POSTED: Friday, March 8, 2013 - 9:52pm
UPDATED: Friday, March 8, 2013 - 9:54pm
EL PASO — Budget pressures will now force soldiers and marines to pay for their education. The Army and the Marine Corps are suspending their tuition assistance programs. It's a big blow that will affect dozens of families here in the Borderland.
Starting at 5 p.m. Friday the U.S. Army suspended its tuition assistance program for soldiers, yet another side effect of sequestration.
"Soldiers can still pursue their educational goals through their VA benefits, the Montgomery Bill, the post 9/11 bill, those things are still in place. It's new tuition assistance soldiers can no longer take advantage of," explained Fort Bliss spokesperson, Major Joe Buccino.
The approximately 200,000 soldiers already taking courses through the program will be able to complete their current classes.
Ian Manns is one of the many soldiers at Fort Bliss that will be affected. He was planning to start school this summer and says the tuition assistance program is one of the reasons he joined the army.
"I always wanted to get an education so i could start my own business, start my own restaurant," he said.
However, Manns is out of luck. He's not sure what he'll do now. His dreams of owning a business are now in limbo.
"I'm going to have to start paying out of pocket soon and that's going to be kind of hard because I'm only a PB2, and to be honest, I don't get paid a lot," he said.