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Air Force Tuition Assistance: Everything you need to know

The Air Force Tuition Assistance Program can help you achieve your long term goals as …

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexandra M. Boutte/RELEASED)

The Air Force Tuition Assistance Program can help you achieve your long term goals as a service member and beyond, but all too often members of the military wait until they’re out to start their educational journeys. 

While every service member has a long list of reasons of why they chose to sign up, education benefits are often near the top of the list. The Post 9/11 GI Bill is an incredible resource for helping transitioning veterans pay for college or vocational training programs, but you don’t have to wait until you’re out of the military to get started. In fact you can start school right away thanks to the Military Tuition Assistance Program. Each branch offers $4,500 per year to put toward your continued education. It will not, however, cover the cost of books, flight training fees, or retaking a course.

The Tuition Assistance Program may fund up to 100% of your college tuition and other fees within these limits:

  • Not to exceed $250 per semester credit hour or $166 per quarter credit hour
  • Not to exceed $4,500 per fiscal year, Oct. 1 through Sept. 30

Who is eligible to use Military Tuition Assistance?

The policies pertaining to the use to Military Tuition Assistance vary a bit from branch to branch, but all active duty, National Guard, and reserve service members are eligible to utilize the program. More often than not, however, guard and reserve component members will need to be on active duty operational support orders in order to utilize the program.

In some branches, you can utilize Military Tuition Assistance as soon as you have the time to enroll in courses. Service members with a bachelor’s degree can even use Military Tuition Assistance to pursue graduate degrees, provided they meet their branch’s criteria for eligibility.

Each branch has its own rules about eligibility and usage, and we’ll explore each in this piece.


Air Force Tuition Assistance

In order to use Air Force Tuition Assistance, you’re request must be approved by your supervisor via the Air Force Virtual Education Center (AFVEC), and fall within the TA application window of 45 calendar days prior to, and no later than 7 calendar days before, the term start date.

In order to retain your Tuition Assistance benefit, all Airmen must maintain at least a 2.0 or “C” average for undergraduate degrees, and at least a “B” average for graduate course work. 

Air Force Requirements and Notes

  • TA will be provided for a CCAF degree regardless of your current education level.
  • Airmen apply for Military Tuition Assistance on-line via AFVEC during the school’s registration period. Airmen may also call their base education office and discuss other options for applying when on TDY.
  • Airmen are expected to discuss their schedule with their supervisor to ensure that participation has his/her support.
  • After completing a tuition assistance request form and registering for class, Airmen may still drop/change courses without penalty as long as the course has not started and the base education office and the academic institution are notified. If Airmen drop a course after the drop / add period, they must still notify the base education office and the academic institution but are liable for the cost of tuition, unless they qualify for a waiver of tuition assistance reimbursement.
  • If an Airman receives a grade of incomplete from an academic institution, he/she must clear the incomplete or reimburse the government for the full amount of tuition assistance.
The editorial team at Sandboxx.