Airmen No Longer To Receive Tuition Assistance for Studies

Hundreds of airmen like SA Mikel Fair spend their days protecting our country and whatever spare time they can get hitting the books.

In his case, the computer to complete an online degree in business administration.

"In order to move up in my career you know you have to get your degree," said Fair.
He can usually depend on receiving $4500 in tuition assistance from the military for his studies.

That is, until now.

"I was a little worried at first because now I'm going to have to use other avenues," said Fair.

He along with thousands of others, received an email notifying him that the program has been suspended. 

It's part of several budget cuts around the nation.

"It's just an inconvenience now we're going to have to go search for other places to get the money.
 said Fair.

There are however, other resources that airmen can use to try to compensate for the loss.

"Using their government GI benefits," said Ferdinand Patao, Chief of Education and Training Services at Dyess Air force Base.

This isn't permanent just yet.

"We're hoping that this is just a bump in the road and that we can put it behind ourselves and move forward," said Patao.

In the meantime fair is checking up on other alternatives like scholarships.

"There are some private organizations non profit on base that actually offer Airmen and young NCO's (Non-commissioned officers) scholarships straight out of their you know booster club pocket," said Fair.

Even though the cuts were unexpected the airmen isn't letting that deter him from his goals.

"I'm just taking it in stride you know big decisions have to be made," said Fair.

For now he like many will wait it out and do what they can until perhaps the program is reinstated before he graduates.

The suspension of the Tuition Assistance program is effective as of March 1.

There is a petition to restore tuition assistance on the government website "We the People." You can reach the petition by clicking here.

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