What Types of Tuition Assistance are Available for Active Military to Earn a Master’s Degree?

Are you an active duty member of the Armed Forces? If you answered yes, it is important to learn about the types of financial assistance and aid that are available to you to complete a degree program and earn your master’s degree. The Department of Defense has created and deployed a Tuition Assistance program specifically for active duty military that allows soldiers participating in the program to achieve professional and self-development goals. If you currently possess a bachelor’s degree, or you have set your sights to aim for a master’s before entering school, see what types of Tuition Assistance you can receive to help you financially while you study for your master’s.

How Much Will You Receive For Tuition Assistance?

Every active duty member of the military is eligible to receive the Tuition Assistance benefit, which will pay for 100% of the tuition expenses to enroll in and complete a higher education program during off-duty hours. The program is available for members of each branch of the military, including: the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard, and the Reserves. You will earn the benefits that you receive for Tuition Assistance based on your service, and the benefits received do not have to be repaid like student loans. The maximum amount that you receive for tuition assistance will depend upon which branch of the military you are a member of.

Branch Specific Benefit Information

There is a set limit of how much the government will pay for tuition assistance for soldiers who want to pursue their master’s. Here is a breakdown of these limits by branch:

Maximum limits of TA in the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Reserves, National Guard

* $250 per semester credit hour or

* $166 per quarter credit hour and

* $4,500 max per year

Maximum limits of TA in the Navy

* $250 per semester credit hour or

* $166 per quarter credit hour or

* $16.67 per clock hour and

* 16 semester hours and

* $4,500 max per fiscal year

How to Apply for Financial Tuition Assistance

The process of applying for TA will vary from branch to branch. It is important to contact the appropriate officials to make your request. In the Army you will submit your request through the GoArmyEd portal, and in the Navy you will speak with the Navy College Office to complete counseling and apply for TA funding. Once you have completed the Tuition Assistance Application form, the application will be processed. Upon approval you will receive an Authorization Form to give the school. Once the course is completed, you must submit your grade report to the TA Accounting Office. Your grades must be processed in the system before you can receive assistance for future courses.

Active military can receive tuition assistance to cover enrollment fees, lab fees, computer fees, and special fees associated with earning a master’s degree. If the master’s program you want to enroll in exceeds the maximums, you may also be eligible for the Top-Up Program to supplement your benefits and cover other costs of taking a qualified course. Understand what aid is available to you, learn how assistance and grants work, and take advantage of the benefits you receive as an active member of the military.