A skinnier budget is one of the reasons the Navy is changing how it manages its tuition assistance program beginning this fall.
The service announced the changes May 21, saying they also apply to the Navy College Program for Afloat College Education program management. NCPACE allows sailors to earn academic credit for training they receive and work they perform while on active duty.
Effective Oct. 1, sailors and officers need to complete at least two years of service before becoming eligible to use tuition assistance or NCPACE courses. Funding for both will also be capped at 12 semester hours per fiscal year, with a total of 120 semester hours in a career.
“Due to unprecedented usage and fiscal constraints, Navy is reshaping how we administer the TA and NCPACE programs,” said Jim Johnson, head of Navy Voluntary Education, in a statement. “We want to keep both programs available and sustainable for eligible Sailors, while ensuring our Sailors remain focused on their professional qualifications.”
The Navy said tuition assistance funding is expected to run dry this month with no additional money to be made available for the rest of the fiscal year. Sailors currently taking classes or have a tuition assistance voucher won’t be affected.