This sounds unbelievably dumb. The U.S. Military started offering tuition benefits to spouses of service members, and then promptly had to halt the program when it proved to be incredibly popular. Tom Ricks has the right of it (as usual):
Not only are they rejecting new applicants, they left existing participants in the lurch on future payments. The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts program recently has been re-started but still isn’t accepting new applicants. Secretary Gates said the project could cost as much as $2 billion — that is almost as much as one submarine or B-2 bomber. Which do you think helps national security more — getting one more platform, or making tens of thousands of military spouses happier with their lot?
It is almost like, hey, your husband is deployed to Afghanistan? You’re losing sleep over IED fears? We’ll distract you by giving you something else to worry about!
I get that many colleges are currently being overwhelmed by record (recession-driven) enrollment, but this seems completely forseeable and like something that should be fixed pronto. If you offer education benefits, people will take you up on them. If the economy around them is crumbling, lots of people will take you up on it.
I know there’s an old joke about holding bake sales for bombers, but is it really going to come down to holding bake sales for bombers’ spouses to get this funding reinstated?