University signs memorandum with Defense Department
Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 00:03
Oregon State University signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Defense, allowing approximately 115 armed forces members to continue to receive tuition assistance.
The university was required to sign the memorandum by a March 1 deadline in order to continue to receive money from the Defense Department for the program.
“We have some work to do internally to comply, but nothing that should negatively affect students,” said Gus Bedwell, OSU veterans’ services adviser.
Bedwell said staff needed training and guidance from the Department of Defense about how to upload education plans and compliance plans, which vary between the five branches.
Tuition assistance is a program that allows active duty and some reserve and guard service members to get their tuition paid for by the Department of Defense. The program varies between the five service branches, but pays 100 percent of the cost of tuition, up to $4,500 annually.
“In terms of return of investment and providing support for students, it made sense,” Bedwell said.
Bedwell said the number of students using tuition assistance has increased over the last year at OSU, from 92 to 115.
The memorandum of understanding is in its second draft, and a Defense Department website said a third draft will be issued in late spring. The memorandum came about after concerns were raised that for-profit colleges were taking advantage of service members.
Other schools across the state, including the University of Oregon, Portland State University and Western Oregon University have also signed the memorandum.
Don Iler, editor-in-chief
On Twitter: @doniler