Military academy’s graduates will be paid in cash, not gold
Students at a military academy in Ontario will get their tuition money in cash rather than gold, a decision that could encourage military families to transfer their children to more prestigious schools, including one with a military pedigree.
“It’s a significant move to ensure that graduates are earning money in real-time rather than in the distant future,” said Brig.-Gen. Andrew Smith, deputy chief of staff to the Chief of Defence Staff.
The decision comes as the military prepares to expand its military academy network, which could mean thousands of students will be transferring to colleges in Canada and abroad.
Soldiers have been transferring to more elite schools, such as the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, since the military began offering financial aid to its graduates, which will start Jan. 1.
But some graduates say they are worried about the financial implications.
In a report last year, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation said that while many military graduates earn cash, some are being paid in gold.
At the same time, a government report found that in the past few years, the average annual tuition paid to graduates at Canadian military colleges has risen by more than $1,000, from $8,500 in 2011 to $9,500 this year.
And some military families have opted to transfer to more expensive schools, like the University of Toronto’s Royal Military College in Toronto, which has been criticized for its higher tuition rates.
Many military families are concerned that if they want to have a better chance of transferring their children abroad, they will need to do so before they can get the same tuition money.
To get around this, the military is also making transfers in gold to eligible families of military personnel who have graduated, instead of gold.
The change in policy will mean that eligible military families will receive a total of $3,000 in cash instead of the $6,000 they received in gold, Smith said.
While the move to gold may help ease some families’ concerns, it won’t solve the issue of who is getting paid what, he added.
According to the military, the change will not affect all students who are transferred to military academies.
About 3,200 Canadian military graduates are eligible for transfer to a university in the United States, the service says.
Smith said the change is designed to help students at military acadades feel more secure when transferring to higher-ranking schools.
It also ensures the military has a better understanding of the financial situations of students, he said.
“It’s the first time in decades that the military will pay money to students in their graduating year,” Smith said, adding that the money will be deposited in their parents’ bank accounts.
Canada’s military will have the ability to pay military students in cash.
Students will be able to receive tuition money if they are enrolled in a Canadian military program and are on the reserve force.
The amount they can receive is based on their rank and will not change with time.