The Military Guide to Tuition Assistance

Tuition Assistance (TA) is a program that covers up to 100% tuition for active-duty military and reserve service members. This program covers courses up to $250 per credit hour with a maximum cost of $4,500. Students should expect to build an education goal plan, attend TA orientation classes, and submit an application prior to approval. Once students enter the program, they should plan on attending regionally and nationally accredited schools.

Become an “Army Strong” Student

The Army and National Guard allow an array of active and reserve members to apply for TA. To apply, personnel must first submit their tuition assistance application through GoArmyEd prior to the starting date. The Army must then approve the application. If the TA request is not approved, the Army will notify the person and suggest the next steps to take.Each quarter that Army students submit a TA application, they must read and sign the TA Statement of Understanding. If a National Guard or Army member wants to attend a non-LOI school, or non-Letter of Intent school, they must submit the application 10 days before the start of the course.

Students can be “Forged by the Sea”

The Navy has a slightly different application process from the Army and National Guard. To begin, sailors must inform their chain of command of their intent to start or continue their education. After completing this step, they must complete the Higher Education Preparation Course and TA Policy and Procedures Training. Once the training is complete, sailors then meet with a Navy College Education Counselor to receive education counseling and establish a plan for their goals. Sailors are then able to submit their application for tuition assistance after completing these steps. This must be done at least 14 days prior to the start of class. From “Always Faithful” to “Always Learning,” Marine Corps applicants begin the TA steps through a 15-minute, College 101 brief. After watching the presentation they must submit a statement of understanding, as well as the TA application. First-time applicants must also complete a financial management course prior to applying. Also, it’s recommended that the tuition assistance process begins 60 days before the term start date. All TA recipients automatically agree to remain on active duty for two years after graduation.

“Aim High” with your Educational Goals

Air Force applicants can learn about TA benefits here.  Supervisor approval is granted through the Air Force Virtual Education Center (AFVEC) during a 7-45 day window prior to the term start date. The application requires you to submit the reason for continuing your education, the name of the school, term dates, course information, and fees. Your supervising officer must approve your intent prior to the application process.

“Cover Your 6:” Education Has Your Back

Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

The opportunity to pursue higher education at little to no cost is an invaluable resource. Remember to adhere to all guidelines and rules and apply early to make sure you get the TA you need. Don’t forget that if the TA doesn’t cover all your costs, you can still apply for low-interest student loans from the federal government by filing FAFSA®.