Worry and confusion. That's what some military families are feeling after finding out the military is cutting tuition assistance for service members.
The Air Force announced Tuesday it's no longer accepting applications for tuition assistance for the active duty. The tuition assistance programs pay as much as $4,500 per year for active duty personnel.
The Army, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard suspended their tuition assistance last week. Tuition assistance that's already been approved won't go away, but future applications will not be accepted, leaving military personnel scrambling to figure out how to pay for classes for summer and fall semesters.
The Air Force says it's all because of the $85 billion in federal spending cuts that went into effect March 1.
"We make the ultimate sacrifice for people's freedom," said Angelia Gray, a Fort Bragg Army veteran and Mount Olive resident. "A lot of people don't understand or appreciate it, but this tuition assistance was one way how much of showing how much they appreciate their service, and to cut it, I think it's horrible."
9 On Your Side spoke to the wife of an active duty airman at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Shellah Tropel, who says her husband depends on tuition assistance for his nursing degree at Wayne Community College.
"He's been using it for straight three semesters already. Knowing that he just started and now they put it on halt, so we don't know what to do," said Tropel.
The Air Force says the GI bill, which provides tuition assistance for veterans, will not be affected.
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