SALT LAKE CITY -- With the assistance of Sen. Ted Stevens, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and Rep. Don Young, the Department of Defense has approved tuition assistance for active-duty service men and women seeking degrees at Western Governors University (WGU). Approval comes after lengthy negotiations with the DOD's Office of Personnel and Readiness. WGU has previously been approved by the Veterans Administration for benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill®, federal financial aid under Title IV, as well as by most corporate tuition reimbursement programs. According to WGU President Robert Mendenhall, WGU's competency-based programs presented a challenge to the traditions of the tuition assistance program which are based on measuring and paying for time in the classroom. He said WGU's focus is measuring actual learning based on evaluation of competencies. Tuition assistance information specifically for military personnel is online at www.wgu.edu/militarytuition. WGU was aided in its negotiations with the DOD by a letter of support from the Western Governors Association and the active involvement by members of the Alaska delegation. WGU online degree programs are ideal for military personnel in Alaska who find it difficult to carry on their education due to being in locations where accessibility to campus-based courses is difficult or impossible. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Luis Lozano, U.S. Army, appreciates the flexibility of online education and WGU's competency-based approach. "Being in the military and working on a graduate degree represents a serious challenge. Western Governors University online courses provide flexibility, and their competent staff allows me the opportunity to accomplish my duties as an Army officer and still work on my education. WGU competency-based programs ensure that I have the knowledge that will set me apart and make me successful in my future career," he says. GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.