The tuition assistance program, which provides up to $4,500 per year per student, is one victim of across-the-board cuts known as sequestration that are forcing government agencies to reduce spending. The $85 billion in cuts began on March 1 after a gridlocked U.S. Congress was unable to resolve fiscal fights and find a solution to replace the sequestration.
Comments left on military message boards and Facebook show a widespread disappointment with the sudden termination of the tuition assistance program, which is not a part of the military contract, like the G.I. Bill for veterans benefits, but is considered an incentive to enlist.
"I have seen a lot of people who have lost their motivation to be in the military when they take away the one perk that people seem to enjoy," Sinatra said.
Several colleges have moved to defer tuition charges for the coming term to help military members who are already enrolled, and two senators, one Democrat, one Republican, have introduced legislation to bring back the tuition assistance.