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Army tuition assistance returns in time to pay for JCC courses starting Thursday at Fort Drum

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FORT DRUM — The Army’s tuition assistance program was reinstated effective Thursday, meaning the service will pay for the courses of post soldiers who started late fall session courses that day with Jefferson Community College.

The return was announced at GoArmyEd.com, which facilitates the program. The note also said the block on new tuition assistance requests would be lifted shortly. Registrations had been blocked since the start of the federal government shutdown, Oct. 1.

As reported in Friday’s Times, the school had offered to pay for the soldiers’ credits for the eight-week session, which started Thursday. The value of the school’s offer was $64,883, with 132 students taking 403 credits, each valued at $161.

In addition, an anonymous group of faculty and staff had offered to pay the remaining fee of $1 per credit for the soldiers, leaving textbooks as their only remaining cost.

Donald R. Johnson, JCC’s director of military programs, said when the restriction on new registrations is lifted, it is possible more students could enroll for the semester as well.

The freeze on the tuition program had created concerns for several soldiers, according to Joseph A. Agresti, the post’s education services officer. He said his office averaged about 15 calls a day during the two-week shutdown period from soldiers concerned about their coursework.

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