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Navy Tuition Assistance: Everything you need to know

The Navy Tuition Assistance Program can help you achieve your long term goals as a …

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang/Released)

The Navy 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. ad size : 752 x 28
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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.


Navy Tuition Assistance

The Navy allows Sailors to pursue certificates or degrees with Tuition Assistance, but as with other branches, the course of study selected must be higher than the Sailor’s existing educational levels. 

Navy eligibility for Tuition Assistance: 

  • Must have been onboard at least one year at first permanent duty station or granted a waiver by the CO or OIC before using TA(NAVADMIN 190/14).
  • Must be on active duty for the duration of the course term.
  • Attend an institution accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Prior to submitting first TA request, receive counseling from a Navy College Education Counselor from an OCONUS Navy College Office (NCO) or from the Navy College Virtual Education Center (NCVEC).
  • Submit an education plan listing all courses required for program completion and receive education plan approval from a Navy College Education Counselor.
  • Ensure that grades are posted in MyNavy Education for all previous TA funded courses, and reimburse TA funds for all collectible grades.
  • Officers must agree to remain on active duty for at least two years from the completion date of their last TA funded course. This obligation runs concurrently with any remaining obligated service time. Officers who do not complete the required service obligation must repay the TA funds expended on their behalf during the last two years of active duty on a pro-rated basis.

There are additional requirements for Reserve Sailors:

  • Must have completed one year at their Navy Operational Support Center or equivalent to use TA funds.
  • Enlisted Naval Reservists must be ordered to active duty for 120 days or more and be on active duty for the duration of the course. Naval Reserve Officers must be ordered to active duty for two years beyond the course end date.

Navy Tuition Assistance Procedures

Step 1: Inform your Command

Inform your chain of command of your interest to start or continue your education. 

Step 2: Complete Required Training

Sailors are required to complete two online training courses prior to using TA for the first time:  the TA Policy and Procedures training AND the Virtual Counseling 101 training located in MyNavy Education small square with diagonal arrow extending from it under the Tuition Assistance tab. 

Complete the trainings through MyNavy Education small square with diagonal arrow extending from itor through the Navy College Program Mobile App (Android AppiTunes App). Make sure to retain the completion certificates and upload the certificates as pdf files into MyNavy Education under “Tuition Assistance” > “Upload File.” 

Step 3: Receive Education Counseling, Define Education Goalsad size : 752 x 28
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Your Navy College Education Counselor will help guide you through the process of selecting a pathway to reach your personal and professional goals. Contact a Navy College Education Counselor.

Step 4: Submit Education Plan, Review with Navy College Counselor

Upload your education/degree plan listing the required courses for your program in MyNavy Education small square with diagonal arrow extending from it under “Tuition Assistance” > “Upload File.” When uploading the file, use the school name for “File Name” and the degree and major for “Description.” Contact the NCVEC or OCONUS NCO after you upload your education/degree plan for a plan review and record update.

Step 5: Submit TA Application in MyNavy Education

Once your record has been updated with the required training, counseling, and education plan, submit your TA application in MyNavy Education small square with diagonal arrow extending from it

Step 6: Generate TA Voucher and Send to Institution

After your command-approved TA application is authorized by the NCVEC, a TA authorization voucher is generated. You can print your authorized TA voucher by going to “Tuition Assistance” > “Review Applications” in MyNavy Education small square with diagonal arrow extending from it. Print, sign, and forward the authorized/funded voucher to your academic institution for payment.

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