If you are a member of the US military, you deserve praise, accolades and as much support as the country can give. One type of support we the US government can give to our veterans are military dependents scholarships, many of which can be used at military friendly colleges.
Recently the veterans went through a bit of a scare. Because of the recent sequester and government shutdown that was started by President Obama and Congress, tuition assistance for military members and veterans were in danger of being cut. Even though President Obama signed a bill that reinstated tuition aid for military members, the sequester made everyone realize how much members of the military depend on government tuition assistance.
Who Was Most Affected by the Government Sequester and Shutdown?
All members of the military who are currently taking college classes experienced the inconvenience of putting their education on hold. News stories all over the country featured men and women in the U.S. military who had to temporarily table their education while President Obama, Congress and the Defense Department duked it out in Washington.
- The Army gives its members $4,500 in annual tuition assistance. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has stated that members of the Army joined partly for the scholarship aid.
- The Army, Air Force and Marines had to temporarily halt tuition assistance to its members, leaving many soldiers in the lurch.
- Senator Inhofe stated that a major cut in military tuition assistance would hurt the military’s ability to enlist future soldiers.
Senator Inhofe, the top ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, led the charge to reinstate military tuition assistance for members and veterans. He especially decried the fact that lower priority programs were getting preference in the sequester talks over military dependents scholarship funds.
What Would Happen if Military Tuition Assistance Was Drastically Cut?
If the worse case scenario happened, the ground would not fall out from under military members. According to the Marine Corps, the following alternative methods of tuition assistance can be enacted for its members:
- The GI Bill
- Federal student grants
- Scholarships bestowed by a college or university
- Federal Loans
- Private loans bestowed by financial institutions
What Happened to the Sequester?
Senator Inhofe, along with Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC), spearheaded a successful bill that blocked President Obama from taking funding away from military scholarship funds. Even with the successful bill, military scholarship funding was temporarily halted during the recent government shutdown. Tuition assistance was reinstated once the shutdown ended.
What We Owe to the Men and Women in Uniform
President Obama and Congress played hard and fast with the futures of our men and women in the military. While we understand that cuts have to be made somewhere, government shuffling should not affect the future prospects of our military members. The men and women go all over the world to protect us. The least our government can do is pay for their education.