Active Duty Degrees: The Air Force Virtual Education Center

Education Benefits in the US Air Force

The Air Force offers its personnel a world-class education system called the Air Force Virtual Education Center (AFVEC). The AFVEC virtually gives Airmen the freedom to fully participate in every aspect of their education.

The Air Force Virtual Education Center

The AFVEC provides online access to a number of education opportunities to help personnel advance careers, obtain industry credentials, and prepare for transition to the civilian world.

The AFVEC hosts seven primary services that support the educational needs of Air Force members. They are:

    1. AF COOL (Air Force Credentialing Opportunities On-Line)
    2. AU – ABC (Air University – Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative)
    3. GEM (General Education Mobile)
    4. CCAF (Community College of the Air Force)
    5. DoD Skillbridge
    6. TA Decide
    7. MilTA (Military Tuition Assistance program)

Using these programs, Airmen are able to achieve their education goals, to include getting a degree while on active duty.

AF COOL

The Air Force Credentialing Opportunities On-Line program allows enlisted members to earn industry certifications and licenses that can enhance their service or prepare them for civilian employment.

This opportunity is available to all active Air Force, Space Force, AF Reserves and Air National Guard members. All service members must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Possess a 5-skill level in their Primary AF Specialty Code
  2. Do not have a UIF, are not on a Control Roster, and are current on their Fitness test.
  3. Have a profile in AFVEC with an approved credentialing goal.
  4. Must obtain supervisor approval and complete the credential while on active duty status.

There is a maximum allowable lifetime benefit of $4,500 for AF COOL. It can also be used to complete one program outside of one’s AF Specialty Code and one degree-related credential.

Air University – Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative

The Air University – Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative (AU-ABC) program allows Air Force members who have earned an Associate in Applied Science degree from the Community College of the Air Force to choose from a collection of colleges and universities to obtain a Bachelor’s degree.

By building upon an Associate’s degree from the CCAF, this program maximizes both the career training and the education credits earned by Air Force enlisted personnel.

Each student in the ABC program receives a “binding degree completion contract” that ensures applicable transfer credits are accepted and states the remaining requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

There are currently more than 55 accredited colleges and universities participating in the Air University program. Additionally, these schools award over 200 bachelor’s degrees in critically important subject areas, like:

  • Aeronautics
  • Computer Science
  • Cybersecurity
  • Electronics Engineering
  • Intelligence Studies
  • Logistics & Supply Chain Management
  • Psychology
  • Strategic Leadership
  • And many more…

Learn more about the Air University – Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative here.

General Education Mobile (GEM)

GEM is a partnership between the Community College of the Air Force and accredited institutes of higher learning who provide general education courses to CCAF students.

Because of this partnership, students can satisfy their general education requirements from any of the participating schools. Students also do NOT have to complete all of their GenEd courses from the same school every time.

Through their AFVEC portal, students can search for schools that meet their education goals and enroll in courses as needed. All general education courses can be completed online, which is crucial to those personnel who are deployed or TDY during the course of their careers.

Learn more about the General Education Mobile here.

Community College of the Air Force

The Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) is considered the Enlisted Member’s College. Through this initiative, the Air Force grants enlisted personnel the freedom to advance their education through a variety of programs leading to vocational or educational degree programs.

Through the CCAF, enlisted members can obtain an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree by following a simple formula:

BMT + Tech Training + PME + General Education = CCAF Degree

The BMT is the physical education requirement, while the PME is the leadership and military studies requirement. These two requirements are easily satisfied by all military students. 

The Technical Training and General Education courses are those that can be satisfied by taking courses at any of the accredited institutions that partner with the CCAF.

Within the CCAF domain fall the GEM and AU-ABC programs detailed above. 

Dual Degrees

There is one cool opportunity that many do not know about. Personnel wishing to obtain both a vocational degree and a civilian education degree can work on both in tandem. The general education courses from the civilian degree can be transferred to the CCAF degree, which cuts down the number of classes required. This approach gets both degrees completed and resume ready!

Check out the CCAF 2022-2024 General Catalog to learn more about what’s available.

AU/CCAF Accreditation

The Community College of the Air Force is part of Air University. Air University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). This grants AU the privilege of awarding associate, master’s and doctor of philosophy degrees.

Find out Why College Accreditation Matters for Military and why regional accreditation is the highest accreditation available to any institution.

Other AFVEC Programs

DoD Skillbridge

Through the Virtual Education Center, personnel can also access the DOD Skillbridge program. Through this program, Transitioning Service Members can gain valuable work experience in the civilian world through training, internships, and apprenticeships. All of this takes place within the last 180 days of service.

Read the AFVEC Skillbridge info, and then check out our DoD Skillbridge: What You Need to Know for more information.

Tuition Assistance (TA) Decide

This offering by the Department of Defense is a comparison tool designed to aid in the decision making process for service members wanting to use TA for education programs.

Data from the tool is funneled from numerous sources who partner with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Education, and the DoD. This creates a tailored experience for the participant and gives them the most relevant information available.

The information provided by TA Decide includes educational costs and comparative outcomes based on the institute of higher learning selected by the service member.

To begin searching for information on TA, head over to DoD’s TA Decide search tool.

Military Tuition Assistance Program

Air Force personnel can also access the MilTA program through the AFVEC. 

Currently, the Air Force pays 100% of tuition costs up to $250 per semester hour and $166 per quarter hour. There is a $4,500 annual cap that applies to this and other educational programs.

All TA actions must take place within and through the AFVEC. Login to your account to apply for TA.

You may also want to check out the Best Online Schools for Military Tuition Assistance and the Top Schools for Utilizing Military Tuition Assistance Benefits for more information.

A Powerhouse of Active Duty Education

The Air Force Virtual Education Center is an impressive focal point for service members seeking to advance their education.

Whether you’re looking for a professional credential, a degree, or transition assistance, the AFVEC has something that will benefit you for life.

I encourage you to take advantage of these amazing educational opportunities while you can. This proves that getting an Active Duty Degree for anyone who wants it.

 

 

 

Air Force ROTC Scholarships and Colleges

Take Your Career to the Next Level with the Air Force ROTC Scholarship

The Air Force ROTC program develops tomorrow’s leaders by preparing college students to become officers in the U.S. Air Force.

Opportunity Beyond Education

In addition to the amazing benefits offered by the Air Force ROTC program, students get hands-on leadership development through classes and exercises. 

As soon as you complete your degree and commission into the Air Force, you will immediately serve at the Manager career level.

Additionally, you receive excellent pay and benefits that include healthcare, housing allowance, and travel opportunities.

RELATED: Navy ROTC Scholarship & Colleges

Air Force ROTC Program Requirements

Academic

Cadets are held to the highest academic standards. You must be willing to put in the time and effort to successfully complete your studies.

Fitness

All ROTC cadets must meet the weight and fitness standards established by the U.S. Air Force. This is not only for professionalism and appearance in uniform, but also for mission readiness.

Medical

All cadets must pass a Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DODMERB) medical exam.

Enlisted Requirements

The Air Force ROTC program offers several options for current active-duty enlisted personnel. Since the program requirements change frequently, consult the Enlisted Commissioning Programs website for the most up-to-date information.

The Service Commitments

After completing their degree and accepting a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force, you can expect a service commitment.

Most officers incur a four-year active-duty service commitment, while Pilots have a 10-year commitment. Those serving as Combat Systems Officers or Air Battle Managers take on a six year service obligation upon completion of training.

Nursing graduates accept a commission into the Air Force Nurse Corps and serve for four active years after completing their licensing exam.

Air Force ROTC Scholarship Options

High School Scholarships

There are three scholarship types for high school students.

    1. Type 1 – This scholarship pays full tuition (100%) and any authorized fees at any public or private institution with an AFROTC detachment. Cadets with this scholarship will also receive stipends for monthly living expenses and books.
    2. Type 2 – This scholarship pays up to $18,000 per year in college tuition, along with any authorized fees at any institution with an AFROTC detachment. Type 2 recipients will also receive monthly stipends for books and living expenses.
    3. Type 7 – This scholarship also covers full tuition expenses (100%), but only at public institutions with an AFROTC detachment. The monthly expense and books stipends also apply to Type 7 recipients.

NOTE: Air Force ROTC Scholarships do NOT cover room and board.

The annual book stipend is $900 per academic year, and the monthly stipend increases based on a student’s status:

    • Freshman = $300
    • Sophomore = $350
    • Junior = $450
    • Senior = $500

All High School Scholarship recipients are entitled to have their travel expenses covered from their home of record to their AFROTC detachment’s location. 

The Scholarship application window is open through January 13, 2022. Apply now!

Enlisted Airman Scholarship

There are two scholarship options for currently enlisted Airmen.

First, the Airman Scholarship & Commissioning Program (ASCP) allows enlisted personnel to separate from active duty and receive a scholarship for up to $18,000 per academic year.

ASCP candidates will enroll in the AFROTC program as a cadet and become full-time college students. They will receive a monthly textbook allowance and stipend for living expenses.

Next is the Scholarships for Outstanding Airmen to ROTC (SOAR) program. The SOAR program allows enlisted personnel to separate from active duty and attend college full-time. This scholarship is also worth up to $18,000 per academic year.

For either of the Enlisted Airmen Scholarship options, all cadets must complete their bachelor’s degrees and commissioning requirements within four years. Additionally, the time spent at school does NOT count towards their total Time in Service (TIS).

The annual book stipend is $900 per academic year, and the monthly stipend increases based on a student’s status:

    • Freshman = $300
    • Sophomore = $350
    • Junior = $450
    • Senior = $500

Moreover, many prior-service enlisted members separate from active-duty and attend college with their GI Bill benefits. Get started and apply now!

College Student Scholarships

There are even scholarships available for you if you’re already in a military friendly college or other institutions. Freshman and sophomore students may be eligible for the In-College Scholarship Program (ICSP).

The ICSP awards scholarships based on merit during either the Fall or Spring selection phases.

There are three types of scholarships within the ICSP:

    1. Type 1 – This is reserved for the Commanders’ In-College Scholarships (CICS) which are offered to cadets pursuing a technical major. It covers 100% of tuition costs at any public or private institution with an AFROTC detachment. An annual book stipend and monthly expense stipend are included.
    2. Type 2 – This is awarded to cadets selected through the ICSP and pays up to $18,000 of tuition per academic year. An annual book stipend and monthly expense stipend are included.
    3. Nursing – The Air Force Nursing Scholarship Program offers competitive scholarships to undergraduate sophomores and juniors. Applicants must be accepted to a nursing program at a college or university accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Check out the College Student Scholarship types and their requirements. Apply now!

Air Force ROTC Non-Scholarship Options

Cadets in ROTC are not limited to only those seeking the scholarship option. 

While most students are seeking education funding, applicants who are not selected or choose not to apply for AFROTC scholarships can still participate in the ROTC program. By doing so, it is possible that they will be considered for other scholarship opportunities as they arise.

Even if you’re not applying for the ROTC scholarship, you should still submit your application online. Doing so does does two things:

  1. It shows your intent to participate in the AFROTC program
  2. It puts you in contact with an AFROTC admissions officer.

To apply, head to the Air Force ROTC Account Request page to get the process moving.

Another option is to sign up for AFROTC classes when you arrive at college.

Air Force ROTC Colleges and Universities

The following lists all the current colleges and universities with Air Force ROTC Detachments.

The host university is linked and has the ROTC detachment. Those institutions bulleted under each host university are those that participate through the linked school.

For more information about any of the detachments, follow the links to their main page. This list is for information purposes only, so please contact each ROTC detachment directly for assistance.

Alabama

Auburn University

  • Southern Union State Community College

University of Alabama

  • Marion Military Institute
  • Shelton State Community College
  • Stillman College
  • University of West Alabama

Samford University

  • Birmingham-Southern College
  • Jefferson State Community College
  • Miles College
  • University of Alabama – Birmingham
  • University of Montevallo

University of South Alabama

  • Spring Hill College
  • University of Mobile

Tuskegee University

Troy University

Alabama State University

  • Auburn University – Montgomery
  • Faulkner University
  • Huntingdon College
  • Troy University Montgomery

Alaska

University of Alaska Anchorage

  • Wayland Baptist University
  • Alaska Pacific University

Arizona

University of Arizona

  • Pima Community College

Arizona State University

  • Estrella Mountain Community College
  • Gateway Community College
  • Glendale Community College
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Maricopa Community School District
  • Mesa Community College
  • Paradise Valley Community College
  • Park University
  • Phoenix College
  • Scottsdale Community College
  • Arizona Christian University
  • Wayland Baptist University
  • Southern Mountain Community College

Northern Arizona University

  • Coconino Community College

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Prescott

Arkansas

University of Arkansas

  • John Brown University
  • Northeast Arkansas Community College
  • University of Arkansas – Fort Smith

California

California State University – Fresno

  • Reedley College
  • Merced College

California State University – San Bernardino

  • Barstow College
  • California State Polytechnic University
  • Chaffey Community College
  • College of the Desert
  • Crafton Hills Community College
  • Mount San Antonio College
  • Riverside Community College
  • San Bernardino Valley College
  • Victor Valley College
  • Saddleback College
  • University of California – Irvine
  • University of La Verne
  • University of California – Riverside
  • Antelope Valley College
  • Azusa Pacific University
  • Chapman University
  • California Baptist University
  • Loma Linda University
  • University of the Redlands
  • Mt. San Jacinto Community College

Loyola-Marymount University

  • Biola University
  • Los Angeles Harbor College
  • Marymount Palos Verdes College
  • Mount Saint Mary
  • National University
  • Vanguard University of Southern California
  • Webster University
  • West Los Angeles College
  • Westmont College
  • College of the Canyons
  • Los Angeles City College
  • Los Angeles Trade Technical College
  • Santa Ana College
  • Whittier College
  • The Master’s University

San Jose State University

  • De Anza College
  • Foothill College
  • Menlo College
  • Mission College
  • Ohlone College
  • Santa Clara University
  • Stanford University
  • West Valley College
  • University of California – Santa Cruz
  • San Jose City College

University of California – Los Angeles

  • California Lutheran University
  • California State University – Long Beach
  • California State University – Dominguez Hills
  • California State University – Fullerton
  • California State University – Los Angeles
  • California State University – Northridge
  • Los Angeles Mission College
  • Los Angeles Pierce College
  • Los Angeles Southwest College
  • Los Angeles Valley College
  • Moorpark College
  • Santa Monica College
  • University of California – Santa Barbara

University of Southern California

  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Claremont University – The Graduate School
  • Compton Community College
  • Cypress College
  • East Los Angeles College
  • El Camino College
  • Glendale Community College
  • Golden West College
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Hope International University
  • Long Beach City College
  • Occidental College
  • Orange Coast College
  • Pasadena City College
  • Pepperdine University
  • Pitzer College
  • Pomona College
  • Rio Hondo College
  • Scripps College
  • Ventura College
  • Fullerton College

San Diego State University

  • California State University – San Marcos
  • San Diego Christian College
  • Cuyamaca Community College
  • Grossmont Community College
  • Mira Costa College
  • Palomar College
  • Point Loma Nazarene College
  • San Diego City College
  • San Diego Mesa College
  • San Diego Miramar College
  • Southwestern College
  • University of California – San Diego
  • University of San Diego
  • California Western School of Law
  • Alliant International University: California School of Management and Leadership
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – San Diego

University of California – Berkeley

  • Canada College
  • Chabot College
  • City College of San Francisco
  • College of Alameda
  • Notre Dame De Namur University
  • College of San Mateo
  • Contra Costa College
  • Diablo Valley College
  • Dominican University of California
  • Holy Names University
  • Laney College
  • Las Positas College
  • Los Medanos College
  • Merritt College
  • Mills College
  • Saint Mary’s College of California
  • Samuel Merritt College
  • San Francisco State University
  • Santa Rosa Junior College
  • Solano County Community College
  • Sonoma State University
  • University of San Francisco
  • California State University – East Bay
  • Berkeley City College
  • California Maritime Academy
  • Hartnell Community College

California State University – Sacramento

  • American River Community College
  • Cosumnes River Community College
  • Delta Community College Stockton
  • Sacramento City Community College
  • Sierra Community College
  • University of California – Davis
  • University of the Pacific
  • Yuba College
  • William Jessup University – Rocklin
  • Drexel University – Sacramento
  • Folsom Lake College

Colorado

Colorado State University

  • Aims Community College
  • Front Range Community College
  • University of Northern Colorado

University of Colorado – Boulder

  • Arapahoe Community College
  • Colorado Christian University
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Denver University
  • Metropolitan State University
  • Regis University
  • University of Colorado Health Science Center
  • University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
  • University of Colorado – Denver
  • Colorado Technical University

Devry University – Denver

Connecticut

University of Connecticut

  • Central Connecticut State University
  • Eastern Connecticut State
  • University of Hartford
  • Connecticut College

Yale University

  • Fairfield University
  • Quinnipiac University
  • Sacred Heart University
  • Southern Connecticut State University
  • University of New Haven
  • Wesleyan University
  • Western Connecticut State University

Delaware

University of Delaware

  • Delaware State University
  • Delaware Technical and Community College
  • Wilmington College

District of Columbia

Howard University

  • University of the District of Columbia

Georgia

University of Georgia

Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Agnes Scott College
  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Clayton State College
  • Emory University
  • Georgia State University
  • Kennesaw State University
  • Southern Polytechnic State University
  • Spelman College
  • Oglethorpe University
  • Mercer University Atlanta
  • State University of West Georgia
  • Morehouse College

Valdosta State University

  • Georgia Military College
  • Park University

Hawaii

University of Hawaii – Manda

  • Chaminade University of Honolulu
  • Hawaii Pacific University
  • Honolulu Community College
  • Kapiolani Community College
  • Leeward Community College
  • University of Hawaii – West Oahu
  • Windward Community College

Idaho

University of Idaho

Lewis-Clark State College

Illinois

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

  • Parkland College

Illinois Institute of Technology

  • Chicago State University
  • Elmhurst College
  • College of Dupage
  • Governors State University
  • Lewis University
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • North Central College
  • North Park University
  • Northeastern Illinois University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Northwestern University
  • Saint Xavier University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois – Chicago
  • Wheaton College
  • Depaul University

Southern Illinois University – Carbondale

  • John A. Logan
  • Southeast Missouri State University

Saint Louis University

  • Southwestern Illinois College
  • McKendree University
  • Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville
  • Lindenwood University – Belleville

Indiana

Indiana University

  • Butler University
  • Depauw University
  • Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Indiana State University

  • Ivy Tech Community College

Purdue University

University of Notre Dame

  • Bethel College
  • Holy Cross
  • Indiana University at South Bend
  • Saint Mary’s College
  • Valparaiso University
  • Trine University

University of Louisville

  • Indiana University Southeast

Iowa

Iowa State University

  • Drake University
  • Des Moines Area Community College
  • Grandview University

University of Iowa

  • Coe College
  • Kirkwood Community College

University of Nebraska – Omaha

  • Iowa Western Community College – Council Bluff

Marquette University

  • Upper Iowa University

Kansas

Kansas State University

  • Manhattan Christian College
  • Washburn University
  • Barton Community College – Fort Riley
  • Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus

University of Kansas

  • Baker University
  • Mid-America Nazarene College
  • University of Saint Mary
  • Benedictine College
  • Donnelly College
  • Haskell Indian Nations University
  • Johnson County Community College

Kentucky

University of Kentucky

  • Asbury University
  • Centre College
  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • Georgetown College
  • Kentucky State University
  • Transylvania University
  • Bluegrass Community & Technical College

University of Louisville

  • Bellarmine University
  • Jefferson Community College
  • Spalding University

University of Cincinnati

  • Northern Kentucky University
  • Thomas More College
  • Gateway Community and Technical College

Tennessee State University

  • Western Kentucky University

Louisiana

Louisiana Tech University

  • Grambling State University
  • Louisiana Tech University
  • Northwestern State University

Louisiana State University

  • Southeastern Louisiana University
  • Southern University and A&M College
  • Baton Rouge Community College

Tulane University

  • Delgado Community College
  • Dillard University
  • Louisiana State University Medical Center
  • Loyola University New Orleans
  • University of Holy Cross
  • Southern University at New Orleans
  • University of New Orleans
  • Xavier University of Louisiana

Maine

University of New Hampshire

  • University of Southern Maine

Maryland

University of Maryland

  • Anne Arundel Community College
  • Bowie State University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Loyola University Maryland
  • Prince George’s Community College
  • Towson State University
  • University of Maryland – University College
  • University of Massachusetts – Baltimore County
  • College of Notre Dame of Maryland
  • Goucher College
  • Stevenson University
  • University of Baltimore
  • University of Maryland at Baltimore

Massachusetts

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

  • Anna Maria College
  • Assumption College
  • Becker College
  • Clark University
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Worcester State College
  • Quinsigamond Community College

University of Massachusetts – Lowell

  • Merrimack College
  • Middlesex Community College
  • Northern Essex Community College
  • Salem State University
  • Gordon College

Boston University

  • Boston College
  • Brandeis University
  • Bridgewater State University
  • Northeastern University
  • Simmons University
  • University of Massachusetts – Boston
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • New England School of Law
  • Emmanuel College

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Harvard University
  • Tufts University
  • Wellesley College

University of Massachusetts

  • Amherst College
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Smith College
  • Western New England University
  • Westfield State University
  • Bay Path University
  • American International College
  • College of Our Lady of the Elms
  • Springfield College
  • Springfield Technical Community College
  • Holyoke Community College

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

  • Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
  • Williams College
  • Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

University of New Hampshire

  • Fitchburgh State University

Michigan

Michigan State University

  • Lansing Community College
  • Michigan State University – School of Law
  • Western Michigan University
  • Central Michigan University
  • Olivet College

University of Michigan

  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Lawrence Technological University
  • Oakland University
  • University of Michigan – Dearborn
  • University of Michigan – Flint
  • Wayne State University
  • Spring Arbor University

Michigan Technological University

  • Finlandia University

Minnesota

University of Saint Thomas

  • Anoka-Ramsey Community College
  • Augsburg College
  • Bethel University
  • Century College
  • St. Catherine University
  • Concordia University – St. Paul
  • Hamline University
  • Inver Hills Community College
  • Macalester College
  • Normandale Community College
  • North Central University
  • North Hennepin Community College
  • University of Northwestern
  • Mitchell Hamline School of Law

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

University of Minnesota – Duluth

  • College of Saint Scholastica
  • Lake Superior College

North Dakota State University

  • Concordia College – Moorhead
  • Minnesota State University – Moorhead
  • University of Minnesota – Crookston

Mississippi

Mississippi State University

  • Mississippi University for Women

University of Mississippi

University of Southern Mississippi

  • William Carey University
  • Pearl River Community College

Jackson State University

  • Belhaven University
  • Hinds Community College
  • Millsaps College
  • Mississippi College
  • Mississippi College School of Law
  • Tougaloo College

Missouri

Saint Louis University

  • University of Missouri – St. Louis
  • Washington University
  • Webster University
  • Harris-Stowe State University
  • Lindenwood University

University of Missouri – Columbia

  • Columbia College
  • University of Central Missouri
  • Stephens College
  • Westminster College
  • William Woods University
  • Central Methodist University

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Southern Illinois University – Carbondale

  • Southeast Missouri State University

Montana

Montana State University

Nebraska

University of Nebraska – Omaha

  • Clarkson College
  • College of Saint Mary
  • Creighton University
  • Grace University
  • Bellevue University
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Nebraska Methodist College

University of Nebraska – Lincoln

  • Concordia University
  • Doane College
  • Nebraska Wesleyan University

Nevada

University of Nevada – Las Vegas

  • College of Southern Nevada
  • Nevada State College

New Hampshire

University of New Hampshire

  • Colby-Sawyer College
  • Franklin Pierce College
  • Keene State College
  • New England College
  • University of New Hampshire – Manchester
  • Plymouth State College
  • Saint Anselm College
  • Granite State College

University of Massachusetts – Lowell

  • Rivier University
  • Southern New Hampshire University

New Jersey

Rutgers University

  • Devry University, Inc
  • Brookdale Community College
  • Mercer County Community College
  • Middlesex County Community College
  • Monmouth University
  • Princeton University
  • Raritan Valley Community College
  • The College of New Jersey
  • Union County College

The New Jersey Institute of Technology

  • Essex County College
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • New Jersey City University
  • Kean University
  • Montclair State University
  • Rutgers University – Newark
  • Seton Hall University
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Ramapo College

Saint Joseph’s University

  • Rutgers University – Camden
  • Rowan University

New Mexico

New Mexico State University

University of New Mexico

  • Central New Mexico Community College
  • College of Santa Fe
  • National American University
  • Wayland Baptist University
  • New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

New York

Cornell University

  • Elmira College
  • Ithaca College
  • SUNY at Binghamton University
  • SUNY at Cortland

Syracuse University

  • Cazenovia College
  • Le Moyne College
  • Onondaga Community College
  • SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry
  • Hamilton College
  • Utica College
  • Mohawk Valley Community College
  • Morrisville State College
  • SUNY Polytechnic Institute
  • SUNY Oswego
  • SUNY Upstate Medical University

Clarkson University

  • Saint Lawrence University
  • State University of New York – Potsdam
  • State University of New York – Canton

Rochester Institute of Technology

  • Finger Lakes Community College
  • Genesee Community College
  • Monroe Community College
  • Nazareth College of Rochester
  • Roberts Wesleyan College
  • Saint John Fisher College
  • SUNY College at Brockport
  • SUNY College at Geneseo
  • University of Rochester

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

  • Adirondack Community College
  • Albany College of Pharmacy
  • Albany School of Law
  • Albany Medical College
  • Columbia-Greene Community College
  • Empire State College
  • Fulton/Montgomery Community College
  • Hartwick College
  • Hudson Valley Community College
  • Russell Sage College
  • Sage College of Albany
  • Schenectady City Community College
  • Siena College
  • Skidmore College
  • SUNY at Albany
  • SUNY AG & Tech College – Cobleskill
  • College of Saint Rose
  • Union College
  • Excelsior College
  • Maria College

Manhattan College

  • Barnard College
  • Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology
  • College of Mount Saint Vincent
  • Columbia University
  • CUNY Bernard Baruch College
  • Lehman College
  • Dowling College
  • Fordham University
  • Hofstra University
  • Long Island University
  • New York University
  • Pace University
  • Saint Francis College
  • Saint Thomas Aquinas College
  • Saint John’s University
  • SUNY at Stony Brook
  • SUNY College at Old Westbury
  • Farmingdale State University SUNY
  • Iona College
  • SUNY Maritime College
  • City College of New York City
  • Queens College of the City of New York
  • Polytechnic University – Brooklyn Campus
  • New York Institute of Technology
  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • Mercy College
  • New York Law School
  • U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA)
  • CUNY Hunter College
  • Saint Joseph’s College

North Carolina

Duke University

  • North Carolina Central University

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina – Charlotte

  • Belmont Abbey College
  • Central Piedmont Community College
  • Davidson College
  • Livingstone College
  • Pfeiffer University
  • Queens College
  • Central Piedmont Community College
  • Johnson and Wales University
  • Gaston College

North Carolina State University

  • Meredith College
  • Peace College
  • Saint Augustine’s University
  • Shaw University
  • Bennett College

East Carolina University

North Carolina A&T State University

  • Elon University
  • Greensboro College
  • Guilford College
  • Guilford Technical Community College
  • High Point College
  • University of North Carolina – Greensboro
  • Winston-Salem State University
  • Wake Forest University
  • Salem College
  • Forsyth Technical Community College
  • Randolph Community College

Fayetteville State University

  • Methodist University
  • The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
  • Campbell University
  • Fayetteville Technical Community College

North Dakota

North Dakota State University

  • Park University
  • Mayville State University

University of North Dakota

Ohio

Bowling Green State University

  • Heidelberg University
  • Ohio Northern University
  • The University of Findlay
  • Tiffin University
  • University of Toledo
  • Lourdes University

Kent State University

  • University of Akron
  • Cleveland State University
  • Mount Union College
  • Youngstown State University
  • Baldwin-Wallace College
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Hiram College

Miami University of Ohio

  • Miami University, Middletown Branch

Wright State University

  • Cedarville University
  • Central State University
  • Sinclair Community College
  • University of Dayton
  • Urbana University
  • Wilberforce University
  • Park University (Wright Patterson)
  • Antioch College
  • Antioch Midwest University
  • Clark State Community College
  • Edison Community College
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Wright Patterson AFB
  • Kettering College
  • Miami-Jacobs Career College
  • Southern State Community College
  • Union Institute and University
  • Wittenberg University

Ohio State University

  • Capital University
  • Columbus State Community College
  • Ohio Wesleyan University
  • Otterbein College
  • Mount Carmel College of Nursing
  • Ohio Christian University
  • Ohio Dominican University

Ohio University

University of Cincinnati

  • Chatfield College
  • Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary
  • Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
  • College of Mount Saint Joseph
  • Wilmington College
  • Xavier University
  • Art Academy of Cincinnati
  • Athenaeum of Ohio
  • Cincinnati Christian University
  • God’s Bible School and College
  • Good Samaritan College of Nursing
  • Hebrew Union College

University of Pittsburgh

  • Franciscan University (Ohio)

Oklahoma

Oklahoma State University

  • Langston University
  • Northern Oklahoma College
  • Oral Roberts University
  • Rogers State College
  • Tulsa Community College
  • University of Central Oklahoma
  • University of Tulsa

University of Oklahoma

  • Oklahoma Baptist University
  • Oklahoma Christian University
  • Oklahoma City Community College
  • Oklahoma City University
  • Rose State College

Oregon

Oregon State University

  • Linn Benton Community College
  • University of Oregon
  • Western Oregon University
  • Lane Community College
  • Corban University
  • Bushnell University

University of Portland

  • Clackamas Community College
  • George Fox University
  • Lewis and Clark College
  • Linfield University
  • Mount Hood Community College
  • Pacific University
  • Portland Community College
  • Portland State University
  • Reed University
  • Oregon Institute of Technology
  • Oregon Institute of Technology – Portland Metro

Pennsylvania

Penn State University

  • Penn State University – Altoona

University of Pittsburgh

  • Carlow University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Chatham College
  • Community College of Allegheny County
  • Duquesne University
  • La Roche College
  • Point Park University
  • Robert Morris University
  • Saint Vincent
  • University of Pittsburgh – Greensburg
  • Washington and Jefferson College
  • California University of Pennsylvania
  • Penn State – New Kensington
  • Penn State – Greater Allegheny

Saint Joseph’s University

  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Drexel University
  • Eastern University
  • La Salle University
  • Penn State University – Brandywine
  • Penn State University – Abington
  • Cairn University
  • Swarthmore College
  • Temple University
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of the Sciences Philadelphia
  • Valley Forge Military Junior College
  • Villanova University
  • West Chester University
  • Widener University
  • Cheney University of Pennsylvania
  • Bryn Athyn College
  • Cabrini College
  • Neumann College
  • Haverford College

Wilkes University

  • Bloomsburg University
  • Misericordia University
  • East Stroudsburg University
  • King’s College
  • Luzerne County Community College
  • Marywood University
  • Penn State –  Hazleton
  • Penn State – Wilkes-Barre
  • Penn State – Worthington Scranton
  • University of Scranton
  • Penn State – Schuylkill

West Virginia University

  • Waynesburg University (PA)

Rhode Island

University of Rhode Island

Brown University

South Carolina

The Citadel

Clemson University

  • Anderson University
  • Southern Wesleyan College
  • Tri County Technical College

Charleston Southern University

  • College of Charleston
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • The Citadel – Evening College

University of South Carolina

  • Benedict College
  • Claflin University
  • South Carolina State University
  • University of South Carolina – Sumter
  • University of South Carolina – Union
  • University of South Carolina – Aiken
  • University of South Carolina – Beaufort
  • University of South Carolina – Spartanburg
  • MIdlands Technical College

University of North Carolina – Charlotte

  • Winthrop University (SC)

South Dakota

South Dakota State University

  • Dakota State University
  • Augustana College
  • University of Sioux Falls

Tennessee

University of Memphis

  • Christian Brothers University
  • Lemoyne-Owen College
  • Rhodes College
  • Southwest Tennessee Community College

Tennessee State University

  • Fisk University
  • Lipscomb University
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Tennessee Technical University
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Volunteer State Community College
  • Austin Peay State University
  • Belmont University
  • Nashville State Community College
  • Columbia State Community College

University of Tennessee

  • Pellissippi State Technical Community College

Texas

Texas A&M University

Baylor University

  • McLennan Community College
  • University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
  • Texas Tech University – Waco

Texas Tech University

  • Lubbock Christian University
  • South Plains College
  • Wayland Baptist University

University of Texas – Austin

  • Austin Community College
  • Concordia University at Austin
  • Huston-Tillotson University
  • Saint Edward’s University
  • Park University

University of North Texas

  • Midwestern State University
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Texas Woman’s University
  • University of Texas at Dallas
  • North Central Texas College
  • Collin College
  • Texas A&M University – Commerce
  • University of Dallas
  • Southwestern University

Texas State University

  • Texas Lutheran University
  • Wayland Baptist University – San Antonio

University of Texas – San Antonio

  • Alamo Community College District Junior College
  • Our Lady of the Lake University
  • Palo Alto College – Alamo District Consortium
  • San Antonio College – Alamo District Consortium
  • St. Mary’s University
  • St. Philip’s College
  • Trinity University
  • University of Texas – Health Science Center
  • University of the Incarnate Word College

Texas Christian University

  • Dallas Baptist University
  • Tarrant County Junior College
  • Texas Wesleyan University
  • University of Texas at Arlington
  • Weatherford College
  • Tarleton State University

Angelo State University

University of Houston

  • Rice University
  • Houston Baptist University
  • Houston Community College
  • Texas Southern University
  • Lone Star College
  • University of Houston – Clearlake
  • University of Houston – Downtown
  • South Texas College of Law
  • University of Houston – Victoria
  • University of Saint Thomas – Houston
  • University of Texas Health Science Center – Houston
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Houston
  • Prairie View A&M University

New Mexico State University

  • University of Texas at El Paso

Utah

University of Utah

  • Salt Lake Community College
  • Weber State University
  • Westminster College
  • Park University
  • Los Business College

Brigham Young University

  • Utah Valley University

Utah State University

Vermont

Norwich University

  • Northern Vermont University
  • Saint Michael’s College
  • Vermont School of Law
  • University of Vermont
  • Vermont Technical College
  • Community College of Vermont

Virginia

Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Virginia Military Institute

  • Mary Baldwin College
  • Washington and Lee University

University of Virginia

  • James Madison University
  • Piedmont Virginia Community College
  • Liberty University

Howard University

  • Marymount University

University of Maryland

  • George Mason University (VA)
  • Northern Virginia Community College

Washington

Central Washington University

Washington State University

  • Whitworth University

University of Washington

  • Bellevue College
  • Edmonds Community College
  • Everett Community College
  • Highline Community College
  • North Seattle Community College
  • Seattle Central Community College
  • Seattle Pacific University
  • Seattle University
  • Shoreline Community College
  • South Seattle Community College
  • Saint Martin’s University
  • Cascadia Community College
  • Northeast University
  • Pierce College
  • Green River Community College
  • Olympic College

University of Portland

  • Clark College
  • Washington State University – Vancouver

West Virginia

West Virginia University

  • Fairmont State University

University of Maryland

  • Shepherd College (WV)

Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin – Madison

  • University of Wisconsin – Whitewater
  • Edgewood College
  • Maranatha Baptist University
  • Madison Area Technical College

Marquette University

  • Alverno College
  • Carroll University
  • Carthage College
  • Concordia University Wisconsin
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • Mount Mary College
  • University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
  • University of Wisconsin – Waukesha
  • University of Wisconsin – Parkside
  • Upper Iowa University
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College
  • Waukesha County Technical College
  • Wisconsin Lutheran College

University of Saint Thomas

  • University of Wisconsin – Stout

University of Minnesota – Duluth

  • University of Wisconsin – Superior

Wyoming

University of Wyoming

  • Park University

Puerto Rico

University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras

  • Central University of Bayamon
  • Interamerican University – Arecibo
  • Interamerican University – Barranquitas
  • Interamerican University – Bayamon
  • Interamerican University – Fajardo
  • Interamerican University – Guayama
  • Interamerican University – Law Faculty
  • Interamerican University – Metro Campus
  • Interamerican University – Optometry School
  • Interamerican University – Ponce
  • Interamerican University – San German
  • Metropolitan University
  • Polytechnic University
  • University of Sacred Heart
  • Universidad Del Este
  • University of Puerto Rico – Bayamon
  • University of Puerto Rico – Carolina
  • University of Puerto Rico – Cayey
  • University of Puerto Rico – Humacao
  • University of Puerto Rico – Medical Science Center
  • University of Turabo
  • American University of Puerto Rico
  • University of Puerto Rico – Arecibo

University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

  • Catholic University of Puerto Rico – Ponce
  • Inter American University of Puerto Rico

Conclusion

As you can see already, there are over 1,100 colleges and universities through which you can advance your education and your career.

Apply now for your future in the Air Force!

(Image courtesy of U.S. Air Force via af.mil)

 

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Air Force Restores the Cap on the Air Force Tuition Assistance

Tuition Assistance Program Restored by Air Force

Last week, the Department of the Air Force announced that it has restored the military tuition assistance cap back to $4,500 per fiscal year. They also announced that the Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL) funding has been restored, effective immediately.

Air Force Previously Cut the Tuition Assistance Cap

We previously reported that the Air Force cut the TA cap in response to an increase in applications for the program, coupled with funding questions as the government transitioned into a new fiscal year beginning October 1, 2020.

Previous TA Cap Restored

Now, as it was before, Airmen and Space Professionals are eligible for up to $4,500 per fiscal year, with a max allowance of $250 per semester hour or quarter hour equivalent. The Air Force COOL funding for preparatory courses or “boot camps” is also restored, with its previous funding limits being $4,500 per life-time.

This is a great day for all Air Force personnel who are motivated to advance their education. Lieutenant General Brian Kelley stated that his command was “excited that our members are taking advantage of their time under COVID-19 to improve themselves and pursue education.” He further noted that the Air Force had to reprioritize funding to restore the original program.

If you are a member of the Air Force / Space Force, here’s a link for more info on the Air Force’s Tuition Assistance Program page which gives you the information you need to get started. You may also wish to reference the Air Force Instruction 36-2670, “Total Force Development” publication.

Please visit this page for more information on Tuition Assistance for all services.

(Image courtesy of Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, DVIDS)

 

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List of Navy & Air Force Tuition Assistance Benefits Changes

Changes to Tuition Assistance Benefits for Navy and Air Force

Tuition Assistance (TA) is more popular now than ever thanks to COVID, with most service members having a little extra time on their hands to focus on higher education. Because of this increase in use, changes have been made to both Navy and Air Force Tuition Assistance benefits.

Navy Tuition Assistance Changes

In late September, the Navy announced plans to increase fiscal year 2021’s TA funding by nearly $20 million.

The TA fund was underbudgeted in 2019, which caused caps to be applied in 2020 to recoup the mistake. For 2020, the Navy imposed restrictions such as barring use in the first two years of service, limiting annual assistance to $3,000, and more. But that isn’t the trend that the Navy wants to continue.

“One of the greatest benefits of serving in uniform.” –  Secretary of the Navy Kenneth Braithwaite

Navy Requests Additional Funding for TA Benefits

In his 100-Day Message, Secretary of the Navy Kenneth Braithwaite praised TA as “one of the greatest benefits of serving in uniform.” In an effort to continue the furthering of education to make the Naval Force more effective and well-rounded, Braithwaite said, “We have requested more funding for [this] program to prevent future funding shortages.”

Cmdr. Dave Hecht, a spokesman for the chief of naval personnel, said that while these additional provisions are slated to begin fiscal year 2021, “it appears we will be under a continuing resolution… [immediately] lifting the caps could result in a repeat of fiscal year 2019 when we exhausted TA funding in the middle of the 3rd quarter.”

Hecht said that reassessment of caps will occur throughout the fiscal year to determine when they can be removed. No specific deadline has been set.

RELATED: Colleges Fully Covered by Military Tuition Assistance

Air Force Tuition Assistance Changes

Similarly in September, the Air Force also released changes to their TA benefits. Officials announced a drop in TA caps, from $4,500 annually to $3,750 as a measure to ensure fiscal sustainability and program availability. However, only 2 months later, the Air Force decided to restore the original AF Cool limits and TA cap of $4,500.

RELATED: Air Force Restores Tuition Assistance

TA Usage Numbers Continue to Increase

Of the reversion, Lt. Gen Brian T. Kelly said, “We are excited our members are taking advantage of their time under COVID to improve themselves and pursue education. The Department of the Air Force was able to reprioritize funding to encourage our service members to maximize their development through these educational benefits.”

Just as highlighted by Braithwaite, Chief Master Sgt. Of the Air Force Joanne Bass said, “Voluntary education and military tuition assistance programs continue to be important to the development of our force.”

This trend in increased TA usage is also mimicked in other branches of service. For example, the Army saw a 10% increase in soldiers using benefits in fiscal year 2020. If the trends seen in the Navy and Air Force are any indication, we may be seeing a rise in funding for educational related benefits moving forward.

 

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Air Force Cuts the Cap on the Air Force Tuition Assistance

Tuition Assistance Cap for Air Force Reduced

Beginning October 1, 2020, the Air Force will cut the cap for their Tuition Assistance (TA) program. The maximum amount of money airmen can receive in the next fiscal year will drop from $4,500 to $3,750, according to an announcement from the Department of the Air Force. These cuts apply to both undergraduate and graduate programs.

Tuition Assistance Cap Cuts Due to COVID-19

The cuts come as a result of a spike in applications for TA since this past spring, when many personnel were given stay-at-home orders. This second-order effect of the coronavirus pandemic led to an increase in airmen enrolling in college programs, which has also prompted an increase in requests for assistance.

How Many Service Members Are Impacted?

According to the AF Times, a total of 80,430 service members used the Air Force’s Tuition Assistance program, which is a fundamental tool for recruitment and retention. Based on those numbers, the Air Force projects a similar number for fiscal year 2021.

With that increase in the number of applicants, the Air Force is trying to ensure that every service member can get some assistance, even if that means cutting the cap available to each applicant. While extra funding was available for 2020’s increase in students, to the tune of nearly $18 million, the Air Force wants to avoid seeking extra funding for the next fiscal year.

The Air Force has no plans to change the credit-hour limits, which will remain at $250 per semester hour, and $166.66 per quarter hour.

Waivers Possible

As with anything in the military, there is the possibility of a waiver for exceeding the annual limit. Under extremely unique circumstances, like a degree program requiring a lab or non-traditional degree deadlines, waivers can be granted to exceed the $3,750 cap by one semester hour or two quarter hours. 

Lieutenant General Brian T. Kelly, the Air Force personnel chief, stated in yesterday’s new release that “tuition assistance aids in the development of a highly educated and skilled military force. By making these adjustments, we ensure this key benefit continues for all airmen and space professionals.” Indeed, tuition assistance is a tremendous benefit for today’s service members, especially when civilian students are struggling with excessive student loan debt.

Cuts Are The Best Option

Lieutenant General Kelley also noted, “In 2013, under sequestration, tuition assistance was suspended for some time and our service members were negatively impacted. As we go forward and budgets get tight, we want to prevent that from happening again and we made hard decisions in order to keep this program viable and accessible to our force.”

If the money dries up before the fiscal year ends on September 30, 2021, then those service members whose applications were not approved will have to wait until the following fiscal year beginning October 1, 2021.

Apply Now!

Air Force and Space Force members can apply for tuition assistance up to 45 days before the start of their classes by using the Air Force Virtual Education Center. For further guidance on this new policy, consult Air Force Instruction 36-2670 Total Force Development. 

Alternatives to TA

Ending his statement, Lt. General Kelly encouraged his personnel to examine the “several avenues members can use to get their degrees and minimize out-of-pocket expenses.” Those interested in other resources should research the Post-9/11 GI Bill (official site), Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) subject standardized tests (DSSTs), and the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). Air Force officials are also urging airmen to pursue degrees from the Community College of the Air Force.

These are certainly challenging times, and it is great that many institutes of higher learning are finding ways to adapt. The Air Force is the first to make such cuts, and it may not be long before the other services follow in their boot steps.

(Image courtesy of burdun via www.123rf.com) 

 

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Scholarships for Air Force Service Members and Veterans

Air Force Scholarships for Service Members and Veterans

There are thousands of scholarships open to veterans seeking higher education. With such a large pool of people competing, it can be beneficial to look for specific scholarships that only a select group can apply to. Something active duty service members can do – and in some cases, their family members, too – is to look out for branch-specific scholarships. Here, we’re going to dive into scholarships that are open only to Air Force personnel – either at military friendly colleges or other institutions.

First, we can’t neglect mentioning Tuition Assistance (TA). While there are a few standard regulations for TA across all services ($250 per semester hour, with a yearly cap), each branch has different rules governing TA. The basic usage limits for the Air Force are:

  • Maximum of $3,750 per year
  • Up to 124 semester hours toward an undergraduate degree
  • Up to 42 semester hours toward a graduate degree

Any airmen considering utilizing their TA should always reach out to their education center for counseling assistance and a personalized plan.

AFA Scholarships / Awards Examples

The Air Force Association (AFA)

The Air Force Association (AFA), a volunteer-led organization, provides a number of scholarships for Air Force (active duty, guard, reserve, spouses, and dependents) in an effort to help higher education-pursuing adults achieve their dreams.

Check out their website for a number of different options, keeping in mind that applications for scholarships are accepted between December 1 and April 30 for the following term.

Pitsenbarger Award

For Air Force service members who have obtained their Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) degree and are working towards a bachelor’s degree.

$750 for winning applicants who have submitted proof of enrollment at an accredited higher education institution, a statement detailing career and educational goals, and a list of successful workplace and community performance. Winners also receive a one-year complimentary eMembership to AFA.

Captain Jodi Callahan Memorial Scholarship

$1,000 scholarship to an active duty Air Force, full-time Air National Guard, or full-time Air Force Reserve (officer or enlisted) pursuing a Master’s Degree in a non-technical field of study.

Health Professions Scholarship Program

With the Health Professions Scholarship Program, any U.S. citizen who has been accepted into a graduate-level health profession is eligible to apply. This is a scholarship offered by the Air Force to health care professionals, such as pharmacists, optometrists, nurse corps, etc.

The program varies depending on the field of study/specialty, but acceptance of the award offer (of up to $28,000 annually) is that once a student graduates, he/she must serve one year of active duty for each year of received scholarship (with a minimum service of three years).

Airman Scholarship & Commissioning Program (ASCP) and Scholarships For Outstanding Airmen To ROTC (SOAR).

For active duty, enlisted Air Force service members who desire to commission, there are scholarship programs available directly through the USAF, such as Airman Scholarship & Commissioning Program (ASCP) and Scholarships For Outstanding Airmen To ROTC (SOAR).

The Air Force Aid Society

The Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) is the official charity of the USAF since 1942, and they provide a number of education support scholarships and programs for dependents and spouses of active duty and retired Air Force personnel. The main grant program that AFAS offers is the Henry H. Arnold which is a needs-based offer between $500 and $4,000; however, there are additional merit scholarships and an AFAS-backed education loan program as well.

The Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA)

The Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA) also offers numerous scholarship programs to financially assist the undergraduate studies of eligible, dependent children of the enlisted Total Air Force members. There are differing qualifications to be eligible for the offers, varying between $500 and $4,000 each. A few examples of AFSA awards are:

  • CMSAF Scholarship Program: recognizes its top recipient with the CMSAF Paul W. Airey Memorial Scholarship valued at $3,000 in honor of CMSAF Airey who served as the first Chief Master Sergeants of the Air Force.
  • Airmen Memorial Foundation (AMF) Scholarship Program: program recognizes its top recipient with the Clyde V. Prince Memorial Scholarship valued at $4.000.

While these are viable examples of Air-Force specific options that you can research based on your circumstances, they certainly aren’t the only scholarships available. There are a number of other military-related scholarships out there, and it’s possible you can even find other specialty or personally-catered possibilities as well. Utilize your local base education services and online resources to discover a plethora of potential sources.

 

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Air Force Tuition Assistance: What You Need to Know

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.

RELATED: Air Force Cuts Tuition Assistance Cap

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:

  • Tuition, but not fees, books or other supplies
  • Off-duty courses at schools who have been accredited and have signed the Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding (DoD MOU)
  • Specific academic or technical degree programs
  • Programs higher than the degree you already have only  e.g. if you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can not use TA for an associate’s degree.
  • Associate’s degrees, even if you have an associate’s degree from CCAF.  This is an exception that allows you to use TA for a civilian associate’s degree.
  • Foreign language courses, but only if approved if they are part of a degree or if they are on the approved shortage list.

Tuition Assistance will not pay for:

  • Fees, books or other supplies
  • Multiple degrees at the same level.  e.g. if you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can not use TA for another bachelor’s degree

How Do You 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. Update: In the fall of 2020, the Air Force cut its Tuition Assistance cap from $4,500 per fiscal year to $3,750 per fiscal year.

What Else Do I Need to Know About Air Force Tuition Assistance?

Your Tuition Assistance funding request needs to be approved by supervisors through the Air Force Virtual Education Center (AFVEC).

This must be done within 45 calendar days before, and no later than seven days before the start of the term. If not approved in time, it will be auto-deleted.

If you have been inactive 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
  • 42 semester hours or 70 quarter hours for a graduate degree

TA will be denied for Airmen with:

  • UIFs
  • A failed PT test
  • Referral EPR/OPRs
  • 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.

 

NEXT STEP: Find schools approved for TA funding.  Search over 2,100 schools that accept Tuition Assistance in the CollegeRecon School Search tool.

 

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OTHER TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS:

 

 

 

Air Force Education Programs & College Benefits

If you’re in the US Air Force and looking to jumpstart your post-military career, there are many education options available. The Air Force offers many schools and programs to help you further educate yourself and work towards the career you would like to have – whether that’s in the Air Force or after separation. Here are some of the Education Benefits Programs for the Air Force to help you achieve your career goals.

Air Force Education Benefits Programs

If you are serving in the US Air Force, there are specific programs just for you that may be different than other branches. Make sure to take advantage of these if you decide to go to school to further your career.

The Community College of the Air Force

The Community College of the Air Force is the only degree-granting institution of higher learning in the world dedicated exclusively to enlisted personnel.

The mission of the college is to offer and award job related Associate in Applied Science degrees and other academic credentials that enhance mission readiness, contribute to recruiting, assist in retention, and support the career transitions and professional growth of the Air Force and enlisted Corps.

The CCAF offers enlisted airmen the opportunity to earn a two-year Associate in Applied Science degree that will pertain to their Air Force career.

They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools through Air University.

They partner with over 108 affiliated Air Force schools with 82 Education Services worldwide. There are 1,500 civilian academic institutions to serve 300,000 active, guard, and reserve enlisted personnel.

The CCAF awards over 22,000 associate in applied science degrees from 68 degree programs.

RELATED:  A Community College for Airmen & Women

The LEAD Program

LEAD stands for The Leaders Encouraging Airman Development program.

Every year, unit and wing commanders nominate highly qualified enlisted and reserve airmen who exhibit officer potential to 170 appointments available for the Air Force Academy and the Academy Prep School.

The Air Force Academy gives students a world-class education and cost-free tuition in exchange for their commitment to serve.

The Academy Prep School is a 10-month program designed to prepare candidates for the Academy.

Scholarships for Outstanding Airmen to ROTC (SOAR)

Enlisted airmen who would like to attend or complete college may apply for the Scholarship for Outstanding Airmen to ROTC (SOAR) program.

SOAR will nominate up to 50 people for two-to-four year ROTC scholarships that will cover most tuition and all fees associated with going to school.

The scholarships are awarded in a variety of fields, including technical, non technical, nursing, pre-health and foreign language areas.

If you are accepted, you will be temporarily separated from the Air Force while completing their degree and rejoin after graduation.

The Airman Scholarship and Commissioning Program (ASCP)

The Airman Scholarship and Commissioning Program is for active duty enlisted airmen.

The program offers the opportunity to earn a commission while also completing their Bachelor’s degree in different fields. These are technical, non technical, nursing, pre-health, as well as foreign language areas.

If an airman is selected, they will temporarily separate from active duty to join ROTC and become a full-time student at a participating college.

They will receive tuition and fee scholarships up to $15,000 per year, with a textbook allowance of $600 a year.

Professional Officer Course-Early Release Program (POC-ERP)

The Professional Officer Course-Early Release Program is for active duty airmen so that they can receive an early release from active duty to enter the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC.)

This program is open to all students in all majors who are within two years of finishing their Bachelor’s degree and commissioning requirements.

Those who are selected will separate from active duty to join ROTC and become a full-time student at a participating college to pursue a Bachelor’s degree.

After graduation and the completion of the two-year program, the airmen are commissioned as a second lieutenant and return to active duty for at least four years.

If selected for the POC-ERP the service member will no longer receive military pay and benefits until after they graduate.

The Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program (NECP)

The Nurse Enlisted Commissioning program offers active duty airmen an opportunity to earn a Bachelor’s degree in nursing.  Nursing is an in-demand career in the Air Force.

Students in this program remain on active duty.  You will continue to receive an income while going to school full-time at a college or university that participates in the ROTC program.

You will receive a tuition and fees scholarship for up to $15,000 a year.  In addition, you will receive a textbook allowance of $600 per year.

In the program, the airmen may participate for up to 3 years depending on the degree program and previous academics.

After passing the National Council Licensure Examination and attending Commissioned Officer Training and the Nurse Transition Program, students will commission.

The Physician Assistant Training

Physician Assistants are in high demand within the Air Force. This Physician Assistant training program is for active duty airmen that would like to go into this type of career.

You will receive the advanced training they will need to provide expert medical care to military personnel and their families.

The Air Force Tuition Assistance (TA)

With the Air Force Tuition Assistance, active duty personnel can purse voluntary, off-duty educational opportunities.

The program may pay up to 100% of the cost of college.  The limit is $250 per semester hour or the equivalent. There is a limit of $4,500 per fiscal year.

The courses and the degree programs can be academic or technical.  Courses can be taken at a two as well as a four-year school. They can be taken on-base, off base, or by correspondence.

When figuring out your educational plans, using a branch-specific program can be the way to go. Make sure you are aware of other programs and benefits such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill. There are many ways for a service member to receive money to go back to school and work towards your career.

 

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A Community College for Airmen & Women

How Airmen & Women Can Enroll at The Community College of the Air Force

Being active duty in the Air Force means that you are also afforded opportunities to continue your education while serving. How? Through the Community College of the Air Force.  The Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) is a worldwide multi-campus community college established to meet the educational needs of the Air Force’s enlisted personnel.

CCAF partners with over 108 affiliated Air Force schools, 82 Education Service Offices located worldwide, and more than 1,500 civilian academic institutions to serve approximately 300,000 active, guard, and reserve enlisted personnel. This makes CCAF the world’s largest community college system. The college annually awards over 22,000 associate in applied science degrees from 68 degree programs.

CCAF is The Only Degree-Granting Institution of Higher Learning in The World Dedicated Exclusively to Enlisted Personnel

The CCAF strives to meet the demands of the Air Force’s expeditionary environment and at the same time help airmen achieve their educational goals by capitalizing on job-related training and education as part of flexible degree completion programs.  

“Offer and award job-related associate in applied science degrees and other academic credentials that enhance mission readiness, contribute to recruiting, assist in retention, and support the career transitions and professional growth of the Air Force enlisted corps.” – CCAF Mission

Diverse CCAF Programs

There are countless programs under the CCAF umbrella that cater to the different needs of airmen & women. One of them being General Education Mobile (GEM).

GEM is a partnership between the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) and accredited civilian academic institutions that offer freshman/sophomore general education courses.  These courses are offered via distance learning format and meet the CCAF Associate in Applied Science (AAS) requirements.   

What is a General Education Mobile (GEM) Program?

  • A GEM program is a partnership between CCAF and civilian academic institutions
  • GEM offers general education courses to meet CCAF AAS degree requirements
  • Courses are offered in distance learning formats: anytime and anywhere
  • GEM reduces the CCAF educational impact of deployments, PCS, and family commitments

Why Enroll in a CCAF Program?

Enrolling in a CCAF program while enlisted in the Air Force could be the catalyst to set you up for a bright and successful future. As a result of keeping up your academic skills while serving, your transition into a bachelor’s degree program is likely to be smooth.

Depending upon your service, you could have full GI Bill benefits to pay for a 4-year bachelor’s degree program. The biggest hurdle to tackle when going to school after serving, is getting back into academic shape. (You won’t have that hurdle to tackle if you get an associate’s degree with the CCAF.)

Continuing your education through an associate in applied science degree will set you up for success. You’ll learn from real world experiences in the military while also learning in the classroom and staying ‘academically fit’. (Win, win!)

Enroll Today

Learn more about the opportunities that the CCAF can afford you, here.

 

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