Reinstate Military Tuition Assistance and block the Armed Service Branches from any further suspension of Tuition Assistance. This action should be accomplished by Executive Order as Commander in Chief.
In spite of our countries current economic situation and the polarizing politics involved, Service Member benefits such as Tuition Assitance should not be compromised as a result. Access to Higher Education is important to Service Members as it allows for career and professional advancement.
Response to Petition
Thanks for your petition. As you well know, the Tuition Assistance program has for years offered Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsman, and Airmen the opportunity to take college courses while they're off duty -- covering up to 100 percent of certain costs.
Because of sequestration, the federal government was required to make cuts across agencies, including the Armed Forces. The Armed Forces, however, have determined that the required cuts can be achieved without reducing funding for tuition assistance.
All four branches of the military, as well as the Coast Guard, will fully fund the program going forward through the end of the fiscal year.
Last year, more than 286,000 service members took advantage of tuition assistance, and the Department of Defense expects a similar number to do the same in 2013. It's an undeniable success.
And that's important because we're in a time of transition for the Armed Forces. As we end the war in Iraq and wind down the war in Afghanistan, more than one million service members are projected to leave the military between 2011 and 2016.
From his very first day in the White House, President Obama has made it a priority to ensure that all of our veterans have the resources they need to find jobs at home, and higher education is a central part of that mission.
In addition to tuition assistance, the Obama Administration is also working to stop deceptive and misleading practices by institutions of higher learning that target our service members and veterans, and is cracking down on predatory lenders attempting to take advantage of our service members and their families.
The Obama Administration has also helped more than 950,000 veterans and their family members go back to school on the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. The President has issued a call for the private sector to commit to hire or provide training to unemployed veterans and military spouses, and so far, many major companies like Walmart, UPS, Home Depot, Blackstone Group, Lockheed Martin, McDonalds, JP Morgan, and AT&T have risen to the challenge.
This past April, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that businesses across America had hired or trained 290,000 veterans and military spouses through Joining Forces. Now those companies are doubling down on their commitment with a new pledge to hire or train an additional 435,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years.
All of this is just a first step. This President believes that no veteran should have to fight for a job at home after they fight for our nation overseas -- and he's going to continue working to uphold that promise.
Thanks for your petition.