Army National Guard Tuition Assistance

Overview

The Army National Guard Tuition Assistance is a federal financial assistance offered education program that meets certain criteria. First, these programs need to be off-duty. Secondly, they also have to be purely voluntary.  The funds go towards the financial assistance of army personnel’s individual and professional development objectives. It is, therefore, a very essential form of funding for the professional advancement of soldiers in active service.  As such, many potential soldiers and students find themselves asking questions about the program. 

How Do You Qualify for Army National Guard Tuition Assistance?

Among the questions, many applicants ask, one of the questions we encounter the most is their topic about how to properly apply for the Army National Guard Tuition Assistance (ANGTA). This is easy to understand since the first concern of everyone who plans to enter the army is how to strategically position themselves for all the benefits of serving their country.  Generally, there are two tiers of the Tuition Assistance program. Therefore, we’ll look at how to qualify for each separately. `if you’re as interested as I am, then please continue reading to find out more.

1st Tier

Below are the conditions you need to meet to qualify for participation in the Army National Guard Tuition Assistance program. We advise you to take your time and carefully consider each point to determine if you meet the criteria before proceeding to the next point. It’s not uncommon for readers to skim through the points only to find that they missed vital details. 

  • You must be in active service in the Army National Guard (ARNG). Also, the authorities require applicants to have finished either Basic Officer Leaders Course (BOLC), Warrant Officer Basic Course (WOBC), or Advanced Individual Training (AIT). 
  • Wish to obtain a Master’s degree after completing a bachelor’s degree without financial assistance from FTA. 
  • Wish to read a graduate academic certificate after the successful completion of bachelor’s degree.
  • Haven’t obtained either a bachelor’s degree, undergraduate academic certificate nor associate degree and wish to pursue any of these. 

2nd Tier

Must presently be in the service of the ARNG and have finished either Captain’s Career Course (CCC), Warrant Officer Advanced Course (WOAC), Advanced Leader’s Course (ALC) or any equivalent of these programs. 

Must have obtained a bachelor’s degree via assistance with FTA and plan to continue with a Master’s degree.

Obligations and Requirements

Commissioned warrant officers and other officers will either undergo Reserve Duty Service Obligation for 4 years or be subject to two years of service in a position of active duty. 

Must have an MRD or ETS upon completing a course funded with the Army National Guard Tuition Assistance. 

Service - Degree Funding

The ANGTA has very significant benefits for students of today, especially in this current era of the student debt crisis. Assuming you’ve finished your AIT or Advanced Individual Training, Basic Officer Leadership or WOBC (Warrant Officer Basic Course), you have the green light to apply. 

 

What You’ll Get

Once you’ve ascertained that you meet the requirements to participate in the Army National Guard Tuition Assistance program, you need to know what’s entitled to you under the program. Soldiers that meet the requirements above can expect to get funds from the FTA as high as $250 for each semester up to about 16 semester hours per academic year.  Indeed, all this money goes only to cover the tuition so as to help move your education forward. Because as we stated in the opening overview, the fundamental aim of the program is to help soldiers in their professional advancement. Below, you’ll find the lifetime limits of the FTA program. 
  • For diploma or certificate, 12 semester hours
  • Those doing graduates course get 39 semester hours
  • Undergraduates get 130 semester hours. 
You can consider yourself eligible if your university or college is accredited on the national or at least, at the regional level. Also, the educational institution must be a participant of GoArmyEd. 

Level of Credentials

The Army National Guard Tuition Assistance goes toward any of the following credentials at the levels listed below: 
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Undergraduate certificate
  • Associate Degree
Note: The following levels are not eligible: Juris doctorate, doctorate degrees. I.e these are first professional degrees. Also, the FTA is aimed at helping you advance professionally. Hence, you need to use it to achieve a higher degree and not a lateral or lower diploma.  Also, it’s noteworthy to mention that FTA is a program that assists with tuition. Therefore, you should expect it to help with any other fees or educational expenses such as travel expenses, books, or any other teaching and learning materials.

How To Apply

Now, let’s answer the million-dollar question, how do you apply? Simply follow the steps and guidelines below and you should be good to go.  Firstly, you want to create your account with the ARNG at GoArmyEd.com:  Visit the site of Go Army Ed and set up an account for GAE Federal Tuition Assistance. You can do this when you click on the button depicted as ‘New User”. Next, you proceed to enter all your details as accurately and humanly as possible. Remember, the success of your application depends on how accurate all your information checks out.  You can find additional details about eligibility by contacting your state education services office. Also, you can visit their home page. There is enough information waiting to be discovered there.  Having done all these, it’s safe to assume you now know if you’re eligible for the Army National Guard Tuition Assistance program. In this case, you have to proceed with the application and activate your FTA account. 

In-depth

From here, you can start sending your requests for tuition assistance from the FTA. We’ve summarized the entire process below: 
  • You need to send your request to enroll in the program officially through the GoArmyEd portal before the course begins. The moment your request arrives after or on the date your course starts, it will be approved. However, it will be soldier-funded. 
  • Requests for tuition assistance are received on the basis of course. However, you need to ensure that your course is aboard a degree program the FTA approves. 
  • Every soldier that applies receives notifications of approval from GoArmyEd. And if your application was turned down, you’ll receive advice on the best way forward from GoArmyEd. 
  • You’ll have to go through GoArmyEd if you want to withdraw your application or drop out of the program. And if you fail to complete a course after receiving the Army National Guard Tuition Assistance Program for it, you’ll have to refund it. 
  • Soldiers that will pursue a course at school without any electronic GoArmyEd class schedule require a completed TA Request Authorization form that has to receive approval from an Army Education Counselor. 
  • Every quarter, you’ll have to acknowledge the TA Statement of Understanding and sign it electronically to continue enjoying tuition assistance. 
You can use FTA to significantly reduce the cost of your education. However, don’t neglect to include your state education office so as to receive the full range of benefits and programs available to National Guard Soldiers. Remember, some do cover full tuition. 

Using FTA To Pay For College

The largest tuition assistance program for National Guards is by far the Federal Tuition Assistance as we know it. In some states, the National Guard receives their benefits specifically designed by the state. This incentive is one of the main reasons many personnel re-enlist or join the ARNG.  Usually, beneficiaries receive the amount along with the range of $4500 every fiscal year. National Guard personnel looking for financial help to further their education can use this funds, and many others they qualify for to pay their tuition and begin an education in any eligible course.  Typically, some of these courses include technical training programs, trade schools and of course college. Once you get the application process right, you’re set to enjoy some good benefits. 

Present-Day Rates of FTA

As we’ve listed above, the rates the Army National Guard Tuition Assistance Program gives its participants are dependent on the number of semester hours they learn per fiscal year. However, you need to bear in mind that as you’re drawing your financial plan (and we hope you do), you’ll not receive funds higher than $4500 from the FTA.  In addition to this simple fact, the number of credit hours you will be able to pay for using this financial assistance will depend on the level of education you find yourself. Generally, this seems biased. However, when you consider the fact that different levels of education pay different tuition fees you understand the logic behind this rate discrimination.

Maximum Hours

  • Postgraduate credit gets zero hours. I.e you become ineligible to receive FTA the moment you obtain your Master’s degree.
  • Irrespective of which one comes first, you’ll get 39 semester hours for a Master’s degree or graduate credit. 
  • Baccalaureate degree or undergraduate credit gets 130 semester hours. 
Honestly, funds from FTA won’t be available to you indefinitely. Because once you reach the limit of 130 undergraduate credits, the program cuts your benefits. Likewise, those at the undergraduate or Master’s level will be cut off if they get to the limit of 39 semester hours.  You might be wondering why these limitations. They were put in place to ensure funds from the FTA go towards the best possible use. 

Are You Eligible?

All these talks about how to apply for the Army National Guard Tuition Assistance and its requirements, many may not be eligible for the program. To help clear any doubts, one more look at eligibility for the program.  Generally, all commissioned officers, enlisted soldiers, and warrant officers are eligible for the FTA. However, you still need to satisfy a few conditions and there are as follows.
  • Soldiers enlisted in the National Guard must consent to be in active service for no less than the duration of the course they intend to fund with the FTA. 
  • Participants must produce an expense that is valid from a school that’s duly accredited by a national or regional accreditation board. 
  • You’re a part of the traditional Guards.
  • Officers to enjoy the benefits of the Army National Guard Tuition Assistance must agree to serve for no less than years after completing their courses funded by TA. Otherwise, the funds need to be paid back in full to the Federal Government. 
It’s essential to note that you are not eligible to receive Federal Tuition Assistance if you find yourself in the ROTC cadets. However, we need to state that you find yourself eligible to receive TA the moment you successfully join the Army National Guard. Yet it still has one limiting attribute. This is the fact the assistance program isn’t guaranteed until you have met all the list of eligibility criteria stated above.  Therefore, many applicants find out that the program accepts its applications on the basis of who applied first. What does this mean to you? You don’t have to waste any time getting your application through the door.  Sure, there is the need to do your due diligence and make sure every piece of information you provide is correct. However, if you take too much time and submit a late application, it might not make any difference. 

Expenses That Qualify

The Army National Guard Tuition Assistance is different from other TA programs in one respect. Funds from the program can only cover particular expenses such as tuition and a few other fees as authorized. 
Per the ARNG’s explanations in its official document, the benefits of the program are described as usable only for “authorized fee.” According to the ARNG, there are fees that students have to pay due to their enrollment or as a result of the course’s requirements. 

Below, we’ve listed the expenses you can expect your ANGTA to cover: 

  • Tuition fees
  • Cost of enrollment

Apart from the Army National Guard Tuition Assistance, every other TA program for military personnel states that beneficiaries need to use funds to pay for expenses that are either mandatory, published or payable due to their enrollment in course. It is safe to assume that these conditions apply to ARNG tuition assistance too.