University to expand student soldier discount

By on December 1, 2011

By Bryan Mercke–

Good news is possibly on the horizon for active duty reserve students who currently receive tuition assistance that is offered to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard. On Nov. 10, the University of Louisville Board of Trustees approved a memo from the Department of Defense to expand benefits given to active duty members to also include reserve members as well. While this has been approved by the board, it has not been signed by the University.

The Department of Defense issues education benefits to active duty service members and they issued a memo to many academic institutions to propose an expansion. If this proposal is signed, reserve members of the military will pay $250 per credit hour only if they are receiving tuition assistance. The University of Louisville has been rated in GI Jobs Magazine as military friendly for 2010 and 2011, and if the proposal is signed and implemented for the spring 2012 semester, then it would serve to help the university gain more publicity for its services.

Some students may balk at the idea of these expanded benefits when they notice that their own tuition is going up six percent next semester, but fear not. Under House Bill 425, the University of Louisville is reimbursed for giving active duty service members a discounted $250 per credit hour tuition rate. While some students may be feeling the effects of the changing economy, the Department of Defense is expanding benefits with the hope of improving education and including all active duty service members under benefits provided.

With this expanded proposal is waiting to flow through the University system, it is sure to cause excitement amongst reserve service members, but Kevin Finnegan, Director for Operations and Planning in the Office of Enrollment Management, said “the provost has not signed this yet,” and cautioned against “unrealistic expectations.” Expanding benefits to include active duty reserve members to give them a discount of $250 per credit hour could bring good things to the university. If this proposal is passed, then it can be expected that University of Louisville’s campus will become more diverse, proving that it is committed to creating a well-rounded academic environment.

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Photo: Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal

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