TESU to assist Coast Guard members with tuition deferral until shutdown is over

Thomas Edison State University Foundation is joining the parade of organizations attempting to ease the burden on federal government employees affected by the shutdown, offering tuition deferral to Coast Guard students enrolled in university courses.

With the suspension of federal tuition assistance caused by the partial shutdown, the Coast Guard was forced to suspend its program until it receives a fiscal 2019 appropriation. TESU has 135 active-duty Coast Guard students, including 27 registered for the February term. The college and its foundation will defer enrolled students’ tuition until assistance becomes available again, it said in a news release Monday.

“TESU has always stood by our military students, and we stand with our Coast Guard students today in their time of need,” President Merodie A. Hancock said in a prepared statement. “I’m delighted, but not surprised, by the generosity of the TESU Foundation board in its support of our students. These Coast Guard members are facing serious hardships through no fault of their own. We would like to give them peace of mind when it comes to their education.”

More than 41,000 active-duty Coast Guard members are working without pay due to the shutdown. Of the five branches of the armed services, only the Coast Guard is affected by the shutdown, since members’ education is funded through the Department of Homeland Security. Other military students are funded through the Department of Defense, which is unaffected by the shutdown.