ALBANY, N.Y. - The $85 billion spending cuts signed into order last week are already hitting members of the Military, especially those seeking higher education.
Excelsior College in Albany is known for its distance learning programs and has approximately 10,000 active-duty students from various branches of the Military enrolled.
On Monday, the College learned the Marines suspended its tuition assistance program due to the sequestration, effective immediately. Other branches could soon follow.
The decision means that colleges like Excelsior are looking for ways to help their students bridge the financial gap.
Susan Dewan, the Excelsior College's Executive Director of the Center for Military Education, met with the College Board to discuss the impact of the sequestration on Monday.
"The first thing that we've seen, is a statement that was issued yesterday, that the Marine Corp has suspended funding for Military tuition assistance," Dewan said.
"It was really a quick response by the Marine Corp. But certainly they're faced with education as well as family programs are ones that are to be cut," said Dewan.
Tuition assistance is still available for those enrolled in the current academic semester. Until a decision is made otherwise, the tuition assistance funding for future semesters - up to $4,500 per year and $250 per semester credit - has been suspended.
Other information the college received is that there will be furloughs of federal workers effecting education counselors the school has at military bases across the country. Dewan says the trickle down effect will ultimately reach students.
"Some will have to put their plans on hold. Or they would have to pay for their tuition out of their pocket."
To get around the sequestration and help Marines affected, Excelsior plans to work with those on active duty since 9/11 to use their benefits which are not under sequestration.
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