UCM, Whiteman Leaders Jointly Announce New Military Tuition Package
WARRENSBURG, MO (June 30, 2011) – The military not only values higher education, but now there’s a financial incentive for service men and women to continue their education at the University of Central Missouri. This was the message about 140 individuals, mostly junior airmen, received this week during a formal announcement of the University of Central Missouri’s new Military Tuition Package.
Details about this initiative were provided at a gathering June 28 at Whiteman Air Force Base’s Ford Theatre. While Brig. Gen. Scott Vander Hamm, commander of the 509th Bomb Wing, stressed the importance of higher education and the opportunity to access courses even when deployed, UCM President Charles Ambrose and Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Rick Sluder provided information about this cost-saving program.
According to Sluder, the Military Tuition Package was approved in June by the university’s Board of Governors and becomes effective this fall. It will exempt benefit-eligible individuals enrolled at UCM from mandatory general fees, which are not supported by military tuition assistance, while still allowing them the same privileges on campus as other students. This means access to the New Student Recreation and Wellness Center, athletic and entertainment events, the library, and many other opportunities. The package also exempts them from the $30 application fee, the new student fee of $50, and parking permit fees which range from $25 to $50 per semester based on the type of permit.
Sluder said that if a benefit-eligible student takes one semester hour of undergraduate course credit, they will pay $203.50 per credit hour. They will not have to pay the additional $28 per credit hour in mandatory general fees. Other students who enroll in nine or more hours this fall will pay flat mandatory general fees totaling $420 per semester, a cost that will not be assessed to those eligible for the Military Tuition Package.
The tuition package will be available to benefit-eligible, degree-seeking active duty members in all branches of the military, their spouses and dependents for a maximum of 36 months. The tuition package also applies to benefit-eligible degree-seeking Veterans up to 10 years after their last honorable discharge from the service.
The university has a large pool of students who could meet eligibility criteria. UCM’s spring enrollment reflected 422 students who were military/Veterans Administration benefit eligible. Additional enrollments generated will offset expenses for the program.
Ambrose told the group that UCM “is a place that cares about your individual success.” He urged the airmen to consider the value proposition of a higher education and how they can use it to make a positive difference in their professional lives. He also emphasized the strong spirit of collaboration that exists between Whiteman and the university.
Vander Hamm said he and Ambrose “share a passion for educating young people,” and stressed the importance of a college education in helping active duty service men and women to reach their career goals.
“As wing commander, you know I don’t get up very often and not talk about the value of helping every single airman reach their fullest potential, and part of that is due to higher learning…,” Vander Hamm said. “Getting your education and using the tools that have been provided to you by Congress through the GI Bill is an important part of development.”
He also added, “Anytime there is an opportunity to use your (education) benefits and reduce your costs, that’s a good thing for team Whiteman.”
The Military Tuition Package is part of a cooperative effort between the university and the base known as the Whiteman Advantage. This project brings together personnel and resources from Whiteman, UCM, and the Warrensburg community to create a shared vision of support, and community engagement while improving opportunities for service men and women on campus.