Everything You Need to Know About the Military Tuition Assistance Program

Qualified members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are looking to further their civilian education can enroll in the Armed Forces Tuition Assistance Program (TA), a financial support program in which the military provides funding for the educational goals of its service members. This program, also called Military Tuition Assistance, is offered to members of the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, and offers up to 100% tuition assistance for off-duty education.

The TA criterion varies within each faction of the military, with different requirements for eligibility, obligated services, application processes and restrictions. TA is not a loan and does not have to be paid back. In most cases, direct payment is made by the individual military service to the institution at which a service member is receiving their education.

For active duty members who have course costs that exceed the benefits provided by TA, the MGIB “top-up” is another financial assistance program that can be used additionally. Top-Up is a service that allows GI Bill participants to use the GI Bill to supplement the tuition and fees not covered by tuition assistance. Top-Up can provide the amounted difference not covered by TA to equal the total cost of college courses.

Here is a breakdown of the different requirements and benefits offered by each individual military service:


Army Tuition Assistance



Tuition and Fees: Army Tuition Assistance covers 100% tuition and fees not to exceed:

  • $250 per semester credit hour
  • $166 per quarter credit hour
  • $4500 total for the fiscal year

What is covered: The Army Tuition Assistance covers the following fees:

  • Tuition
  • Lab Fees
  • Special Fees
  • Computer Fees

Who is eligible: The following categories of Army Personnel are able to use the Army Tuition Assistance:

  • Active Duty Army
  • Army Reserves on Active Duty Status
  • Army National Guard on Active Duty

Form: Online Application Process


Navy Tuition Assistance



Tuition and Fees: Navy Tuition Assistance covers 100% tuition and fees not to exceed:

  • $250 per semester credit hour
  • $166.67 per quarter credit hour
  • $16.67 per clock hour
  • Limit of 16 semester hours per fiscal year
  • Limit of 24 quarter hours per fiscal year

What is covered: The Navy Tuition Assistance covers the following fees:

  • Tuition
  • Lab Fees
  • Special Fees
  • Computer Fees

Who is eligible: The following categories of Navy Personnel are able to use the Navy Tuition Assistance:

  • Active Duty Navy
  • Naval Reserves in Active Duty Status

Form: NETPDTC 1560                                 


Air Force Tuition Assistance



Tuition and Fees: Air Force Tuition Assistance covers 100% tuition and fees not to exceed:

  • $250 per semester credit hour
  • $166 per quarter credit hour
  • $4500 total for the fiscal year

What is covered: The Air Force Tuition Assistance covers the following fees:

  • Tuition
  • Lab Fees
  • Special Fees
  • Computer Fees

Who is eligible: The following categories of Air Force Personnel are able to use the Air Force Tuition Assistance:

  • Active Duty Air Force
  • Air Force Reserves

Form: Online Application Process


Marine Corps Tuition Assistance



Tuition and Fees: Marine Corps Tuition Assistance covers 100% tuition and fees not to exceed:

  • $250 per semester credit hour
  • $166 per quarter credit hour
  • $4500 total for the fiscal year

What is covered: The Marine Corps Tuition Assistance covers the following fees:

  • Tuition
  • Lab Fees
  • Special Fees
  • Computer Fees

Who is eligible: The following categories of Marine Corps Personnel are able to use the Marine Corps Tuition Assistance:

  • Active Duty Marines

Form: NETPDTC 1560


Coast Guard Tuition Assistance



Tuition and Fees: Coast Guard Tuition Assistance covers 100% tuition and fees not to exceed:

  • $250 per semester credit hour
  • $166 per quarter credit hour
  • $4500 total for the fiscal year

What is covered: The Coast Guard Tuition Assistance covers the following fees:

  • Tuition
  • Lab Fees

Who is eligible: The following categories of Coast Guard Personnel are able to use the Coast Guard Tuition Assistance:

  • Active Duty Coast Guard
  • Selective Reserve
  • Civilian Employees

Form: CG-4147

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About the Author: Mackenzie Maher

Mackenzie Maher, Editor and Online Content Manager, graduated in 2010 from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a BA in Global Studies and a minor in Professional Writing, with an editing emphasis. Mackenzie’s diverse portfolio also includes writing, editing, photography, and documentary script writing on such subjects as travel, career, and finance. Next to writing, she is most passionate about world travel (she has visited 24 countries). Check out her travel photography portfolio..

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