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§ 68.4 Policy.

It is DoD policy, consistent with DoD Directive 1322.08E, “Voluntary Education Programs for Military Personnel” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/132208p.pdf), that:

(a) Members of the Military Services serving on active duty and members of the Selected Reserve (SELRES) will be afforded the opportunity to complete their high school education through a state-funded or Service component sponsored program; earn an equivalency diploma, improve their academic skills or level of literacy, enroll in career and technical education schools, receive college credit for military training and experience in accordance with the American Council on Education (ACE) Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services (available at http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/Military-Guide-Online.aspx), take tests to earn college credit, and enroll in postsecondary education programs that lead to industry-recognized credentials, and undergraduate and graduate degrees.

(b) Service members' costs to participate in the DoD Voluntary Education Program as authorized by 10 U.S.C. 2007, will be reduced through financial support, including TA that is administered uniformly across the Military Services. On an annual basis and no later than the end of the second quarter of the fiscal year, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD(P&R)), in coordination with the Military Departments, will review the uniform semester-hour (or equivalent) TA caps and annual TA ceilings to determine possible changes for the upcoming fiscal year. If there are any changes in the uniform semester-hour (or equivalent) caps and annual TA ceilings, a memorandum will be released from the USD(P&R), in coordination with the Military Departments, and a corresponding notice will be published in the Federal Register.

(c) Professional education counseling will be readily available and easy to access so that Service members can make informed decisions concerning available educational opportunities and benefits. Education counseling will be provided by qualified professional (Education Services Series 1740 or an individual with equivalent qualifications) in sufficient numbers to operate voluntary education programs as determined by individual Service standards.

(d) In accordance with Executive Order (E.O.) 13607:

(1) Educational institutions receiving funding from federal military educational benefits programs, such as the DoD TA Program, will:

(i) Provide meaningful information to students on the financial cost and attendance at an educational institution so military students can make informed decisions on where to attend school as stated in section 3 of Appendix A.

(ii) Prevent unfair, deceptive, and abusive recruiting practices that target Service members as defined by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and as stated in section 3 of Appendix A.

(iii) Provide academic and student support services specific to the institutions' programs to all enrolled Service members, spouses and adult family members.

(2) DoD will implement a centralized online complaint system for Service members, spouses, and adult family members that will register, track, and respond to student complaints. DoD or the assigned Military Service will work with educational institutions to resolve any filed complaints. Educational institutions having recurring, substantive complaints or demonstrating an unwillingness to resolve complaints may face a range of penalties from a directed Third Party Education Assessment to revocation of the DoD Voluntary Education Partnership MOU and removal from participation in the DoD TA Program. As appropriate, DoD will refer student complaints to other government agencies/regulators including but not limited to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Justice (DOJ), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Department of Education (ED).

(e) Educational institutions accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency recognized by ED will be encouraged to provide degree programs on DoD installations and the Military Services will facilitate their operations on the DoD installations referred to in § 68.6(c).

(f) To the extent that space is otherwise available, eligible adult family members of Service members, DoD civilian employees and their eligible adult family members, and military retirees may enroll in postsecondary education programs offered on a DoD installation at no cost to the individual Service TA programs.

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