Are you a military member serving our country? We applaud you. Each day you spend as an active member of the United States military, you build respect, honor, and dignity to your uniform.
Do you need military tuition assistance? Maybe you’ve thought of finishing a degree but don’t know if you can afford the tuition and fees. The military tuition assistance provides you the benefit you need to complete your degree.
As active military personnel, you qualify for extensive benefits under educational assistance. Don’t lose out on these benefits. Take advantage of the military tuition assistance today and finish your degree.
Here’s how to go about it.
The TA benefits qualified members of the Navy, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Air Force, which allows you to pay up to 100 percent of your tuition and fees. Each service has a different requirement for eligibility, the application process, required service, and restrictions.
You can choose to use the GI Bill Top-up in addition to the provided military tuition assistance to cover any expensive courses. Take note that the TA is not a loan; view it as money you have earned, just like your primary salary.
A little information about the Top-Up benefit can be useful, especially when you plan to complete a degree program. So what is it? The GI Bill Top-up benefit provides you (GI Bill participant) an opportunity to supplement your tuition and fees that the TA could not cover.
The amount can be the same or different from the total amount of the college course and the cost of the military tuition assistance you pay for the degree course.
You are not eligible if you are part of the Montgomery GI Bill reserve program.
For you to be eligible, you must get certification by the federal Tuition Assistance offered by a military department. You must also qualify for the GI Bill benefits, still active on duty, and must have served for a minimum of two years.
Using the Top-Up can help if you decide to use the military tuition assistance to offer a degree program. At the same time, you are active on duty, and have no intention of continuing your degree after service. But you need to take time and consider your situation carefully before you apply for the Top-up.
Here’s why: If you decide to use the Top-up to offer expensive courses, you need to consider if you will continue your education after your military service. If you plan to do so, then you need to find and calculate the remaining benefits if it will cover for the additional course you plan to take after the military service.
Here is a simple detailed explanation of the military tuition assistance for each service. There are military tuition assistance rules you need to qualify under each service before you get the benefit from the program.
Air Force TA provides 100% tuition coverage for a college course while you are still on active duty. The program pays for your entire tuition and fees as long as it does not exceed the following:
You can apply for military tuition assistance online through the Air Force Virtual Center. Follow these six steps to complete the AFVEC online TA process:
The AF requires that you develop a goal and upload a degree plan through the AFVEC website before you request for a TA. If you need help, use the Tutorials on the AFVEC site. You can use a generic academic plan for up to six semester hours before you create a degree plan.
The program covers 100% of your tuition while on active duty. For you to be eligible, you should have completed a one year service successfully after Advanced Individual Training (AIT) graduation. You should be in the service for ten years to receive graduate-level military tuition assistance, if TA paid some part of undergraduate degree.
Submit the TA request and have it approved before the course starts. You will be mandated to reimburse if you are not able to complete your course. As an officer, a TA incurs Active Duty Service Obligation of two years. Reserve Component officers commit four years.
If you want more information, speak to an education services specialist in your base education center.
You can receive 100% reimbursement of your course cost if it does not exceed:
The limit for tuition assistance in the Army is 130-semester hours of a baccalaureate degree or undergraduate credit and 39 semester hours of master’s degree or graduate credit for post-baccalaureate degree education.
You have to create a goal and upload a degree plan through the AFVEC website before you submit your TA. You can use a generic degree plan. But you can only use it for six semester hours until you get an assessed degree plan.
The Navy Tuition Assistance provides you 100 percent of your tuition and required fees, while you are still serving. The program is available for reservists and navy officers enlisted for active duty. You are eligible if you have been on active service for 120 days as reservists and officers, a minimum of two years.
To qualify for this benefit, you must:
There’s a chance to reimburse up to 100% if it does not exceed:
You are required to refund any TA’s if you had a D or lower in an undergraduate course, had a C or lower in graduate classes, or any incomplete grade.
You can apply on the official Navy College Program website. It is essential to complete your application 30 days before the school term starts. Your TA application must get Command Approved before it goes to the VEC.
The TA permits you to receive up to 100 percent of tuition fees required to take courses while you are on active duty. It is available to all marines who have been on active duty for two years of service. The TA is also available for reserve officers with two years of active service and reservists with 120 days of active duty.
The Marine Corps offers 100 percent fees not exceeding:
With the Coast Guard TA, you can receive reimbursement up to 100 percent as long as it does not exceed:
The TA covers 100 percent of all your tuition and fees if you take the course while on active duty.
You must submit a TA application form (Command Approved, degree plan uploaded) to the ETQC 14 days before the class starts. There are no waivers or exceptions to the policy.
The TA is only available to courses for Masters degrees, bachelor’s, and first associates. To qualify for the TA, you must be on active duty for more than 180 days. There are 130 semester hours for undergraduate work and 40 semester hours for graduate work for lifetime credit hour limits.
There are many benefits available for you and your family to choose from, and there is a lot of military tuition assistance to help you through the process. Each benefit has its unique benefit, so be sure to know which one best fits you.