Central Texas College (CTC) was again ranked number three on the top 10 list of most popular schools chosen by active-duty soldiers who use tuition assistance to pay for their higher education. In a survey compiled by Military Times “EDGE” magazine, CTC was third overall for the second consecutive year by military personnel for the fiscal year 2012. Four-year, for-profit school American Military University (AMU) of the American Public University System and the University of Maryland-University College finished first and second respectively as they did last year.
Military Times requested tuition assistance data on students, course enrollments and funds from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Army National Guard and Coast Guard. The Air Force information included data for the active-duty Air National Guard. The lists were combined and named college systems were grouped together to determine which schools served the most tuition assistance users in fiscal 2012.
Overall, the combination of the Army and the Army National Guard logged more than 212,000 TA students in fiscal year 2012. The Air Force and Air National Guard combined for more than 108,000. The Navy had about 48,000, the Marine Corps 28,000 and the Coast Guard had 10,000 students.
“EDGE” began tracking the most popular colleges for active-duty students in 2009. Since then it has seen a sharp increase in those choosing for-profit colleges. 16 of the top 50 schools (six in the top 10) are for-profit colleges. AMU, which was the most popular school last year, reported nearly 57,000 in students using tuition assistance. CTC remained at number three overall with 23,417 students using tuition assistance.
Earlier this year, the Army, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard temporarily suspended tuition assistance programs as a result of sequestration and $85 million in automatic budget cuts that went into effect March 1, 2013. CTC was among the first schools to provide military students access to funds to help further their higher educational pursuits by implementing a Military Tuition Assistance Protection (MTAP) grant. MTAP would be available to all eligible and qualifying current, transfer and new students and allow them to receive a grant from CTC to cover the suspended TA payment. The grant covered up to $250 per credit hour to replace the suspended U.S. Government TA funds.
CTC offers both online and classroom options for military members with sites on 25 military installations across the continental U.S. and Alaska and Hawaii as well as 17 countries in Europe and the Middle East; 30 sites in the Pacific Far East including Korea, mainland Japan and Okinawa; and Naval ships at sea. In addition to classroom and online classes, CTC also offers alternative education delivery methods such as hybrid or blended courses, courses on compact discs (CDs) and personal digital assistants (PDAs).