Students at the American Public University System have dropped 13,100 course registrations this month largely because the partial government shutdown has halted tuition assistance to active-duty service members, the university’s parent company disclosed to investors on Tuesday. The company, American Public Education, Inc., said that registration for October classes has declined by 20 percent compared to the same month last year.
American Public is one of the largest recipients of federal money that subsidizes tuition for active-duty service members. Active-duty military personnel take typically take between one and 1.5 courses at a time, a company spokesman said.
Since the shutdown began on October 1, branches of the armed forces have not processed existing applications for tuition assistance or authorized new requests.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University also said Tuesday that its enrollment of active-duty service members in October classes had fallen by about 37 percent -- 1,459 students -- compared with the same month last year. A spokeswoman for the university said it was unclear whether the suspension of tuition assistance had caused the decrease. Some institutions, such as Ashford University, Southern New Hampshire University and Northeastern University, have said they would cover the amount of financial aid that active-duty service members would have received from the Pentagon. Kaplan University also announced on Tuesday it would provide that benefit to affected students.