What is the Air Force Tuition Assistance Program?

The Air Force Tuition Assistance (TA) program is designed to help active duty personnel pursue their education. To qualify for this program, individuals have to be on active duty and enroll in education courses. Through the program, individuals can get all of their tuition and fees covered.

What Is the Air Force Tuition Assistance Program?

The TA program will cover up to 100 percent of your tuition and fees. There is a maximum limit for how much your credits or total schooling can cost. You receive up to $250 per semester credit hour or $166 for a quarter credit hour. In the entire year, you are only eligible for up to $4,500. This is based on the fiscal year and not the school year, so the actual amount may vary during a given school year.

Getting Your Tuition Covered

In order to take part, you need to go to the Virtual Education Center. This portal uses six steps to help you sign up for the TA program online. The first step is to create a goal for your studies. At the AFVEC website, you have to upload your degree plan. If you are not sure what you want to do yet, you can create a generic degree plan for the first six semester hours. After that, you have to update your degree plan with specific goals.

Other than a degree plan, you also have to make sure that you get all of the forms turned in on time. You have to request TA a minimum of 7 days and a maximum of 45 days before your classes start. Your supervisor must also go online to approve your request, so make sure to save extra time for this.

Once you are in the program, you are given 15 semester hours to build your GPA. During your undergraduate degree, you need to maintain a 2.0 or higher. For graduate degrees, you have to achieve a 3.0 GPA to remain in the program. If you already have a degree, you cannot get the same degree again with TA. For example, someone with an undergraduate degree cannot go back for their second undergraduate. However, they would still be allowed to get a graduate degree with the program.

Resource: Top 15 Online Colleges for Military and G.I. Bill

Other Requirements

After starting your schoolwork, there are other rules that you will be expected to follow. You are responsible for making sure that your official grades are reflected on your record within 30 days after classes end. If you have to withdraw from the course, you must tell the Education Center and your school immediately. If the school does not reimburse USAF for this money, then you are responsible for it. Likewise, you are responsible for paying for any course that you fail. If your military duties prevent you from going to class, you are eligible to apply for a reimbursement waiver.

If you do have to withdraw from classes, you have to submit a letter explaining why. This letter must be signed by your squadron commander. While your supervisor has to sign for withdrawals, they are no longer required to sign your TA application before you submit it.

The Air Force Tuition Assistance program allows you to pursue your degree while still serving in the military. With this program, you can have the entirety of your tuition and fees covered. All you need to do is apply, find the right school and start your degree.