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Marine Corps Tuition Assistance: Everything you need to know

The Marine Corps Tuition Assistance Program can help you achieve your long term goals as …

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Suzanna Knotts)

The Marine Corps 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.


Marine Corps Tuition Assistance

In order to be eligible to use your $4,500 worth of tuition assistance per year in the U.S. Marine Corps, you’ll need to make sure you feel the following criteria before requesting the funds:

  • You must remain on active duty until the end of the course
  • You must have passed your most recent PFT (or had a waiver)
  • You should not have been “non-recommended” for promotion recently. 
  • You must complete the Personal Finance MCI course. 
  • Enlisted Marines must have an EAS date of greater than 6 months after the class completion date. 
  • Reserve Marines must have at least two years of active service beyond the completion of the course. 

If you meet any of the following criteria, your request to use Tuition Assistance in the Marine Corps will be denied:

  • Being NJP’d within six months
  • Pending an administrative seperation
  • Being assigned to a school associated with your occupational specialty or role.

Marine Corps Tuition Assistance Procedures

  1. Contact your Marine Corps Voluntary Education Center to receive educational counseling either in person or by phone. With your academic advisor, determine which courses will be requested for TA funding.
  2. To apply for Tuition Assistance electronically from any computer, complete a TA Application in WebTA listing course(s). Check with your institution to make sure the tuition amounts you listed are correct. Fees cannot be paid using TA funds.
  3. Start your application 60 days in advance of the term start date. You can submit your TA even before finishing your enrollment in the course at your school.
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