Officials outline the tuition assistance changes

  • Published
  • By Rebecca R. Imwalle
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The Air Force has added a host of restrictions to its tuition assistance program, changing both eligibility and administration of the program.

Dawn Hemming-Rich, 28th Force Support Squadron education services officer, explained that the changes are a way to stabilize the budget, and believes they will benefit the Air Force in many ways.

Hemming-Rich said that Airmen are now required to have a passing score on their most recent physical fitness test, have no unfavorable information on file and get their supervisor's approval to be eligible for TA. She added that for the program to be as effective as it can be, Airmen should plot out their plans prior to jumping into taking classes.

"It's important for Airmen to have established goals," Hemming-Rich said. "It shows that they know what they want to do and where they want to go. It's important for Airmen to have a plan before they start utilizing TA."

Cheryl Holt, 28th FSS education services specialist, explained that the recent revisions also require Airmen to either apply for TA to be applied toward a civilian associate's degree, or a Community College of the Air Force degree, not both.

"If Airmen can finish their second degree by October 2014, they can continue to do that," Holt said. "We are no longer accepting new student applications for people who want to use TA to obtain their second associates degree."

Hemming-Rich explained that there are ways to achieve both CCAF and an outside associate's degree, even though the new changes rule against it.

"If an Airman changes their Air Force Specialty Code, they are eligible to receive a second CCAF with that job," Hemming-Rich said. "Some schools also offer an associate's degree while on the path to a bachelor's degree."

Holt added that the purpose behind all of these changes is that the mission comes first.
"We still want everyone to further their education," Holt said. "These changes just help the Air Force make sure education isn't taken lightly."

For more information on TA, call the base Education Office at (605) 385-6388.