Trying to finish college as a member of the military is a unique circumstance, and in recognition, the U.S. government has created online education programs available exclusively to enlisted soldiers.
One program called eArmyU was created some ten years ago in efforts to allow these soldiers to complete their degrees with much-needed scheduling flexibility.
Despite this obvious advantage, eArmyU – issuer of more than 11,000 certifications and degrees since its inception in 2001* – is about to be dissolved.
eArmyU at a glance
Until next March, the government’s eArmyU program provides the following education tools to soldiers:
- Access to more than 100 colleges and universities
- 24/7 Help Desk access for all enrolled students
- Waived class fees where applicable
- Technology Package (course textbooks, laptop computer, Internet Service Provider (ISP) access, and academic tutoring)
How Many soldiers will the change affect?
Over the last ten years, eArmyU has provided distance learning assistance to more than 64,000 soldiers, and this semester alone there are more than 1,400 enrolled.*
What Happens next?
Human Resources Command (HRC) has issued a notice to all enrolled soldiers explaining the planned shut-down. In it, HRC encouraged enrollees to continue registering for classes through eArmyU through the spring.
Once March 31, 2012 rolls around, any students still enrolled in the eArmyU assistance program will be transferred to standard tuition assistance.
The good news
Although some of the eArmyU perks (like issued laptops) will disappear when the program does next spring, tuition assistance is still available, and will continue to be all qualifying soldiers that need it.
What’s more, the money that will be saved from the discontinued program (about $1M annually*, not including tuition assistance) will go right back to army education, and will be used to help fund administration of regular tuition assistance.
We want to know what YOU think! Is the eArmyU phase-out a good way to save some money? Or is it just an unnecessary cut to soldiers? Share your thoughts with us!
*Statistics obtained from www.armytimes.com
*guest blog post by Lindsey