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Marine Corps Education Programs

Marine Corps commandant James Amos

The Marine Corps Lifelong Learning Programs Branch (MRV) at Headquarters Marine Corps is guided by DoD Directive 1322.8 to provide programs for the following areas:

  • Marine Deployed Education Programs
  • Library Programs
  • Military Academic Skills Program (MASP)
  • Military Tuition Assistance (TA)
  • United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP)
  • Sailor/Marine American Council on Education Registry Transcript (SMART)
  • Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Marine Corps (SOCMAR)
  • Spouse Tuition Assistance (TA)

Lifelong Learning also provides policy, procedures, and funding for the Lifelong Learning Offices on Marine Corps Bases and Installations.

Marine Deployed Education Programs

The purpose of the Marine Deployed Education program is to provide undergraduate level courses to afloat Marines, MCB Camp Pendleton and MCAS Cherry Point developed MOUs with academic institutions. Qualified Marines with the afloat units provide the instruction. Currently, courses are provided by Park University and Central Texas College. The academic institutions identify and employ qualified marine instructors to teach courses. Marines receive instruction according to the deployment schedule and pay tuition according to the standard tuition assistance policy.

  • Courses are paid at 100% of the cost of tuition per current TA policy, using tuition assistance funds.
  • Initial Tuition Assistance forms and registrations must be completed, approved, and given to the Education Officer before the deployment date.
  • Payment for courses is due the first night of class.
  • Two-week late registration allowed on ship at MCAS Cherry Point.
  • Books are rented for $10.00 per book at Camp Pendleton.
  • Books are ordered, purchased, and received before deployment at Cherry Point.
  • Class sessions are flexible according to operational tempo. In an emergency situation, classes can be stopped immediately.
  • Military Academic Skills Program (MASP) can be provided afloat under its current education services agreement.

Marine Library Program

The primary mission of the Marine Corps General Library Program, a component of the Lifelong Learning Program, is to assemble, organize, preserve and make easily and freely available to all service personnel, balanced and unbiased collections of library materials (print and non-print), and accompanying library services. The Marine Corps General Library Program is specifically attuned to the interests and requirements of Marine Corps personnel and to the missions and tasks of commands.

Click here for more on the Marine Corps Library Program.

Military Academic Skills Programs (MASP)

The Military Academic Skills Programs was developed to improve the competencies of active duty enlisted personnel in the academic skills of reading, communication/writing, and mathematics. In turn, Marines will be better prepared to retake the Armed Forces Classification Test (AFCT) and to perform their mission.

Click here for more on the Marine Academic Skills Program.

Military Tuition Assistance

If you are Active Duty, the Marine Corps will pay up to 100% of your college Tuition. 

Click here for more on Marine Corps Tuition Assistance.

Tip: You may be eligible for more than one educational benefit. Knowing when each is best for your situation can save you money and ensure you get the most out of your benefits. Click here to get "Answers-at-Glance" before you start using your benefits.


The USMAP is the largest apprenticeship program sponsor registered with the United States Department of Labor. It provides a total of 126 occupations. From program inception, nearly 20,000 Marines and Sailors have completed their Certificates of Apprenticeship.

Click here for more on US MAP.

SMART Transcripts

Marine Corps and Navy Personnel have an official document certifying military training and education for recommended college credit called the Sailor/Marine American Council on Education Registry Transcript (SMART). SMART is an official transcript endorsing and recommending college credit for military education and training and recognized by the American Council on Education (ACE). The Marine Corps and the Navy have developed SMART jointly.

Click here for more on getting SMART Transcripts.


SOCMAR is the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) degree program for the Marines.

  • SOCMAR consists of colleges that offer associate and bachelor's degree programs on or accessible to Navy and Marine installations worldwide.
  • SOCMAR colleges form networks in which each college accepts credits from all the others.

SOCMAR guarantees that you and your adult family members can continue toward completion of your degrees even though the Marine Corps may transfer you several times. There are also degrees available by distance learning that require no classroom residency.

Click here for more on SOCMAR.

The Navy College-at-Sea Program (NCPACE)

NCPACE is a part of the Navy College Program. NCPACE gives you the opportunity to experience challenging education while on sea duty assignments preparing you for personal and professional growth. Both academic skills and college (undergraduate and graduate) courses are available through NCPACE. NCPACE college courses are provided by the following regionally accredited colleges and universities:

  • Central Texas College
  • Chapman University
  • Coastline Community College
  • Excelsior College
  • The George Washington University
  • Old Dominion University
  • St Leo University
  • St Josephs College of Main
  • Troy State University
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Citrus College
  • Dallas Community College
  • ECPI College of Technology
  • Empire State College
  • Fort Hays State University

Click here for more on the Navy's College-at-Sea Program.

Other Marine Corps Education Benefits

The Marine Corps College Fund

If you complete an active duty contract of at least 48 months, you may become eligible for the Marine Corps College Fund. In combination with the Montgomery GI Bill, it provides almost all of the funding necessary for your college education. Recipients of the fund can get up to $50,000 for college

Navy (Marine Option) Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) Scholarship

The NROTC Program was established to educate and train qualified young men and women for service as commissioned officers in the Marine Corps Reserve. As the largest single source of Marine Corps officers, the NROTC Scholarship Program fills a vital need in preparing mature young men and women for leadership and management positions in an increasingly technical Marine Corps.

  • The four-year option covers full tuition at certain selected colleges and universities. The scholarship also includes the cost of educational fees, a stipend for textbooks, uniforms and a subsistence allowance for each academic month for which a student is enrolled.
  • The two-year option covers costs of tuition, fees, textbooks, and uniforms for the final two years of college. This option is open to all college students having completed their sophomore year or third year of a five-year program. The students enrolled under the two-year option must complete eight years of military service, four of which must be in active duty.

For more details and information, visit the NROTC Marine Option web page. 

The Navy Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) Sponsored Programs

The Admiral Mike Boorda Seaman-to-Admiral Educational Assistance Program

The Admiral Mike Boorda Seaman-to-Admiral Educational Assistance Program offers grants and/or interest-free loans of up to $2,000 a year to eligible active duty servicemembers accepted to the following programs:

  • Enlisted Commissioning Program
  • Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program
  • Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program

The Program is also open if you are a Midshipman who has been released from active duty for immediate assignment to the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) Program. Application is made through the Commanding Officer of the NROTC Unit, or by contacting NMCRS Headquarters.

Click here for more on the Adm. Boorda Education Program

Spouse Tuition Aid Program (STAP)

The Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) offers STAP to your spouse if you are an active duty servicemember stationed in an overseas (OCONUS) location. Your spouse may be a full or part-time student studying toward a vocational certificate or an undergraduate or graduate degree.

Amounts granted:

- Undergraduate level maximum of $300 @ semester and $1500 @ year.
- Graduate level maximum of $350 @ semester and $1750 @ year.

To request an application form and information about deadlines, contact one of the following NMCRS offices: Guam, Guantanamo Bay, London, Naples, Okinawa, Roosevelt Roads, Rota, Sigonella, or Yokosuk

Click here for more information on STAP

VADM E.P. Travers Scholarship and Loan Program

To apply, you must be the spouse of an active duty member, or the dependent child of an active or retired member of the Navy or Marine Corps. You must be a full time undergraduate student at an accredited college or university.

  • 1000 grants are awarded each academic year at $2000 each.
  • Applicants are also evaluated for an interest-free student loan of up to $3000.
  • The loan repayment begins within 30 days of award and must be repaid by allotment within 24 months.
  • Application deadline is 1 March of each year.
  • Late applications will not be considered for the scholarship; however they will be evaluated for a loan.

Click here for more on the VADM Travers Scholarship.

Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is a private, non-profit organization that provides scholarship opportunities for dependent children of Marines for pursuit of higher education opportunities.

Related Topics

Marine Corps Military Scholarships

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