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What you need to know about the new tuition assistance rules

Aug. 28, 2012 - 11:42AM   |   Last Updated: Aug. 28, 2012 - 11:42AM  |  

Troops taking college courses using military tuition assistance should keep tabs over the coming year on whether their schools agree to new rules the Defense Department is rolling out in phases.

Colleges were told in July that they'd have 60 days starting in August to agree to a new set of rules designed to protect troops in the higher education system.

If your course starts before the deadline, it will be covered as under the old system. If your course starts after that date, it won't.

Some schools balked at the original rules because of concerns that certain requirements — especially ones pertaining to academic credit for military training and recognizing transfer credits from other schools — could limit academic freedom.

Even if the new agreement garners universal support, colleges still will have to sign a third memorandum, slated for completion next year, that will incorporate "Principles of Excellence" for schools receiving tuition assistance as outlined in an executive order handed down by President Obama in April. If a school has agreed to the first two memorandums, it will still have to agree to the third for students to be eligible for tuition assistance money.

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