NAICU Washington Update

Department of Defense Delays MOU Deadline to March 30

December 16, 2011

The Department of Defense has announced a delay until March 30, 2012, for implementation of new requirements for participation in its Tuition Assistance (TA) program.  The announcement was made in response to the request of 52 senators who requested the delay.  Their letter comes on the heels of a similar request made by several higher education associations, including NAICU.

Under the original proposal, active duty military would have only been able to use TA benefits at institutions that had signed a Memorandum of Understanding by January 1.  Currently, TA participants may receive up to $4,500 annually in benefits. (See Washington Update, Nov. 7, 2011)

Many institutions have been reluctant to sign the new agreement, given that some of its terms are inconsistent with their academic practices - particularly regarding decisions on the award of academic credit.  NAICU has consistently opposed efforts by government to dictate academic standards and practices, in the firm belief that these decisions are the clear responsibility of individual institutions.

The delay provides an opportunity to consider ways to resolve these concerns, and NAICU will be actively participating in that process. 

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