What is the Navy Tuition Assistance Program?

The Navy and all branches of the U.S. military offers tuition assistance for qualified service men and women. Following WWII, the armed services began investigating how higher education could improve the lives of those who served as well as the benefits those individuals brought to their service. While these programs are far from secret, not everyone knows whether or not they are qualified to receive assistance. In the article below, we’ll outline the benefits of this program and the requirements listed by the Navy.

Benefits and Features of the Program

For active duty service men and women, this program pays all required tuition and fees for a total of 16 semester credit hours each fiscal year. Although many university campuses participate in this program, allowing active duty personnel to attend classes, virtual learning environments enable individuals stationed at sea to continue their education.

The program allows for considerable flexibility in how funds are disbursed, but it does come with a few limitations. As stated, students may take a maximum of 16 credit hours per year, and program coverage extends to $250 per semester hour or $166.67 per quarter hour, respectively. Anything beyond that is not covered and must be paid by the student.

Additionally, grades of D, F, incompletes unaddressed for longer than six months, and voluntary withdrawal from a course (W), require repayment of funds disbursed. If you enroll in graduate-level classes, non-passing or C grades stipulate full remuneration of distributed resources. Involuntary withdrawal from courses, which is beyond the student’s control, is usually an exception.

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

For Whom Is It Intended?

This program does have a few restrictions when it comes to who may apply. TA is available to both officers, enlisted personnel, and naval reservists provided that they are on active duty and will remain so for the entire length of courses. All applicants must route educational counseling through the Naval College Office or via a virtual education center administered by the military branch. Recipients of TA must agree to provide all previous grades for courses funded by the program. If an officer, when they sign their agreement, they must also decide to remain on active duty an additional two years after completing their courses.

Every TA application must be command approved, and you must serve one year at a permanent duty station. Commanding officers have the right to waive this duty requirement. Applicants must pass the most recent physical fitness assessment or receive a waiver and cannot be under active instruction training or performing initial skills training. Additionally, you must take an advancement exam and be recommended for promotion.

The Application Process

If you’re interested in applying and meet the criteria, contact your Naval College Office or the Virtual Education Center. You can begin education counseling via the medium that works best for you—in person, virtually or over the phone. It’s important to remember to start your application at least 30 days before the term starts and to work with a counselor at the institution of your choice to ensure you have the costs and details correct.

Whether you’re an officer or enlisted, in reserve or awaiting orders, taking your education to the next level is always a beneficial choice. Because TA is permitted only for those who have been recommended for promotion, taking part in this program can accelerate your rise through the ranks. Beneficial skills, knowledge and a richer understanding of the world around you are all results of continued education. The Navy Tuition Assistance program is tailored to help those who work hard to better themselves and enrich their service to the country.