Navy Tuition Assistance

Currently, excellent opportunities for students with debt exist. Forgiveness programs or repayment plans help debtors to get partial or full elimination of their outstanding balance. However, these programs are beneficial only after the debt has been accumulated. Navy Tuition Assistance, on the contrary, allows students to enjoy ‘free’ education. It funds the tuition costs and prevents borrowing in the first place. Therefore, such assistance brings more benefits in the long term with the elimination of interest payments and the stress that comes with it. Yet, this program has many limitations with its eligibility conditions or caps in the awarding amount. You can get familiar with the details of the assistance in the section below. If you need further help with the program, you can contact our experts right now!

Navy Tuition Assistance

Navy Tuition Assistance covers the tuition costs for eligible sailors and navy reservists. Though limitations and caps exist, this program can help you eliminate up to 100% of the tuition fee. However, in return, applicants need to meet several requirements. For instance, you need to study in a qualifying educational institution that has proper accreditation. Tuition Assistance for the Navy can cover the costs for classroom or independent study for a high school diploma, bachelor, master, associate degrees, and certificate courses. You can get familiar with the details of the program in subsequent sections.


The eligibility criteria for Navy Tuition Assistance can seem challenging. Therefore, patience is an essential requirement for application, as well as other conditions which we will discuss in this section. The good news is that this program is both available to on-duty sailors and reservists. Both of them should have at least two years of previous military service to be eligible for using Tuition Assistance for the Navy.


Let’s first start with active-duty sailors. You need to have a permanent duty that lasted a minimum a year previously. Alternatively, this condition applies to people who received a waiver by CO or OIC. Next, applicants need to be on active duty during the whole course period. Also, educational institutions of sailors matter. These facilities should have accreditation, a regional or national level. This accreditation is qualified if it was given by an agency which the US Department of Education approves.  Different from other types of financial programs, Navy Tuition Assistance puts massive importance on counseling. Before applying for the first time, all applicants should counsel with a qualifying person. This person is usually a counselor from OCONUS Navy College Office or Navy College Virtual Education Center. Additionally, all participants of the program need to submit their curriculum. This document is also called an education plan, and it indicates all the mandatory courses for sailors to get a degree. Again, your counselor should approve this plan.  Another requirement for the Navy Tuition assistance is that participants should input their previous grades for courses that the program funded. Applicants can receive reimbursement for the courses they made payments. These courses belong to a category called ‘collectible grades.’ We will discuss them later in the Reimbursement section. Lastly, sailors should agree to a mandatory commitment period for at least two years. This service starts from the day the last funded course ends. If sailors fail to meet this obligation, they have to pay back all the assistance amount. 


Naval Reservists should also have served in the Navy Operational Support Center that lasted a minimum of one year. Another equivalent service can also be qualifying. Plus, enlisting reservists should be called to active duty of two years or more. Additionally, they should stay in their function during the whole course. If you are a Naval Reserve Officer, you should also serve two years after you end the class. Benefits Navy Tuition Assistance covers the cost of education, more specifically, the tuition fee. Therefore, it is different from other financial assistance programs for students. Forgiveness or repayment plans are usually beneficial for people with education debt. They can only take advantage of the program after they accumulate the debt. However, tuition assistance helps Navy Tuition Assistance covers the cost of education, more specifically, the tuition fee. Therefore, it is different from other financial assistance programs for students. Forgiveness or repayment plans are usually beneficial for people with education debt. They can only take advantage of the program after they accumulate the debt. However, tuition assistance helps students to cover their tuition fees and stops them from borrowing. While it is a great advantage for students with financial hardships, it also has several limitations.

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Limitations of the Assistance

Firstly, you need to keep in mind Navy Reserve Tuition Assistance does not cover additional expenses for books or other supplies. You should not also expect that Tuition Assistance for the Navy will fund your academic fees, such as flight training. Therefore, applicants should talk with their educational institutions and define the required costs beforehand. In this way, you can identify which costs will stay out of the coverage of assistance.
Also, if you fail a course and need to retake, Navy Tuition Assistance will not pay twice for it. Additionally, this program does not cover the cost if you leave service before completing a course, withdraw or fail. However, exceptions exist if the reason for your withdrawal is illness, transfer, or requirements of your mission. In other cases, you can be obliged to reimburse payments of the TA program.
Lastly, limitations exist for tuition fee coverage, too. The program does not cover different amounts of tuition without any cap. There are some caps that you need to be careful about. For instance, per semester, you can only receive $250 for an hour. This amount is only around $167 per quarter hour and approximately $16.7 per clock hour. Besides, starting from October, 2019, new rules emerged for caps. They demand that the benefit will be limited to a fiscal year cap. This cap is for 12 semesters, 18 quarters, and 180 clock hours. For a lifetime cap, you should multiply these durations with ten. For example, a lifetime cap in terms of semester hours is 120.

How to Apply to Navy Tuition Assistance?

During the application process, your best partner will be MyNavy Education. It is an online portal for submitting applications and checking their status. Before every term, active-duty sailors or reservists should submit their applications to this portal. If there are courses that cover different periods than other classes, you need to create a separate application for them. Then, your service branch needs to approve it.

Now that you know about the portal, let’s start the application process. Please, keep in mind that you should follow these steps in order. 

First, prospective applicants should inform their chain of command about their desire to study and aim to participate in Navy Reserve Tuition Assistance. Your chain of command must approve your request. Next, you need to go through some pieces of training. If you apply for the first time, two training requirements exist that explain Navy Tuition Assistance policies and virtual counseling. You can access both of them in your MyNavy account. Though it is mandatory to complete these pieces of training at least once in your career, it is advisable to check them to stay up-to-date regularly. After completing them, you need to upload your certificates to the portal. 


You should also contact your counselor, who will be your guide through the whole process. Together you can review the education plan(curriculum) and submit it. After finalizing all these steps, you will be ready to apply in the portal. You have only 14 days from the term start to submit this form and get approval. However, you can also do these steps 120 days before the start of the term. We advise you to do it as early as possible. In this way, if there is any problem with your application, you can solve it before the deadline. Lastly, if you receive approval, the system will generate a TA voucher for you. By printing, signing, and sending it to your educational institution, you can get rid of the payment.

Requirements of Approval

We have already discussed that you need to get a command approval before you receive a voucher. When you submit the application, you should input the e-mail address of the approver. This person is usually your CO. He/She confirms that you meet all the requirements for the service. For instance, the applicant passed the fitness assessment or advancement exam. They also confirm that the participants have not received Non-Judicial punishment during the last six months, etc. Also, consider that your approver should confirm your application during the 14 days after the term start. 

Your Responsibilities

In this section, we will discuss some issues that might occur during the funding period. Applicants have specific responsibilities that they should consider not losing their financial aid benefits. 

First of all, in case any changes in courses happen, you have to report it. Also, applicants should earn qualifying grades. The acceptable range for grades is above C for undergraduates and above B for graduate students. 


After you use your course voucher, some changes can occur. Please, keep in mind that vouchers are separate for each class, term, and section. The changes can be made to course number, title date, etc. If you face any changes, it is your responsibility to report them. Otherwise, you can face grading, billing issues, or even lose your award.

As mentioned earlier, dropping the course will seize your funding. Sure, you can add and drop classes during the add/drop period. However, after its deadline, if you drop the course, you should request cancellation. Additionally, withdrawing can also affect your status. In most cases, the withdrawal will end with a request for reimbursement from you. Yet, there are instances for exception. If you face a station transfer, additional duty, mandatory service, personal illness, or emergency leave, you can get a waiver for reimbursement. 

After you finish the course, you have to submit a grade report. For this submission, first, your institution should publish grades electronically. You should get access to grade reports in your online account. Then, participants need to send this report by mail or e-mail. Do not forget that you have only 30 days after the end date of the course to send the document. If you fail, you have to reimburse the funding of Navy Tuition Assistance.

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Reimbursement and Waiver

Navy Tuition Assistance goes directly to the account of the educational institution, bypassing the students. Awardees of the Navy Reserve Tuition Assistance do not participate in the billing directly. However, if you fail to receive satisfactory grades, you have to reimburse the funding amount for your course. 

Reimbursement for grading happens when an awardee receives “collectible grade.” For instance, receiving D or lower for undergraduate, C or lower for graduate, non-passing or incomplete grade, and withdrawal belong to this category. In these cases, through your Commanding Officer, you will get a letter for your debt. You can reimburse the amount by paying directly or allowing a deduction from your military pay. 

Yet, you can take advantage of waiver and avoid reimbursement from your pocket. There are two types of waivers available. We have already talked about the first one, which is “Involuntary Withdrawal.” Personal illness, mandatory commitment were some of the reasons for this waiver. The second waiver is for the policies. For instance, you can get a waiver for the eligibility condition that applicants should be on board for at least a year before using the Navy Tuition Assistance program. However, each request in the policy waiver is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Get Our Help

Tuition Assistance for the Navy students is an excellent opportunity. It eliminates up to 100% of tuition fee and promises a debt-free education. While it is one of the best programs available for students, it does not fit everyone. Many students have already accumulated debt. Therefore, Navy Tuition Assistance is no use for them. They have to take advantage of current forgiveness and repayment plans. In all cases, finding a financial aid program that fits your conditions is challenging. Yet, it is where Forget Student Debt comes to rescue. Our expert team is ready and willing to find the most beneficial option and guide you through the whole process. Contact us now to get answers to your questions and concerns.