Today, Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) and Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) introduced the Developing Education by Leveraging Tuition Assistance (DELTA) Act. This bill will allow service members who have already attained a degree to use the tuition assistance program to pursue courses that are relevant to their duties and are substantively different from their previous education, regardless of the course level.
“Current rules unfortunately prevent many of the best and brightest members of our military from being able to take advantage of their tuition assistance benefit. These regulations are not only unfair to those who work hard on behalf of our country, but also deprive them of training that improves our nation’s readiness in the face of ever-evolving threats around the world. The DELTA Act, which I am proud to introduce alongside Congressman Cuellar, would finally do away with these regulations and provide members of our military with the flexibility they deserve to pursue higher education. This is a win/win for both our service members and for our nation’s military readiness,” said Congressman Marchant.
“I know firsthand the transformative power of education,” said Congressman Cuellar. “That is why we must ensure that every member of our armed services can benefit from tuition assistance. The DELTA Act does just that— it invests in those who serve our country by removing regulations that hinder our men and women in uniform and their families from pursuing a first-time or additional degree by providing them with the resources they need to succeed. I thank Congressman Marchant for helping me introduce this bill, so that we may continue to promote personal growth, retention and the preparedness of our military forces.”
Tuition Assistance is a financial aid program offered across all branches of the military to active-duty service members who want to advance their education. Under current guidelines, service members who do not yet hold an advanced degree face fewer limitations in qualifying for tuition assistance. However, complications arise for those who already hold an advanced degree but are seeking to expand their education into relevant areas to their current assignment. These limitations can be compounded by differing rules between service branches relating to this program, with no set standard for service members.
The DELTA Act would ensure that all members of our armed services have the opportunity to utilize tuition assistance, regardless of previous educational attainment. This legislation would allow lower, lateral, and higher degree training under the TA program across all of the service branches, under the authorization and supervision of the Secretary of the concerned branch. By expanding access to this program, the Department of Defense would be clearly investing in those serving our country. Additionally, this measure would likely increase the retention of service members who would see their service as a path to personal and intellectual growth. By providing those who serve our country with all of the possible tools and outlets to increase their readiness, we are helping create a more prepared and versatile military.