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The Air Force last week officially restarted military tuition assistance as a result of the consolidated spending act that President Obama signed into law in late March, announced service officials. The legislation, which funds the Defense Department for the remainder of the fiscal year, restored MTA, which the Air Force stopped on March 11 due to the budget sequester. The tuition assistance program resumes with the same benefits as before, states the Air Force's April 10 release. Airmen are eligible for up to $4,500 per fiscal year and a maximum of $250 per semester hour to cover tuition and specific fees. "Voluntary education and military tuition assistance programs continue to be integral to the recruiting, retention, and readiness of airmen and contribute to institutional competencies," said Kim Yates, Air Force voluntary education chief. However, Russell Frasz, director of force development on the Air Staff, said, looking ahead, there is the need to balance MTA benefits with other service priorities, given the Air Force's funding constraints. (Washington, D.C., report by SSgt. David Salanitri)