately. The announcement affects all Army and Air Force branches, including Iowa Army and Air National Guard soldiers and airmen.

While soldiers and airmen are not permitted to submit new requests for tuition assistance, those currently enrolled in courses approved for tuition assistance are allowed to complete their current enrollment and will receive federal Tuition Assistance benefits for that course.

Army and Air Force officials said this suspension is necessary, given the significant military spending cutbacks caused by the combined effects of a possible year-long continuing resolution and sequestration. Both services will re-evaluate their TA policy should the budgetary situation improve.

Iowa National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are still eligible for state education benefits under the Iowa National Guard Education Assistance Program, which was created under Iowa law, funded entirely with State tax dollars, and available only to Iowa National Guard members. This program may pay up to 100 percent tuition at the Iowa Regents rate for Iowa public and private universities, colleges, and community colleges.

Iowa National Guard Soldiers and Airmen may also continue to pursue their educational goals with VA education benefits, if applicable, that include the Montgomery GI Bill, including Active Duty (Chapter 30), Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606), Reserve Education Assistance Program (Chapter 1607), the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and federal grants and other financial aid.

The Iowa National Guard Education Center will continue to provide educational support to Soldiers and Airmen, including educational and vocational counseling, academic testing, credentialing, and transcripts of their military training and experience.

Iowa National Guard Soldiers and Airmen should contact their local education centers with questions and to get updates. Updated information also will be posted to www.goarmyed.com (Army National Guard only) and www.iowanationalguard.com. If you have additional questions, contact Iowa Army National Guard Maj. Linda Perdue at linda.s.perdue.mil@mail.mil or (515) 252-4517 Iowa Air National Guard Sr. Master Sgt. Mark Houseman at mark.a.houseman.mil@mail.mil or (515) 252-4555

For questions concerning the operations, training, and activities of the Iowa Army and Air National Guard, contact Col. Greg Hapgood, Iowa National Guard public affairs officer, at (515) 252-4582 (office), (515) 971-6385 or by email at gregory.o.hapgood.mil@mail.mil. You may also contact Master Sgt. Duff E. McFadden at (515) 252-4666 (office), (515) 480-7647 (cell), or by e-mail at duff.e.mcfadden.mil@mail.mil.

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