While serving in the US Coast Guard, you might be interested in going to college. One of the Coast Guard benefits is the USCG Tuition Assistance program. You can receive money for some or all of your classes depending on the degree you want to pursue.
USCG Tuition Assistance
Each branch offers Tuition Assistance (TA), with their own service-specific criteria. Here is what you need to know about Tuition Assistance in the Coast Guard.
RELATED: Coast Guard Education Programs
If you are serving in the US Coast Guard, you might be interested in going to college. While serving in the military, there are quite a few ways to find money for your education. Tuition Assistance through the Coast Guard is one way to do so. Each service branch has their own TA program, with specific service-specific criteria.
Who can use Tuition Assistance in the Coast Guard?
- Active duty enlisted as well as officers can apply for Tuition Assistance. You will need to meet all the requirements outlined in the latest ALCOAST or standing policy.
- As active duty, you would need to complete the TA authorized course on or before RELAD (Release from Active Duty,) discharge or retirement.
- Reserve members on active duty must meet all requirements outlined in the latest ALCOAST or standing policy.
- Reserve members also need to be on a long-term active duty orders more than 180 days, back to back orders don’t count.
- Chaplains can not use Coast Guard Tuition Assistance because they can do so through the Navy Tuition Assistance program.
What can you use Tuition Assistance for?
- USCG Tuition Assistance can be used for undergraduate and graduate courses up to a master’s degree.
- Tuition Assistance is available for approved high school completion programs if you have not yet been awarded a high school or equivalent diploma.
- Developmental courses may be authorized if you are required to take them before you can take a higher-level course.
- USCG Tuition Assistance is for tuition only, not for fees.
- TA cannot be used for a lower level class than the degree you already have. If you have a bachelor’s degree, you can not use TA for an associate’s degree.
- You can not use TA for audited classes.
- Please ensure that your college is eligible for Coast Guard Tuition Assistance under the DOD MOU website.
You can also 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.”
How does one request USCG Tuition Assistance?
You will need to talk to your ESO and find out if you need to use Coast Guard WebTA or the Application for TA Form.
How much is Tuition Assistance?
- For the Coast Guard, the annual maximum cap is $2,250 per fiscal year. They will pay up to $250 per semester hour, $166.67 per quarter hour, or $16.67 per clock hour within that annual cap.
- You are limited to 130 lifetime semester credit hours for undergraduate courses and 40 semester hours for graduate work.
What do I need to know about Tuition Assistance eligibility in the Coast Guard?
How Can I Apply for TA?
- use WebTA, the Navy’s Tuition Assistance system, you will fill out the application, and it is then sent to your ESO for review and approval
- are applying with the Application for TA Form, you will download the Application for Coast Guard Tuition Assistance. You would complete the application and email it to your ESO for review and approval. You will also need to send them supporting documentation
Please note that your TA is paid directly to the college. You’ll want to make sure that they receive payment before the class starts.
When Can I Apply for TA
- must apply for Tuition Assistance no less than 14 days before the start of your class
- can apply for TA up to 3 months before the start date for your class
- need to have a mandatory degree plan as they are required after the completion of a 2nd course or 6 semester hours using TA
You will have to repay TA if you:
- do not receive a passing grade in your course
- receive an incomplete
- disenroll or withdraw from a course after the college’s cut-off date
- separate from the military before you complete your course
- do not submit your grade within current policy timeline
If you are serving in the US Coast Guard, make plans to see if you qualify for Tuition Assistance. If you do, take steps to apply so that you can use the benefits of TA for your college education.
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.”
OTHER TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS:
- Tuition Assistance Overview
- Army Tuition Assistance
- Navy Tuition Assistance
- Air Force Tuition Assistance
- Marine Corps Tuition Assistance
- National Guard Tuition Assistance
- Reserve Tuition Assistance
- Military Friendly Schools Fully Covered by Tuition Assistance
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.