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By Lance Cpl. Brendan Roethel, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort
The Marine Corps announced new changes for Tuition Assistance eligibility, Sept. 11.
According to MARADMIN 456/13, most changes will only affect first-time TA applicants. First-time applicants must have at least 2 years of time in service, and can only enroll in one course unless the Marine has an Associate’s Degree or at least 60-college credits with a minimum grade point average of 2.5. They must also complete the Leading Marines Distance Education Program on MarineNet and Marine Corps Institute’s Personal Financial Management course before applying, and be eligible for promotion.
Marines must also finish their courses 60 days before their end of active service date. In addition, reserve component officers on active duty must have an EAS date of two years beyond the completion of their courses to receive approval.
As of Oct. 1 the Marine Corps’ overall TA budget of $47 million will be divided into fiscal quarters. Marines that meet eligibility requirements will be limited to only enrolling in courses that begin in that quarter. Once the Marine Corps’ quarterly funds are exhausted, TA approvals will be postponed until the following quarter, according to MARADMIN 456/13.
“These changes don’t affect a Marine’s personal TA limit of $4,500 a year,” said David Ellard, the Tri-Command education service officer. "If the Marine Corps exhausts its TA funding within the first fiscal quarter, the Marine will have to wait until the following quarter to apply for benefits.”
TA requests can only be submitted within 30 days of a class start date, but no TA requests will be approved after a course has started.
For more information contact the Air Station Education Office at 228-7484, or Parris Island’s Education Office at 228-3889.