Air Force cuts tuition assistance

March 12, 2013 at 8:59 AM

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan, March 12 (UPI) -- The Air Force joined the Marines and the Army in dropping tuition assistance programs due to U.S. government budget cuts, officials said.

Airmen at Yokota Air Base in Japan were told their applications for assistance would likely be rejected if submitted after Tuesday, Stars and Strips reported.

The Air Force is also strictly limiting professional education at the service's Non-Commissioned Officer Academy and at Squadron Office School, Stars and Stripes said.

Air Force Pentagon officials did not respond to requests to comment on the issue.

The Air Force has been providing $250 per credit hour and as much as $4,500 per year to airmen pursuing associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees.

A petition created March 8 to urge President Barack Obama to reinstate the assistance for soldiers through executive order (https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/reinstate-military-tuition-assistance-ta-and-block-armed-service-branches-any-further-suspension-ta/kSyVdySm) had more than 31,000 signatures by early Tuesday.

A petition must reach 100,000 within 30 days to receive a response from the White House.

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