NAICU Washington Update

Defense Dept. Issues Final MOU on Tuition Assistance Program

December 10, 2012

The Department of Defense has issued the final version of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) institutions must sign in order to participate in the DOD’s  Tuition Assistance program.  The Department revised the original version of the MOU after a number of institutions raised both administrative and academic concerns about it.  Particularly troubling were several provisions that were inconsistent with the established academic practices of many institutions. 

NAICU joined the American Council on Education and other higher education associations in a series of discussions with DOD officials to find ways to address these concerns.  This cooperative effort has resulted in a much-improved document released on December 7.

Briefly, the new version provides that members of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges will adhere to the SOC Consortium Principles, Criteria, and Military Student Bill of Rights.  Non-SOC members are subject to a separate set of requirements aimed at the same objectives, but are permitted greater institutional flexibility in awarding of credit and establishing academic residency requirements.

Institutions wishing to participate in the department's tuition assistance programs must have a signed MOU and be listed as a “participating institution” on the DOD web page by March 1, 2013.  Institutions that have already signed an MOU may continue participation under that agreement, or may choose to sign the revised version.