The Pentagon’s decision to suspend tuition assistance because of the government shutdown prompted Northeastern University president Joseph E. Aoun to send a strongly worded letter Sunday to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a plea to reinstate the aid for active-duty service members.
The cutoff affects as many as two dozen service members who plan to begin classes at Northeastern next week and may be forced to withdraw, university officials said.
“We are extremely dismayed by reports from service members that some branches of the service have advised students not to enroll in classes beginning after Oct. 1, or to withdraw from their current programs,” Aoun wrote.
“Our active-duty military, Reserve, and National Guard members who put their lives on the line to protect us deserve far better from their country than to be prevented from accessing the higher education benefits they were promised.”
More than 100 active-duty service members are enrolled at Northeastern, and most of them already have received tuition assistance for classes that began in September. But up to two dozen students at the College of Professional Studies now find their plans upended by the shutdown, said Anthony Erwin, dean for student financial services.