Military spouses upset over tuition loss

February 26, 2010 8:03:49 PM PST
Thousands of military spouses are angry after the government decided to stop paying for their education.Fort Bragg officials say they have heard from a lot of unhappy spouses.

Last year, the military funded a tuition program called Military Spouse Career Advancement Account.

It pays up to $6,000 for military spouses' college education.

Military wife Joann Hauser says she knew it was a good deal when she heard about the tuition grant.

"I figured free money I don't have to take out another loan that was be great," she said.

Hauser is studying to be an elementary school teacher, but her education is in limbo after the Department of Defense shut down the financial aid program last week without warning.

"I can finish out this semester and they will cover me until June," Hauser said.

In an online statement, the Department of Defense only said the grant program was on hold, while it's being reviewed.

Fort Bragg officials aren't sure how many spouses are affected.

"Evidently the program was so popular the funds were being drawn out a lot faster than they expected," Fort Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum said. "It hasn't ended it's just on hold."

Military wife Laura Boyd's education plans are also on hold now.

"I'm flabbergasted," she said. "I'm totally disappointed. I really don't know what to think or like I said what to do."

And she's not alone. Thousands of military spouses across the country have joined a Facebook group to share their frustration over losing a benefit many military spouses say they and their loved ones have earned.

"We support them by staying back," Hauser said."We take care of the kids and the family and everything else, and this is trying to better ourselves so our families can be better. I do it for my husband as well."

There's no timeline for how long the tuition program will be "on hold."

For now military officials are trying to get the message out to spouses to start looking for alternate funding sources and hope the tuition grant program resumes sooner, rather than later.

Many spouses are already writing letters and calling their senators and Capitol Hill representatives.

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