U.S. Coast Guard students will be able to remain enrolled in Thomas Edison State University’s courses in spite of the suspension of the federal tuition assistance program. The Thomas Edison State University Foundation will defer their tuition until tuition assistance is available again.
“Thomas Edison State University has always stood by our military students and we stand with our Coast Guard students today in their time of need,” said Merodie Hancock, president of the university “These Coast Guard members are facing serious hardships through no fault of their own. We would like to give them peace of mind when it comes to their education.”
The U.S. Coast Guard sent notice last week that it would suspend all tuition assistance during the partial shutdown of the federal government. The tuition assistance program will be resumed once the U.S. Coast Guard receives a fiscal year 2019 appropriation. Sudents were informed that they could potentially have full financial responsibility for funding their courses if they start classes without an approved tuition assistance voucher.
Thomas Edison State University has 135 active-duty U.S. Coast Guard students. Twenty-seven are currently registered for the February term. Because of the partial government shutdown, more than 41,000 active-duty U.S. Coast Guard members are working without pay. Their next paycheck would have been expected on Jan. 15.
“Coast Guard operations that protect life, property and national security must continue despite the lack of resources,” said Michael Toscani, chair of the Thomas Edison State University Foundation Board. “We are proud to do our part to support educational opportunities for our Coast Guard members.”
Of the five branches of the armed services, only members of the U.S. Coast Guard are affected by the partial shutdown because their education is funded through the Department of Homeland Security. Other military students are funded by the Department of Defense, which is not affected by the shutdown.