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Top Schools for Utilizing Military Tuition Assistance Benefits

Top Schools For Utilizing TA Benefits

Ranking Most Popular Schools for Military Tuition Assistance

Tuition Assistance for the military is a wonderful added benefit for active duty service members to utilize.  Military TA provides the ability to pay up to 100% of tuition. Each service does have its own criteria and restrictions, though. Regardless, there are a number of institutions that are very popular among the military community, for reasons such as ease of use, better understanding of TA rules, and ability to reach service members, to name a few.  Here are the most popular schools for military using their tuition assistance benefits.  These are ranked by the number of students utilizing their TA benefits.

RELATED: Schools Where Tuition is Fully Covered by Tuition Assistance

Around 220,000 service members from the four main services used Tuition Assistance benefits in 2019, totaling more than $492 million in tuition.

In terms of popularity based solely on enrollment, these are the top 15 schools chosen by service members to use their TA for the year 2019:


Rank Institution Type # of TA students  Total Spent
1st American Public Education, Inc. (APUS) For-Profit 39,812 $80,987,863
2nd University System of Maryland (UMGC) Public 28,569 $51,823,194
3rd Ashford For-Profit 10,967 $24,037,975
4th Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Private 8,829 $18,260,937
5th Central Texas College Public 8,792 $10,268,099
6th Columbia Southern & Waldorf University For-Profit 7,174 $13,884,528
7th Purdue University Campuses Public 6,825 $14,431,283
8th Liberty University Private 6,679 $14,873,918
9th Excelsior College Private 6,241 $12,368,674
10th Park University Private 4,521 $9,292,331
11th Southern New Hampshire University Private 4,515 $10,290,424
12th Trident University International For-Profit 4,498 $11,871,069
13th Columbia College Private 3,293 $6,680,686
14th Arizona State, NAU, & U of A Public 2,787 $6,619,034
15th Saint Leo University Private 2,769 $6,397,750


*Data for table credited to Military Times

“Popular” Doesn’t Equal “Best”

Popular doesn’t always mean it’s the best option for everyone, however. And the list above does not mean that the first ranked college is better than the last ranked college.

For example, while Embry-Riddle is 4th on the above list, its graduate cost per credit hour is almost $200 more than Park University’s graduate cost-per-credit hour, ranked 10th. In terms of getting the most out of your dollar, being offered the best incentives, and having the best support system, not every university is primed to be the best fit for every active duty member.

Schools Accepting TA That Also Provide Incentives for Military Students

Here are a few schools that offer military incentives.  This may help give you an idea of what to look for in any institution you may be interested in.

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

4-year, public college with in-state, undergraduate tuition of $6,380. Attending as an online undergraduate, the tuition is $3,876.

The biggest military benefits the university provides are:

  • Credit for military training
  • In-state tuition rates without residency
  • DOD Voluntary Education partner in tuition assistance

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

4-year, private non-profit college which has both in-state undergraduate tuition rates and online college tuition rates (that differ vastly).

However, their website states, “Active military personnel, veterans, National Guard, or Reserve, and their immediate families (including spouses, children and parents) are eligible for a 10–50% tuition reduction.”

The university also offers military scholarships, a military transition program, and is a DOD Voluntary Education partner in tuition assistance.

The University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ

4-year, public college which also has both in-state and online tuition rates.

According to their website, “If you are a military member or a dependent, you may be eligible for tuition assistance and fee reimbursement.”

They are also have multiple ROTC programs and accept military transfer credits.

Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, OK

4-year, public college that participates in the DOD Voluntary Education transition assistance program.


  • Waives application fees for active duty and veterans
  • Has limited ROTC programs
  • Has various tuition rates based on online, in-person, in-state, or out-of-state
  • Accepts military transfer credits
  • Has contingencies in place for military leave and deployment situations

Also, numerous military scholarships are available for different circumstances.


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