Army Tuition Assistance: What You Need to Know
Want to use the Army Tuition Assistance program? You should know that each service branch has its own service-specific criteria to manage its Tuition Assistance (TA) funds. Here’s a breakdown of the tuition assistance program for the Army.
Army Tuition Assistance Program
Make sure you are aware of how the Army Tuition Assistance program works and don’t base your information on how another branch’s Tuition Assistance Program.
What Can You Use Tuition Assistance for?
- TA provides financial assistance for voluntary off-duty education programs, which includes both classroom and online options.
- You must use Tuition Assistance for a certificate program, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or a master’s degree. TA is not authorized for programs beyond a master’s degree.
- You may only use TA to work on one degree or certificate at a time.
- You may not use TA for courses working toward a degree lower than the one you already have. If you already have your Bachelor’s degree, you can’t use TA to get a certificate. There are special programs that you can do this with if you have the approval of an Army Education Counselor.
How Does One Request Tuition Assistance?
You would need to go through ArmyIgnitED to get started.
GoArmyEd was shut down in February of 2021 in order to make way for the new ArmyIgnitED.
Is There a Service Obligation?
There will be a service obligation if you are an officer. For active duty officers, it is two years, for reserve officers, it is four.
The date will be calculated from the date of completion of the last course for which Tuition Assistance was used.
How Much Does Tuition Assistance Cover?
The Army will pay 100% of tuition costs up to the DOD semester hour cap of $250, $166 per quarter.
This is up to 16 semester hours per fiscal year. School fees are no longer eligible for Tuition Assistance. There will be an annual ceiling of $4,500 for the fiscal year.
What are the Limits on Army Tuition Assistance?
The current Army policy does have limits on TA. You are limited to 130 semester hours of undergraduate credit or baccalaureate degree, whichever comes first.
You are also limited to 39 semester hours of graduate or master’s degree credit. The 39 semester hour limit applies to all credits taken after completion of a baccalaureate degree.
What Do I Need To Know About Tuition Assistance Eligibility in the Army?
As of August 5th, 2018, there is a new tiered eligibility system. This will depend on your current level of post-secondary education. There are two tiers that you can fall under:
- Tier one is for those who have not gotten a Bachelor’s degree and would like to get an undergraduate certificate or diploma, an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree. Or for those who have already gotten a bachelor’s degree without using TA in the past and who would like to pursue a graduate or master’s degree. Enlisted soldiers will need to have graduated AIT, warrant officers will need to have graduated WOBC, and officers will need to have graduated from BOLC.
- Tier two is for those who previously used Tuition Assistance for any part of their undergraduate degree, have already gotten their bachelor’s degree, and want to work on a graduate or master’s degree. Enlisted soldiers will need to have completed ALC, warrant officers will need to have graduated from WOAC, and officers will need to have graduated from CCC or equivalent.
Anything Else I Need to Know About Tuition Assistance?
- You will have to request Tuition Assistance on a course-by-course basis.
- Each course will need to be a part of an approved degree program.
- After you apply through ArmyIgnitED, they will notify you if your Tuition Assistance is approved or not. If you are not approved, ArmyIgnitED will advise you of the reasons why and what your next steps might be.
- If you do wish to take a class with a school that does not participate in the electronic ArmyIgnitED class schedule, a Tuition Assistance Request Authorization form must be completed in ArmyIgnitED. This will then be routed to an Army Education Counselor where it will be reviewed and approved.
If Tuition Assistance sounds like a good way to pay for some or all of your college classes, make plans to sign up on ArmyIgnitED.
In conclusion, there are tuition assistance programs and scholarships for army veterans and active military. As a veteran, you have a lot of resources available to you, but you still have to take the initiative to find and apply for them.
- Tuition Assistance Overview
- Army Education Programs
- National Guard Tuition Assistance
- Reserve Tuition Assistance
- Colleges Fully Covered by Military Tuition Assistance
- Army ROTC Scholarships and List of Colleges
About the author
Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.