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Active Duty Tuition Assistance

Each service branch - Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard - offers a Tuition Assistance (TA) Program that helps defray the cost of education for Active Duty or Reserve personnel. TA Programs are not the GI Bill and there is a distinction. For some ranks, MOS and pay grades, an additional service commitment is required. Please check with your base education officer for more details.

100% Tuition Assistance
If you are active duty military, you may be eligible for Air Force 100% Tuition Assistance. The Air Force will pay 100% of tuition costs to receive a degree provided you have not received 100% tuition assistance previously to achieve the same level of degree. Simply fill out an AF Form 1227, Authority for Tuition Assistance – Education Services Program form (.PDF), and bring it to your Education Services Office, along with your degree plan.

PELL Grants
These grants are available through the federal government and are based on the previous year's income tax return. Contact the school you decide to attend for more information and application forms.

These vary not only in amount of assistance but the type of scholarship available. Contact your Education Services Office or Family Support Center for more information.

VA Benefits
The GI Bill and VEAP programs are able to assist those who enrolled. The amount of assistance available depends on the number of semester hours being taken and the type of assistance you enrolled in. For more information, visit the VA Education Home Page.

The Army Tuition Assistance Program (TA) is provided in support of the voluntary education and training of active duty service members during their off-duty periods. 

What is the current tuition assistance policy?

Effective 1 Oct 02, the Army will pay all or a portion of the charges of an educational institution for the tuition and expenses of its soldiers for postsecondary education during off-duty periods, up to the newly established semester hour cap of $250 and annual ceiling of $4500. When an institution’s tuition and fees are $250 or less per semester hour (or equivalent), the Army will pay 100 percent of the amount charged by an institution. When an institution’s fees exceed $250 per semester, the Army will pay $250 per semester hour (or equivalent) of credit.

Commissioned officers and warrant officers incur a two-year service obligation when they use tuition assistance. Can this obligation be waived?

U.S. Code 2007, Title 10, mandates commissioned officers who use TA incur a two-year obligation upon completion of the education program. Only the HRC Commanding General has the authority to waive the TA active duty service obligation (ADSO).

Can soldiers at remote and deployed sites continue their college education?

Yes. There are Education Centers in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Qatar, the Sinai and Kuwait. Soldiers deployed to those areas should contact the Education Center in their area for assistance. Active duty Soldiers who are deployed to an area with no local Education Center (e.g. Iraq) should contact the Education Center at the installation where they were stationed prior to deployment. Mobilized members of the Army Reserve Component should contact the Education Center at the installation where they were processed for deployment. Click here to find Education Center contact information.

Can tuition assistance be used for a course for which a failing grade was previously received?

If you reimburse the Army the amount of TA paid for the failed course, then yes, you can receive TA again for that same course. Soldiers are required to reimburse TA when they receive failing grades; either for academic reasons or for non-attendance. Soldiers must reimburse TA paid for all failed courses (other than for military reasons), except in extenuating circumstances (i.e., death of immediate family member, hospitalization, etc.).

Where can more information regarding tuition assistance be found?

Direct questions regarding tuition assistance to a local Army Education Center. A list of contacts for the U.S. Army Reserve and the Army National Guard may be found at

Are all colleges and schools approved for the use of tuition assistance?

Tuition assistance may be provided for schools that are accredited by accrediting agencies that are approved by the U. S. Department of Education. A list of approved accrediting agencies may be found at: To find out the accreditation of a particular institution, check that school’s website or look in the American Council on Education’s sourcebook called Accredited Institutions of Postsecondary Education. This resource is available in your local education center.

What is Tuition Assistance?

Tuition Assistance (TA) is the Navy's educational financial assistance program. It provides active duty personnel funding for tuition costs for courses taken in an off-duty status at a regionally, nationally or professionally accredited college, university, vocational/technical institution, or other facility recognized by the Department of Education. Navy TA pays for both classroom and independent study/distance learning courses, regardless of course length. Courses must be offered in Semester Hours, Quarter Hours, Clock Hours or Continuing Education Units (CEUs). The credit earned must show on the institution's transcript.

All Navy Tuition Assistance pays up-front the tuition and fees charged by educational institutions for course enrollments. Navy TA pays 100% of tuition costs for courses applicable to the completion of a high school diploma or equivalency certificate. For other education levels, there is a fiscal year credit limit of 12 Semester Hours, 18 Quarter Hours, 180 Clock Hours or 18 CEUs per individual.

Payment for tuition and fees will not exceed the following caps: $250.00 per semester hour, $166.67 per quarter hour, $16.67 per clock hour, $166.67 per Continuing Education Unit (CEU).

Who is eligible?

TA is available to both Naval Officer and Enlisted active duty personnel and Naval Reservists on continuous active duty. It is also available to enlisted Naval Reservists ordered to active duty 120 days and to Naval Reservist Officers ordered to active duty for 2 years or more. To qualify, service members must:

  • be on active duty for the whole length of the course.
  • attend an institution accredited by a regional, national, or professional accrediting agency recognized by the Department of Education.
  • receive counseling from a Navy College Office
  • if enlisted, determine if a CLEP/DSST exam could take the place of the course to be funded (either ask your school or your Navy College Office). If a CLEP/DSST exam credit could apply, consult with your Navy College Office for instructions on taking the practice test and scheduling an appointment for the test.
  • provide all grades from previously funded TA courses and reimburse all W and F grades. (Withdrawals for involuntary reasons may be granted with command verification.)
  • agree, if an officer, to remain on active duty for at least two years upon completion of courses funded by TA. This obligation runs concurrently with remaining obligated service time. Those who fail to serve the obligation must repay the TA funds expended on their behalf during the last two years of active duty on a pro rated basis.

TA Application Form

Your command-approved Tuition Assistance Application, NAVEDTRA 1560/5 Tuition Assistance Authorization (.PDF), must be submitted to your supporting Navy College Office or Marine Corps Education Center for processing.

Tuition Assistance Funding Policy
  • TA funds are authorized up to 100% of tuition not to exceed $250 per semester hour equivalent and $4,500 per individual per fiscal year. Within the caps and limits, fees may be paid along with tuition when the fees are directly required for course enrollment. Fees must be published, mandatory, and charged for course enrollment in order to be eligible for Marine Corps TA funding. Mandatory course enrollment fees are those refundable fees charged by the institution that are directly related to the enrollment in a specific course offered by that institution. If a non-refundable fee is included in the TA and the course is cancelled with no other courses active at the institution, the student is responsible for reimbursing either the institution or the Marine Corps for the non-refundable fee. Service members are responsible for the portion of tuition and other costs not funded by TA. The installation education services officer has the discretion in limiting the number of courses/course load taken per term by the service member.
  • A semester hour is the equivalent of 15 clock hours. A quarter hour is the equivalent of two-thirds of a semester hour or 10 credit hours. TA will fund a maximum of $16.67 per clock hour. TA will fund a maximum of $166.67 per quarter hour or $250 per semester hour.
  • Tuition for all authorized courses will be funded at time of registration regardless of the length of the course. If a course does not have a specific end date, the maximum time the academic institution allows a student to complete the course will be used.
  • Tuition for study leading to a valid high school credential or diploma will be fully funded (100%) up to a maximum of $4,500 per individual per fiscal year.
  • TA funds are authorized for vocational and technical, undergraduate, graduate, independent study, and distance learning programs. Courses must be offered by institutions accredited by agencies recognized by the united states department of education.
  • Developmental courses. These are courses that cover basic academic skills such as English, Math, Reading and Writing. As long as the institution offers these courses for credit , TA may be approved. TA may be authorized for credit bearing courses even if the school will not count the credits toward a degree. Service members who have been screened and identified by an institution's counselor(s) as requiring developmental courses as a prerequisite to enrollment in college courses may use ta funds for such courses. The Education Services Officer must receive official confirmation from the institution substantiating the requirement for developmental courses. Funding for these courses will accrue toward the individual's FY undergraduate cap. TA funds are authorized for study toward a certificate or degree at a higher academic level than that currently held by the service member. Service members using TA can only pursue one educational goal at a time. TA will fund only one graduate or professional degree since they are considered degree equivalents. Duplicate degrees will not be funded. If the academic institution requires prerequisites, TA may fund up to nine (9) semester hours or equivalent of those prerequisites for the next higher academic level of study. The service member must provide the Education Services Officer with an official letter from the institution listing required prerequisites. The Education Services Officer shall determine if funding is warranted and shall retain the letter on file.
  • Service members eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) may use their MGIB benefit to offset that portion of tuition and related fees not covered by TA.
  • TA funds are not authorized for continuing education units, or preparatory courses; courses that end after the service member's EAS; books, computers, tools, or other tangible items.
  • TA is not authorized for personnel awarded a punitive discharge, in confinement, on appellate leave, or awaiting administrative separation other than honorable or general discharge under honorable conditions. TA is not authorized for service members convicted by foreign or domestic courts, serving sentences in foreign prisons, or pending administrative vice punitive discharges.
  • TA funds will be recouped from the service member for failed courses, incomplete courses, or courses from which the member voluntarily withdrew. Recoupment for duty-related withdrawals may be waived for a service member.
  • Recoupment for undergraduate grades of "f" and graduate grades of "D" and below will not be waived.
TA Application Form

Your command-approved Tuition Assistance Application, NAVEDTRA 1560/5 Tuition Assistance Authorization (.PDF), must be submitted to your supporting Navy College Office or Marine Corps Education Center for processing.

The annual cap for TA is now $4,500 for active duty personnel, selected reservists and civilian employees. Additionally, tuition assistance is funded at 100% up to a cap of $250 dollars per semester hour (e.g., if a three semester hour course costs $1,100; government share is $750 dollars, student share $350 dollars). Quarter hours are capped at $166.67 dollars and clock hours at $16.67 dollars.

Eligible expenses such as laboratory, studio, shop fees and consumable supplies required for the course may be included in the tuition cost. Total tuition plus eligible expenses may not exceed the $250 dollars semester hour cap. Expenses not covered by TA include textbooks, student activity fees, parking fees, general and technology fees, and entrance or enrollment fees (unless these fees are identified by the school as "fees in lieu of tuition").

Eligibility for Tuition Assistance

  • Officers must agree to an obligation of one year upon completion of the course. Officers in an involuntary separation status are not eligible for this program.
  • For all eligible Coast Guard, Coast Guard Reserve and USPHS personnel, the Command Education Services Officer (ESO) must certify that the course of instruction is taken with a nationally or regionally accredited institution, resulting in accredited college credit. Courses resulting in non-accredited contact hours or clock hours, and continuing education units (CEU), are not authorized for TA.
  • Enlisted members will not incur an active duty obligation but must complete the course of instruction prior to relad, separation, or retirement.
  • Members who change status (e.g., from active duty to selected reserve, active duty to civilian, etc.) during the course of instruction are exempt from para 4.c.
  • Civilian employees with at least 90 days of Coast Guard service are eligible for tuition assistance. Civilian employees must agree to remain employed with the coast guard one month for each course credit hour upon completion of the course.

TA Application Form

The Coast Guard institute will make every effort to process TA applications as quickly as possible. During heavy registration periods, especially in the fall and spring, processing time may take up to 10 days. All users of the TA program are reminded that prompt submission of a properly completed application for off-duty assistance form, Application for Coast Guard Tuition Assistance, CG Form-4147 (.PDF), is required prior to class registration. Applicants should plan and submit the request in order to allow for receipt of the authorization form prior to the start of class registration.

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Page added: 13 May 200