14 U.S. Code § 709a - Reserve student pre-commissioning assistance program

(a) The Secretary may provide financial assistance to an eligible enlisted member of the Coast Guard Reserve, not on active duty, for expenses of the member while the member is pursuing on a full-time basis at an institution of higher education a program of education approved by the Secretary that leads to—
(1) a baccalaureate degree in not more than 5 academic years; or
(2) a post-baccalaureate degree.
(b)
(1) To be eligible for financial assistance under this section, an enlisted member of the Coast Guard Reserve shall—
(A) be enrolled on a full-time basis in a program of education referred to in subsection (a) at any institution of higher education; and
(B) enter into a written agreement with the Coast Guard described in paragraph (2).
(2) A written agreement referred to in paragraph (1)(B) is an agreement between the member and the Secretary in which the member agrees—
(A) to accept an appointment as a commissioned officer in the Coast Guard Reserve, if tendered;
(B) to serve on active duty for up to five years; and
(C) under such terms and conditions as shall be prescribed by the Secretary, to serve in the Coast Guard Reserve until the eighth anniversary of the date of the appointment.
(c) Expenses for which financial assistance may be provided under this section are the following:
(1) Tuition and fees charged by the institution of higher education involved.
(2) The cost of books.
(3) In the case of a program of education leading to a baccalaureate degree, laboratory expenses.
(4) Such other expenses as are deemed appropriate by the Secretary.
(d) The amount of financial assistance provided to a member under this section shall be prescribed by the Secretary, but may not exceed $25,000 for any academic year.
(e) Financial assistance may be provided to a member under this section for up to 5 consecutive academic years.
(f) A member who receives financial assistance under this section may be ordered to active duty in the Coast Guard Reserve by the Secretary to serve in a designated enlisted grade for such period as the Secretary prescribes, but not more than 4 years, if the member—
(1) completes the academic requirements of the program and refuses to accept an appointment as a commissioned officer in the Coast Guard Reserve when offered;
(2) fails to complete the academic requirements of the institution of higher education involved; or
(3) fails to maintain eligibility for an original appointment as a commissioned officer.
(g)
(1) If a member requests to be released from the program and the request is accepted by the Secretary, or if the member fails because of misconduct to complete the period of active duty specified, or if the member fails to fulfill any term or condition of the written agreement required to be eligible for financial assistance under this section, the financial assistance shall be terminated. The Secretary may request the member to reimburse the United States in an amount that bears the same ratio to the total costs of the education provided to that member as the unserved portion of active duty bears to the total period of active duty the member agreed to serve. The Secretary shall have the option to order such reimbursement without first ordering the member to active duty. An obligation to reimburse the United States imposed under this paragraph is a debt owed to the United States.
(2) The Secretary may waive the service obligated under subsection (f) of a member who becomes unqualified to serve on active duty due to a circumstance not within the control of that member or who is not physically qualified for appointment and who is determined to be unqualified for service as an enlisted member of the Coast Guard Reserve due to a physical or medical condition that was not the result of the member’s own misconduct or grossly negligent conduct.
(3) A discharge in bankruptcy under title 11 that is entered less than 5 years after the termination of a written agreement entered into under subsection (b) does not discharge the individual signing the agreement from a debt arising under such agreement or under paragraph (1).
(h) As used in this section, the term “institution of higher education” has the meaning given that term in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001).

Source

(Added Pub. L. 107–295, title IV, § 413(a),Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2119.)

 

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