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Military Tuition Assistance

By Publisher
| Last Updated

Qualifying active-duty service members can get help paying for up to the full cost of college or university tuition through the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Army Tuition Assistance (TA) program. Many reservists, Coast Guardsmen, and Air or Army National Guardsmen can also qualify. In addition, several other programs are available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that can help eligible veterans (or their dependents) afford post-secondary education or training. This page features several schools where you may be able to use certain military education benefits.

UEI College

  • Mesa
  • Phoenix
  • Bakersfield
  • Chula Vista
  • Fresno
  • Garden Grove
  • Gardena
  • Huntington Park
  • Oceanside
  • Ontario
  • Reseda
  • Riverside
  • Sacramento
  • Stockton
  • West Covina
  • Stone Mountain
  • Tacoma
  • Automotive Technician
  • Business Office Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Dental Assistant
  • Electrician Technician
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Billing and Insurance Coding
  • Medical Office Specialist
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Welding

United Education Institute

  • Morrow, Georgia
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Automotive Technician
  • Business Office Administration
  • Dental Assistant
  • Electrician Technician
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Billing and Insurance Coding

The Refrigeration School

  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Electrical Applications
  • Electro-Mechanical Technologies
  • Refrigeration Technologies
  • Welding Specialist

Tulsa Welding School

  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Houston, Texas
  • Electrical Applications
  • Electrical Technologies
  • Electro-Mechanical Technologies
  • Professional Welder
  • Refrigeration Technologies

ETI School of Skilled Trades

  • Willowbrook, Illinois
  • HVAC/R
  • Welding

Arizona Automotive Institute

  • Glendale, Arizona
  • Automotive Service Technician
  • Combination Welding
  • Diesel - Heavy Truck Technician
  • Electrical
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Basic Refrigeration

Florida Technical College

  • DeLand
  • Kissimmee
  • Lakeland
  • Orlando
  • Pembroke Pines
  • South Miami
  • Tampa
  • Baking and Pastry
  • Business Administration
  • Business Office Specialist
  • Computer Support Technician
  • Culinary Arts
  • Electrical
  • Electrical with PLC
  • HVAC/R
  • HVAC/R with PLC
  • Information Technology with Emphasis in Cybersecurity
  • Medical Assistant Technician
  • Medical Assistant Technician with Emphasis in Basic X-Ray
  • Medical Billing and Coding Specialist
  • Welding

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Online
  • Accounting
  • Accounting - Forensic Accounting & Fraud Examination
  • Accounting Finance
  • Anthropology
  • Anthropology - Environmental Sustainability
  • Business Administration:
    • Accounting
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Finance
    • Healthcare Administration
    • Human Resource Management
    • Industrial Organizational Psychology
    • International Business
    • Management Information Systems
    • Marketing
    • Nonprofit Management
    • Organizational Leadership
    • Project Management
    • Public Administration
    • Sports Management
  • Communication:
    • Business Communications
    • New Media
    • Professional Writing
    • Public Relations
  • Community Health Education
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Computer Science:
    • Data Analysis
    • Information Security
    • Project Management for STEM
    • Software Engineering
  • Creative Writing and English:
    • Fiction Writing
    • Non-Fiction Writing
    • Poetry
    • Screenwriting
  • Criminal Justice:
    • Corrections
    • Criminology Crime Analysis
    • Cybercrime
    • Homeland Security & Counterterrorism
    • Human Services and Advocacy
    • Police Administration and Operations
    • Security Management
    • Substance Abuse
  • Cybersecurity:
    • Data Analytics Fundamentals
    • Project Management Fundamentals
  • Data Analytics
  • Data Analytics - Project Management for STEM
  • Digital Photography
  • English:
    • Literature
    • Professional Writing
  • English Language & Literature
  • Environmental Science:
    • Data Analytics in Science
    • Natural Resources & Conservation
  • Finance
  • Finance - Financial Planning
  • Game Art and Development
  • Game Programming and Development
  • General Studies
  • Graphic Design and Media Arts:
    • User Experience Design
    • Web Design
  • Geosciences:
    • Data Analytics in Science
    • Natural Resources and Conservation
  • Health Information Management
  • Health Sciences
  • Healthcare Administration:
    • Healthcare Information Management
    • Patient Safety and Quality
  • History:
    • American History
    • European History
    • Middle Eastern Studies
    • Military History
  • Human Resources Management
  • Human Services:
    • Child and Family Services
    • Gerontology
    • Substance Abuse
  • Information Technologies:
    • Business Management
    • Cybersecurity
    • Project Management for IT
    • Software Development
  • Liberal Arts
  • Marketing:
    • Digital Marketing
    • Social Media Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics - Applied Mathematics
  • Operations Management:
    • Logistics and Transportation
    • Project Management
  • Political Science
  • Psychology:
    • Addictions
    • Applied Psychology
    • Child & Adolescent Development
    • Forensic Psychology
    • Mental Health
    • Social Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Sociology
  • Sociology - Community Health
  • Sport Management
  • Technical Management II

Advanced Technology Institute

  • Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Automotive Technology
  • Automotive Technology with Service Management
  • Diesel/Heavy Vehicle Technology
  • Diesel/Heavy Vehicle Technology with Service Management
  • HVAC and Refrigeration
  • HVAC and Refrigeration with Service Management
  • Welding Technology
  • Welding Technology with Service Management

Gwinnett Colleges & Institute

  • Orlando
  • Sarasota
  • Lilburn
  • Marietta
  • Sandy Springs
  • Raleigh
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Business Technology
  • Computer Operations
  • Cosmetology
  • Dental Assisting
  • Massage and Spa Management
  • Massage Therapy
  • Medical Administration
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Billing and Coding Specialist
  • Medical Office Administration
  • Paralegal

Northwestern Technological Institute

  • Southfield, Michigan
  • Climate Control Technology

Columbia Southern University

  • Online
  • Business
  • Business Administration
    • Finance
    • General
    • Hospitality and Tourism
    • Human Resource Management
    • Information Technology
    • International Management
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Project Management
    • Sport Management
    • Supply Chain Management
  • Criminal Justice Administration
    • Arson Investigation
    • Forensics
  • Cybersecurity
  • Emergency Management
  • Emergency Medical Services Administration - Emergency Medical Services Education
  • Environmental Management
    • Sustainability
  • Fire Administration - Fire Investigation
  • Fire Science
  • Forensic Investigation
  • Health Care Administration - Emergency Medical Services
  • Health Information Science - Health Care Administration
  • Human Resource Management
  • Information Systems and Cyber Security
  • Information Systems and Cyber Security - Homeland Security
  • Information Technology
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Military Studies
    • Intelligence
  • Occupational Safety and Health
    • Fire Science
    • Oil and Gas
    • Sustainability
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Diversity and Inclusion
    • Forensics
    • Industrial Organization
    • Mental Health

Waldorf University

  • Online
  • Business Administration
    • Communications
    • Finance
    • Health Care Management
    • Human Resource Management
    • Management
    • Project Management
  • Communications
  • Criminal Justice
    • Forensic Mental Health
    • Forensic Psychology
    • Homeland Security
    • Public Relations
  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • Cybersecurity
  • Emergency Management
    • Fire Science
    • Homeland Security
  • Fire Science Administration
  • Fire Science Administration - Public Relations
  • Health Care Management
  • Homeland Security
  • Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Occupational Safety
  • Organizational Leadership
    • Global Leadership
    • Health Care Management
    • Occupational Safety & Health
  • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Criminal Justice
    • Fire Science
    • Health Care Management
    • Industrial Organizational Psychology
    • Mental Health and Counseling
    • Occupational Safety & Health
  • Public Relations

ECPI University

  • Orlando (Lake Mary)
  • Charlotte
  • Greensboro
  • Raleigh
  • Charleston
  • Columbia
  • Greenville
  • San Antonio
  • Manassas (Northern VA)
  • Newport News
  • Richmond
  • Virginia Beach
  • Online
  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Business Analytics
  • Cloud Computing
  • Crime and Intelligence Analysis
  • Criminal Justice
  • Cyber and Information Security Technology
  • Dental Assisting
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Electronic Systems Engineering Technology
  • Electronic Systems Mechatronics
  • Electronics Engineering Technology
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Homeland Security
  • IT Management
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Mechatronics
  • Medical Assisting
  • Mobile Development
  • Nursing
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Practical Nursing
  • Software Development
  • Surgical Technology

Keiser University

  • Clearwater
  • Daytona Beach
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Fort Myers
  • Jacksonville
  • Lakeland
  • Melbourne
  • Miami
  • Naples
  • New Port Richey
  • Orlando
  • Pembroke Pines
  • Port St. Lucie
  • Sarasota
  • Tallahassee
  • Tampa
  • West Palm Beach
  • Business
  • Computer & Technology
  • Culinary
  • Design
  • Health Care
  • Legal & Criminal Justice
  • Psychology
  • Sciences
  • Teaching & Education

MIAT College of Technology

  • Canton, Michigan
  • Houston, Texas
  • Advanced Non-Destructive Testing Technician
  • Airframe and Powerplant Technician
  • Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Energy Technology
  • HVACR Technician
  • Industrial Maintenance Technician
  • Robotics and Automation Technician
  • Robotics and Automation Technology
  • Welding Specialist
  • Wind Power Technician

Universal Technical Institute

  • Avondale
  • Long Beach
  • Rancho Cucamonga
  • Sacramento
  • Miramar
  • Orlando
  • Lisle
  • Bloomfield
  • Mooresville
  • Exton
  • Austin
  • Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Houston
  • Automotive Technology
  • CNC Machining Technology
  • Collision Repair & Refinish Technology
  • Diesel & Industrial Technology
  • NASCAR Technician
  • Welding Technology

Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology

  • Los Angeles, California
  • Riverside, California
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Aviation Electronics Technology (Avionics)
  • Aviation Flight
  • Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Nondestructive Testing Technology & Quality Control Management

Department of Defense Tuition Assistance (TA)

This program makes getting a college education more affordable for eligible active-duty service members, including some active reservists and National Guard members. It provides funding for approved online or on-campus courses that you take voluntarily when you are off duty.

Each military branch manages its own funds and establishes its own rules, procedures, and criteria for eligibility (which are always subject to change). Navy TA, for example, requires following a strict, multi-step command approval process.

Here are some examples of the general commonalities, according to the Department of Defense (DoD) and websites for the individual branches.

Smiling male service member in a camouflage military uniform standing outside and holding a young girl who is hugging himWhat TA may cover:

  • Up to 100% of the tuition and course-related fees (not exceeding $250 per semester credit hour, up to a service-specific annual limit) for:

    • Approved courses that lead to a post-secondary certificate, associate degree, bachelor's degree, or master's degree
    • An approved high school completion program

What TA may not cover:

  • Fees that are not course-specific
  • Books and other learning materials
  • Repeat enrollment in the same course
  • Courses that lead to a degree at the same or lower level of a degree that you already have
  • Courses that you don't complete with a minimum grade (generally C or better for undergraduate courses and B or better for master's-level courses)

How to get TA:

  • Consult with an education counselor through your service.
  • Develop an education plan.
  • Get approval from your commanding officer or relevant supervisor, if necessary.
  • Apply for TA through your service (most commonly through an online portal).
  • Work with your chosen school to complete your enrollment.

One of the advantages of using the Tuition Assistance program is that you can take college courses without dipping into your GI Bill funds. Or, if you need to, you can use your GI Bill benefits and TA at the same time.

In addition, you might qualify for other forms of federal, state, or private student aid programs to help cover any remaining costs after your TA has been applied.

Keep in mind that TA can only be used at authorized schools that are nationally or regionally accredited by an organization that the U.S. Department of Education recognizes. Also, you may need to have completed a minimum amount of active-duty service in order to qualify. And officers may need to agree to an extended service obligation in order to use TA.

Here are the annual TA usage limits for each service branch (according to their own websites, unless otherwise noted), as well as where to go online in order to see if you're eligible and begin the process:


Soldiers seeking to take advantage of the Army Tuition Assistance program need to create a ArmyIgnitED account.

  • Usage limit per fiscal year: Up to $4,000

Sailors who want to use the Navy Tuition Assistance program should visit the Navy College Program website to learn about eligibility and what's required.

  • Usage limit per fiscal year: Up to $3,000

Air Force

Airmen looking to benefit from the Air Force Military Tuition Assistance Program can register and apply online through the Air Force Virtual Education Center.

  • Usage limit per fiscal year: Up to $4,500

Marine Corps

Marines can learn how to apply for TA by visiting the Marine Corps Community Services website.

  • Usage limit per fiscal year: Up to $4,500

Coast Guard

Coast Guardsmen seeking to use TA should contact an education services officer through the Education and Training Quota Management Command (ETQC).

Other Education Benefits for Veterans or Active-Duty Members

Smiling young woman outside in a camouflage military uniform with green trees and grass in the backgroundThe U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) oversees several programs that can help active-duty or honorably discharged service members pay for post-secondary education or training. Eligibility requirements vary from program to program.

In most cases, you can only receive education benefits from one VA program at a time. However, if you're on active duty, you may be able to use the DoD Tuition Assistance program at the same time as GI Bill benefits from the VA.

Here are the VA programs you should know about:

Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)

With Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, you can get up to 36 months of financial help that covers:

  • Up to the full cost of tuition and fees at an in-state public college or university
  • Up to $25,162.14 per academic year for tuition and fees at a private or foreign school

In order to receive the full benefit amount, you need to have served on active duty for at least three years since September 10, 2001. Otherwise, you can receive a percentage of your benefits if you've been on active service for at least 90 days since that time. (Before August 1, 2020, you can receive 40 percent of the maximum benefit for 90 days of service. After that date, you can receive 50 percent.)

You can also receive these benefits if you served after September 10, 2001, were honorably discharged, and:

  • Have a disability connected to your time in the military after serving for a minimum of 30 days continuously
  • Were awarded a Purple Heart after serving any amount of time

Your benefits under this program will not expire unless your military service ended prior to January 1, 2013. If it did, then you have 15 years from your final separation date to use up all of your benefits.

If you qualify under this program, you can also transfer some or all of your benefits to a spouse or child.

Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD)

Under the MGIB-AD program, you might qualify for up to 36 months of educational benefits if you were on active duty for at least two years and have been honorably discharged. Eligibility depends on many additional factors like:

  • Your prior education
  • When you entered and served on active duty
  • Whether your military pay was ever reduced
  • Whether you were ever voluntarily or involuntarily separated

The amount of your benefits also depends on several factors. In most situations, you have 10 years to use up your benefits under this program.

Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)

You may qualify for up to 36 months of MGIB-SR benefits if you are an Army or Air National Guardsman or a reservist in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard. Eligibility depends on factors such as:

  • Having agreed to a 6-year service obligation
  • Having a high school diploma (or equivalent)
  • Completing your initial training
  • Maintaining your good standing in the service

The maximum monthly benefit amount under this program is $392 for full-time students.

Yellow Ribbon Program

In cases where Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits don't cover the full tuition of attending a private, graduate, or out-of-state college or university, Yellow Ribbon benefits can help qualifying service members pay for the higher costs. To be eligible, you need to qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill's maximum benefit. Your chosen school also must be a participant in this program and meet some other requirements.

Under this program, the VA matches the amount that your school contributes for financial assistance toward the extra cost of your tuition and fees.

Tuition Assistance Top-Up

You might be eligible for up to 36 months of Top-Up benefits if your tuition and course-related fees cost more than the DoD TA program covers and you qualify for Post-9/11 GI Bill or MGIB-AD benefits. The amount will help cover the difference.

Benefits for Spouses and Dependents

Eligible service members can transfer a partial or full amount of their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to a child or spouse. In addition, if you are an eligible family member of a veteran, you might qualify for other programs that can help you afford college, university, or post-secondary vocational training. Here are three you should know about:

My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) Scholarship Program

You may qualify for up to $4,000 of MyCAA funds if you have finished high school and are the spouse of an active-duty service member in the E-1 to E-5, W-1 to W-2, or O-1 to O-2 pay grades who is on Title 10 military orders.

You can use MyCAA funds to help pay tuition for programs at participating schools that lead to an associate degree or occupation-relevant license or certification.

Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA)

Under the DEA program, you may be eligible for monthly payments that help cover the cost of post-secondary training or an apprenticeship if you are the spouse or young adult child of a service member who:

  • Died while serving on active duty
  • Had a service-connected disability that led to his or her death
  • Was captured or detained by an enemy force or went missing in action while on duty
  • Is receiving treatment for a total and permanent disability connected to his or her service and will probably be discharged because of the disability

As of August 1, 2018, new users of this program can receive up to 36 months of benefits. The maximum monthly rate is $1,248.

Fry Scholarship

Named for Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry, the Fry Scholarship benefit is designed to help eligible children or spouses of service members who died on or after September 11, 2001, while in the line of duty. Qualifying dependents can receive up to 36 months of financial assistance for tuition, housing, books, and supplies.