While serving in the Air Force, you might be thinking about going to college.  One way to pay for school is to use the Air Force Tuition Assistance program.

There are different ways to pay for your schooling while you are in the military, and Tuition Assistance (TA) is one of them.

Air Force Tuition Assistance Program

Each of the five branches of the military has a TA program with service-specific criteria. Here is what you need to know about Air Force Tuition Assistance.

Who can use the Air Force Tuition Assistance program?

All enlisted Airmen can use Tuition Assistance. If you are an officer, you can use TA too but will incur a service obligation of one year following the completion of your course.

RELATED: Air Force Education Programs

What can you use Air Force Tuition Assistance for?

  • Tuition Assistance will pay for your tuition, not fees, books, or other supplies.
  • You can use Tuition Assistance for off-duty courses at schools who have been accredited and have signed the Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding.
  • You can use TA to pursue specific academic or technical degree programs.
  • You can only use TA for a program higher than the degree you already have. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can not use TA for an associate’s degree.
  • Associate’s degrees from the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) are an exception. If you have an associate’s degree from CCAF, you can also use TA for a civilian associate’s degree.
  • You can not use the Air Force Tuition Assistance for multiple degrees at the same level.
  • Foreign language courses are only approved if they are part of a degree or if they are on the approved shortage list.

How does one request Tuition Assistance?

Applications can be done online through the Air Force Virtual Education Center. It would also be a good idea to go to your base’s educational center to get more information about TA through the Air Force.

How much is Tuition Assistance?

The Air Force Tuition Assistance program will pay 100% of your tuition, up to $250 per credit hour, $166 per quarter hour. This would be up to $4,500 per fiscal year.

What do I need to know about Tuition Assistance eligibility in the Air Force?

  • You will need to have your Tuition Assistance funding request approved by supervisors through the Air Force Virtual Education Center (AFVEC.)
  • You will need to have this done within 45 calendar days before, and no later than seven days before the start of the term. If you have any Tuition Assistance that was not approved in time, it will be auto-deleted, and you will be notified.
  • If you have been in-active with your education for a year or more, you will need to receive follow-up counseling from your local education officer before being able to use the TA benefits.
  • You can use TA for no more than 124 semester hours, or 186 quarter hours for a bachelor’s degree, and 42 semester hours, 70 quarter hours for a graduate degree.
  • TA will be denied for Airmen with UIFs, a failed PT test, referral EPR/OPRs, or if you are on a control roster.
  • You will need to apply for TA in a timely manner and work closely with counselors to find the right classes to take for their degree programs.
  • You will be required to populate an e-Degree plan in the AFVEC with the help of counselors. This will help you figure out exactly what classes you need to take to achieve your educational goals.

If you are serving in the Air Force and would like to use Tuition Assistance to pay for all or part of your education, make sure that you qualify, and make plans to sign up if you do.

You can look up over 2,100 schools that accept Tuition Assistance in the CollegeRecon School Search tool.  Under the tab labeled “Vet/Military Service”, please check the filter “Approved for TA Funding.”


Tuition Assistance Overview

Air Force Education Programs