It’s one more example of spreading fallout from the partial federal government shutdown: Some two dozen active-duty U.S. military personnel beginning classes next week at Northeastern University were going to be forced to withdraw from NU’s College of Professional Studies because their Pentagon tuition aid has been shut down.
But Monday, Northeastern president Joseph Aoun pledged: We’ll let you come in for class and worry about getting reimbursement later when the government reopens.
“Our active duty military, Reserve, and National Guard mebers who put their lives on the line to protect us deserve far better from their country than to be prevented from accessing the higher education benefits they were promised,” Aoun wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. “Surely DoD has existing capacity during the government shutdown to review, process, and approve on a contingent basis pending TA applications that meet current program guidelines. This seems all the more likely in light of recent action by Congress to pay civilian employees retroactively – a measure President Obama has pledged to sign into law.”
Aoun added: “We believe higher education has an obligation to contribute to the security of our nation, and to support the women and men of the armed forces who serve and protect us.”
One of many NU students we interviewed who was proud of Aoun’s response was Mae Steinberg, who said, “I think it’s a good idea for somebody to step up. I hope that all the people who are suffering from the shutdown have similar looking out for them.”