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Marine Corps Base Quantico

"Crossroads of the Marine Corps"

No tuition assistance: no problem.

By Cpl. Paris C. Capers | Marine Corps Base Quantico | March 07, 2013

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Sgt. Clifton Shackelford visits the Life Long Learning Center to gather information on the Tuition Assistance Freeze on March 4. Without TA there are still ways to continue educational pursuits and attain much sought after degrees.

Sgt. Clifton Shackelford visits the Life Long Learning Center to gather information on the Tuition Assistance Freeze on March 4. Without TA there are still ways to continue educational pursuits and attain much sought after degrees. (Photo by Cpl. Paris C. Caper)

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Marines around the world interested in pursuing higher education -- whether to become competitive for promotion or prepare for a head start as a civilian -- received news March 4 that the Marine Corps no longer offers tuition assistance due to budgetary constraints.

Without tuition assistance there is still hope for service members to achieve their education goals with the help of financial aid, the GI bills and more. Tuition assistance has changed, but the mission to educate Marines and sailors remains the same.

ALNAV 014/13 outlines the changes to affect Navy operations such as delays placed on naval deployments and early returns of ships, but also touches closer to home for Marines with reduced advertising contracts and the freeze placed on tuition assistance.   

“We need to remain positive and encouraging,” said Melora J. McVicker, Education Services Officer at the Lifelong Learning Center. “There are other fail-safe’s built into the system that will allow people to continue their education.”

According to McVicker, it is important for Marines not to lose perspective and be open to alternate routes to their goals. Tuition assistance was not the only road to education, and many programs remain available for use, potentially in conjunction with one another.

Financial aid, which was compatible with tuition assistance, remains untouched by the sequestration.

For those interested in more information or applying for financial aid go to

Every Marine is eligible for one of the two GI Bills. Depending on time in service and overall education goals, using one over the other may be preferred.

Individuals interested in more information or applying to use either the Montgomery GI Bill or Post 9/11 GI Bill may do so at
Grants, scholarships and other financial aides are other options available for pursuing higher education. Whether private scholarships or government funded, they remain a considerable boost toward education goals.

More information about these aides can be found at

“Marines are worried that they won’t be able to finish their degrees, but they have the ‘three Ds’ that any successful student is going to need,” McVicker said. “They’ve got dedication, determination and discipline. That’s what’s going to get them through.”


ImageDegree ImageEducation ImageFASFA ImageFinancial Aid ImageFreeze ImageMarine Corps ImageMarine Corps Base Quantico ImageMarines ImageProblem ImageQuantico ImageSchool ImageSequester ImageSolution ImageSolved ImageTA ImageTuition assistance


  • Fred 1 years 214 days ago
    Cpl. Paris Capers,

    I'll take a guess that this was "edited" by someone in your CoC, as "No tuition assistance: no problem" is a problem. It is a major recruiting, retention, promotion and professional education tool used by the entire Uniform Services, not just the USMC. Sorry, but a major problem has been uncorked, and to be honest, the military has become a sacrificial lamb -- again.

    ~ F
  • Dan 1 years 214 days ago
    I fully support bringing back TA (as I utilize it) and do not support this articles general view on the matter but in response to another posting... TA is not part of the enlistment contract so it was not broken.
  • Dan 1 years 214 days ago
    Many military utilize Tuition Assistance since they planned on passing the GI Bill to their spouse or child. In addition, many do not qualify for grants as their income is too high or do not meet other requirements. For people in this situation (myself included), my GI Bill has been passed, I do not qualify for most Grants, scholarships often take time to obtain (too late for the upcoming semester). The only option for me now is federal loans unless I want a semester off.
  • Lav_Commander 1 years 214 days ago
    You could not have gotten through this piece with a straight face or sans a shock collar. Knowing that financial aid is encouraging Marines to go into debt and thats exactly what tuition assistance did NOT do and then those same Marines seperate with veterans at a higher unemployment rate than the general public with potentially no income to now pay back those loans. The Marine Corps sold a bill of goods but couldn't deliver. If I didn't do what I agreed to when I raised my hand I would have been charged or accused of fraudelent enlistment and booted with at least an OTH. Its not a "fail-safe" if its not a comperable program, redundancy means a having a similar system doing the same thing and asking low paid junior Marines to take on thousands in financial aid is not the same as paying your percentage and tuition assistance covering the rest,done ansd paid for.
  • Chris Sievert 1 years 214 days ago
    What a load of crap sorry but you recuted these people with the PROMISE of assistance does that mean since you broke the CONTRACT they can QUIT their service?
  • Daniel 1 years 214 days ago
    None of these other options are worth a damn compared to TA. I've used it while I served and now that I'm out I'm using the post 9/11 GI Bill and if I had used it while I was in I would be in a tight spot right now and be forced to take nearly 20 credits a semester to graduate before I run out of benefits.

    Taking TA away was a big mistake and will do nothing but hurt the Devil Dogs who want to get an education. Also, this article does nothing but try to sugar coat a poor situation.
  • Joseph Felder 1 years 214 days ago
    This is wrong on so many levels.
  • Gina Heitz 1 years 214 days ago
    I am with Amanda in regards to being upset that our government makes such poor choices where to make cuts! A family makes a choice to serve their country by means of enlisting in the military and our ungrateful government changes mid stream their contract! There are many many other places the budgets could be cut. Here is one stop supplying ketchup in the mess halls. How much would the armed services save there alone? I am fairly sure any serviceman who really wanted ketchup would find away, or go without. But without education where will this serviceman be wen their bondage of a contract with their employer be? Man or woman does not matter. They signed up for what they did - they knew the commitment they knew the rules, and if they are receiving their earned education credit they are towing the line. It isn't like they can just quit their "job" and get another one that provides same like benefits either... Though you know there are lots of companies out there that also provide educational assistance. Stop treating our military like they are second class! Find other ways to cut the budget rather than hit the first line of what our country needs - Our dedicated young men and woman who sacrifice on behalf of the United States of America. I vote for no more Ketchup!
  • Sandy 1 years 214 days ago
    Again, we treat our service men and women like second class citizens and I thought this was going to improve but clearly it continues.
    This is really a shame!!!
  • Brian 1 years 221 days ago
    Improvise, adapt and overcome
  • Marine 1 years 221 days ago
    The 3 Ds... That is just one more thing fed to Marines when they have nothing else to offer. Of course I can use my GI Bill, while on Active Duty that is less BAH they will have to pay me when it counts

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