How to Use Military Tuition Assistance
The United States government provides military tuition assistance to active-duty servicemembers, veterans, and the spouses and children of both. Each military branch has different guidelines for military tuition assistance, including the rules for eligibility, the amount of service needed to qualify, and the application process.
Military assistance is available for members and veterans of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Military tuition assistance is not a loan. Rather, it counts as part of the pay earned for years of service to the country.
For military students, discovering if a university is military-friendly ranks at the top of the list of things to consider when choosing a university. Touro University Worldwide offers many benefits to military students. The university also is among the schools that have signed a memorandum of understanding as a partner school with the U.S. Department of Defense.
What Makes a University Military-Friendly?
A school should offer various services and programs to make it truly military-friendly for active-duty service members and veterans. For military students searching to find the right school, benefits to look for include the following.
Flexible Admissions Process. Military students often need flexibility in the admissions process. Many of the items needed for a civilian application – high school guidance counselor recommendations or updated senior high school grades – don’t apply for veterans who may have graduated years before. Veterans should look for schools offering flexibility, such as letters of recommendation from military officers in the application process.
Granting Credit For Military Training. A military-friendly college should review what a veteran has learned in military training, including classes in technical military schools, as potentially qualifying for credit in similar college courses.
Flexible Withdrawal Rules. Active duty military students need flexible rules if they are deployed and must immediately withdraw from classes.
Emphasizing Diversity. Many schools actively pursue students from diverse economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. These same schools often also commit to bringing in veterans, who make up about one out of every 30 college students nationwide. Schools that actively pursue veterans show a commitment to making the educational experience better for all by providing a diverse mix of students.
Financial Support. Veterans can face a bewildering amount of bureaucracy in putting together financial aid to pay for their college courses, as well as different rules for different military branches. Military-friendly colleges help them navigate the process in a way that is clear and straightforward.
Guidelines for Using Military Tuition Assistance
Because every branch of the military manages tuition assistance with a different set of rules, the first step for military students is to check the guidelines for their branch of the Armed Forces. According to Military Families Magazine, the current benefits from each branch of the military include the following.
- Air Force. Up to $3,750 per year, limited to 124 undergraduate and 42 graduate hours total. These same guidelines apply to members of the Space Force.
- Army. Up to $4,000 to pay for up to 16 semester hours of undergraduate or graduate coursework per year, with a limit of 130 semester hours of undergraduate credit and 39 hours of graduate credit.
- Marines. Up to $4,500 per year.
- Navy. Up to $3,000, with a limit of 120 credit hours.
- Coast Guard. Up to $2,250 per year, equaling nine credit hours, with a limit of 130 undergraduate and 40 graduate hours.
Most of these programs also apply to military spouses who are going back to school and children of active-duty servicemembers and veterans. These guidelines frequently change. It’s also important to remember tuition assistance is just one of many forms of aid for military students.
How Touro University Worldwide Works With Military Students
TUW has a long-held commitment to a diverse student body, which includes members of the military. From the moment online students contact the school, TUW staff helps them find the financial aid they need to achieve their educational goals.
TUW recommends that military students meet with their ESO (education services officer) three to four weeks before starting classes for a briefing on tuition assistance. Once they establish eligibility, students should choose military tuition assistance as their payment method when applying for admission to TUW.
TUW counselors also guide military students through college financial aid options for military students. They include:
- Post 9-11 GI Bill®
- Yellow Ribbon Program
- Montgomery GI Bill® – Active Duty
- Montgomery GI Bill® – Selective Reserve
- GI Bill® Tuition Assistance Top-Up (specifically designed to address costs not covered by tuition assistance)
- Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service Program
TUW also offers tuition discounts for military students and their spouses. For detailed information, visit the TUW military education benefits page.