|Air Force College Tuition Assistance Program|
Beginning Oct. 1 (2002), Air Force people can take advantage of a new Department of Defense tuition assistance policy that pays 100 percent of the cost of tuition for off-duty courses, according to Air Force education officials.
"The policy pays tuition costs and mandatory fees for up to a maximum of $250 per semester hour, or $750 per three-hour course," said Jim Sweizer, chief of the Air Force voluntary education branch at the Pentagon.
The policy also includes a $4,500-per-year tuition assistance ceiling.
"In the past, we only paid instructional fees, such as a lab fee for science courses," Sweizer said. "Under the new policy, as long as the total cost falls under the authorized total, the student doesn't have to pay any money out of (his or her) pocket."
Tuition assistance still cannot be used to pay for textbooks unless they are included in an academic institution's published tuition rates, he said.
Sweizer is concerned that with 100-percent tuition assistance available to airmen, some people may opt to waive contributing to the Montgomery GI Bill. He encourages airmen to take advantage of the GI Bill's benefits.
"Not everyone will be able to complete his or her education while on active duty," he said. "Having the MGIB as an alternative for later use is a wise investment."
Local education centers have more information regarding the new tuition assistance policy.