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Army Tuition Assistance: What You Need to Know

army tuition assistance

Want to use the Army Tuition Assistance program? Each military service branch has its own service-specific criteria for Tuition Assistance (TA) funds.  Here’s a breakdown of the tuition assistance program for the Army.

Who Qualifies for the Army Tuition Assistance Program

Qualifying active duty, Guard and Reserve members may apply for Army Tuition Assistance. In general, an enlisted service member must have enough time in service to complete the course. After completing TA-funded courses as an officer, there is an additional service obligation “that runs parallel with – not in addition to – any existing service obligation” according to the DoD.

Army TA 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 is calculated from the completion date of the last course for which Tuition Assistance was used.

What Can You Use Army 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 To Apply For Army Tuition Assistance

Use ArmyIgnitED to get started.

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 at press time. This is up to 16 semester hours per fiscal year. School fees are no longer eligible for Tuition Assistance. There is an annual cap of $4,500 for the fiscal year.

RELATED: Schools Fully Covered By Tuition Assistance

What are the Limits on Army Tuition Assistance?

You are limited to 130 semester hours of undergraduate credit or a 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 completing a baccalaureate degree.

Two-Tier Army Tuition Assistance Eligibility

  • Tier one is for those who have not gotten a Bachelor’s degree and seek an undergraduate certificate or diploma, an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree.
  • Those with a bachelor’s degree earned without using TA can use TA for a Master’s degree.
  • Enlisted soldiers must have graduated from AIT, warrant officers must have graduated from WOBC, and officers must 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.


What to Know About Tuition Assistance?

  • You must request Tuition Assistance on a course-by-course basis.
  • Each course must be a part of an approved degree program.
  • After you apply through ArmyIgnitED, they will notify you if your Tuition Assistance is approved or denied.
  • If you are not approved, ArmyIgnitED will advise you why.
  • If you 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 to review and approve it.

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.