Navy Education Programs

Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacques Chenet assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd, stands watch on the bridge wearing a command ball cap on June 16, 2014. Declan Barnes/U.S. Navy

The Navy has several Voluntary Education programs to help Sailors reach their education and career goals. The Naval Education and Training Command plays a big part in ensuring all Navy personnel achieve their education and career goals by managing several education and training programs. The following is a summary of these five education support and other programs available to Navy personnel:

The Navy Advanced Education Voucher Program

The Naval Education and Training Command's Advanced Education Voucher (AEV) program is designed to provide advanced education opportunities for senior enlisted personnel E-7 through E-9. For details see our Navy Advanced Education Voucher page.

Navy Graduate Education Voucher

The Graduate Education Voucher program (GEV) was established in order to provide increased opportunity and incentive for selected Unrestricted Line (URL) officers who wish to obtain a graduate degree during off-duty hours. While GEV participation is limited to selected URL officers, all eligible Navy officers are encouraged to pursue graduate education through one or more of the educational programs available to them. Navy leadership recognizes the value and importance of advanced education. However, there is a constant demand for quality officers to fill other Navy core billets, thereby limiting opportunity for resident advanced education. GEV enables selected officers, with demonstrated superior performance and potential for future contributions to the Navy, to earn a Navy-relevant masters degree leading to an approved subspecialty while meeting other Navy needs.

Active duty URL Officers from 03 to 05 in the 111X, 112X, 113X, 114X, and 13XX communities are eligible. GEV has been designed to aid those officers who consistently demonstrate superior performance. GEV is limited to on-shore duty officers or to officers who are transferring to shore duty.

Once approved, participants may attend any accredited institution recognized by Department of Education. GEV will cover graduate costs, including tuition, books, and registration/application fees.GEV offers $40,000 per degree, with a maximum of $20,000 per fiscal year, and participants are allotted a maximum of 24 months to complete a degree program.

For more information see the Navy College Graduate Education Voucher website.

Tuition Assistance

TA is available to both Naval Officer and Enlisted active duty personnel and Naval Reservists on continuous active duty. It is also available to enlisted Naval Reservists ordered to active duty 120 days and to Naval Reservist Officers ordered to active duty for 2 years or more. To qualify, service members must:  

  • be on active duty for the whole length of the course.
  • attend an institution accredited by a regional, national, or professional accrediting agency recognized by the Department of Education.
  • receive counseling from a Navy College Office or Virtual Education Center Counselor
  • provide all grades from previously funded TA courses and reimburse all W and F grades. (Withdrawals for involuntary reasons may be granted with command verification.)
  • Agree, if an officer, to remain on active duty for at least two years upon completion of courses funded by TA. This obligation runs concurrently with remaining obligated service time. Those who fail to serve the obligation must repay the TA funds expended on their behalf during the last two years of active duty on a pro rated basis.

The maximum amount paid for tuition assistance: 100% Tuition and Fees

Not to exceed:

  • $250.00 @ Semester Credit Hour, or
  • $166.67 @ Quarter Credit Hour, and
  • 16 Semester Hours (24 Quarter Hours or 240 Clock Hours)@ Fiscal Year

Reimbursement of TA funds is required for all:

  • undergraduate level (D or lower) grades,
  • non-passing (N) grades,
  • graduate level (C or lower) grades,
  • incomplete (I) grades in effect longer than six months,
  • voluntary withdrawal (W) grades.

See our Navy Tuition Assistance page for more details.


SOCNAV is the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) degree program for the NAVY.

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

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

Click here for more details on how to enroll in SOCNAV.

The Navy College-At-Sea (NCPACE)

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 onboard Naval vessels by regionally accredited colleges and universities.

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

Navy Seaman to Admiral (STA-21)

The Navy's Seaman to Admiral Program is a commissioning program in which Sailors keep their benefits, pay, and privileges while they receive a scholarship to attend college to earn their degree and their commission as a Naval officer. Visit the STA-21 Navy commissioning program overview for more details.

The Navy Maine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) Sponsored Programs

The mission of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society's (NMCRS) education programs is to help eligible Navy and Marine Corps service members and families pursue their academic goals by providing a source of education financing. Scholarships and no-interest loans are available, provided solely on the basis of the applicant's financial need in accordance with policies established by the Society's Board of Directors.

Education Programs Administered by NMCRS Headquarters

Applicants for all education programs must be enrolled or planning to enroll as full-time undergraduate students in a traditional classroom setting at a post-secondary, technical, or vocational institution that participates in the U. S. Department of Education Title IV financial aid programs. In addition, all applicants must maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale).

A new application for NMCRS education programs is required for each academic year. Receipt of funds in one year does not guarantee funding in future years. Each student may receive funds for up to four years of undergraduate study. All funds are sent directly to the school, and can only be used for direct educational expenses.

To obtain an application, click on“program page” in the program of your choice from those listed below, and then select "Application." Complete the form(s) on screen and print the completed application. Ensure the application has been completely filled in, that all required signatures are in place, and then mail the completed form(s), along with proof of eligibility, to: NMCRS Education Division, 875 North Randolph Street, Suite 225, Arlington, Virginia 22203.

Vice Admiral E. P. Travers Loan Program

Named after the Society's eleventh President, the Vice Admiral E. P. Travers Loan Program provides interest-free loans to eligible children, under the age of 23,of active duty and retired Sailors and Marines, as well as spouses of active duty Navy and Marine Corps service members who reside within the United States.

The Travers Program offers interest-free loans from $500 up to $3,000 (for an academic year).  

The Travers application package is posted on the Travers program page in mid-October of each year for the following academic year. Applications must be received at Headquarters no later than March 1st.


Admiral Mike Boorda Loan Program

The Boorda Program provides no-interest loans ranging from $500 up to $3,000 for an academic year to active duty students enrolled in the following commissioning programs:

  • Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP)
  • Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program (MECP)
  • Marine Meritorious Commissioning Program (MCP).

Boorda application forms are posted on the Boorda program page in late November. Forms must be received by Headquarters no later than May 1st each school year, and reviewed and endorsed by the students commanding officer.

The Boorda Program allows repayment to be deferred as long as three months after Commissioning in the Navy or Marine Corps.  Students will be advised at the end of each year the total value of their outstanding loan balance, and the anticipated commissioning date.


USS TENNESSEE Scholarship Fund

The Society administers the TENNESSEE Program, which was established upon the commissioning of the USS TENNESSEE (SSBN 734). The scholarship provides grants of up to $2,000 for an academic year to eligible children, under the age of 23, of service members who are serving or have served aboard the USS TENNESSEE.   Children of both active duty and retired USS TENNESSEE Sailors are eligible

The TENNESSEE application package is posted on the USS Tennessee Scholarchip program page in late November. Applications must be received at Headquarters no later than March 1st each school year.


NMCRS Gold Star Scholarship Program

Previously called the Dependents of Deceased Service Member Scholarship Program, the Gold Star Program provides academic grants for eligible children and unremarried spouses of deceased Sailors and Marines.  Awards are based on need and the amount is determined by NMCRS Headquarters Education Division:

For Children (use the application entitled Gold Star Scholarship for Children ).   Children of both active duty and retired are eligible.

  • The USS STARK Memorial Fund is a special program specifically for children of STARK crewmembers who died or were disabled as a result of the missile attack on the USS STARK in the Persian Gulf on May 17, 1987.
  • The USS COLE Memorial Fund is a special program specifically for children of COLE crewmembers who died as a result of the terrorist attack on the USS COLE on October 12, 2000.
  • The Pentagon Assistance Fund (PAF) is a special program specifically for children of deceased Sailors and Marines who died as a result of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.  This program was also offered to children of active duty Sailors and Marines who died under hostile fire in combat operations during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) until 1 June 2007.

Applications for eligible children are posted on the Gold Star program page in late November of each year.  Application forms must be received at Headquarters no later than March 1st each school year.

For Unremarried Spouses (use the application entitled Gold Star Scholarship for

  • The USS STARK Memorial Fund and Pentagon Assistance Fund includes unremarried spouses of crewmembers who died as a result of the missile attack on the USS STARK or those that died as a result of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon and from combat operations during OEF before 1 June 2007.   

Applications for unremarried spouses are posted on the Gold Star program page in late November.  Application forms must be received at Headquarters no later than two months prior to the start of school.


Society of Sponsors of the United States Navy Centennial Scholarship Program

The Centennial Scholarship is offered to Iraq-Afghanistan combat wounded veterans who have an Associate Degree or equivalent credits and are pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree or university/college courses beyond a Bachelor’s Degree, leading to teacher licensure.

The Society of Sponsors of the United States Navy, an organization of women who serve as ship sponsors, is dedicated to promoting educational opportunities for the men and women who served in the United States Navy and Marine Corps.  In support of this goal, the Society has established scholarships for Navy-Marine Corps veterans who were injured in combat.  The Society will support individuals who pursue a career in education, by making available five $3,000 annual scholarships for “education related” expenses.

There is no deadline for this program, you may apply at any time.

There is no deadline for this program, you may apply at any time.

Click here for an application for the Centennial Scholarship.

If you have any questions, please contact the Society’s Education Division at (703) 696-4960 or by email to

Joseph A. McAlinden Divers Scholarship

The Joseph A. McAlinden Divers Scholarship is offered specifically to Navy and Marine Corps Divers, whether active duty or retired, and their eligible family members.  This scholarship provides financial assistance for full-time undergraduate and graduate students, who must be participating in one of the following areas of study:  Oceanography, Ocean Agriculture, or Aquaculture.  The McAlinden Scholarship also assists with Department of the Navy approved advanced diver training, qualifications and certifications.

The Scholarship is need-based and ranges from $500 up to $3,000 per academic year, for the eligible students education.

There is no deadline for this Program, you may apply at any time.

Click here for an application.

Since its inception in 1904, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) has provided more than one billion dollars in financial assistance to more than four million members of the Naval Service and their families.  NMCRS offers a variety of scholarships and no interest loans to support education.


Spouse Tuition Aid Program (STAP) (Overseas only - Not Administered by NMCRS HQ)

The Spouse Tuition Aid Program (STAP) is a need based no interest loan, available to spouses residing with their active duty service member sponsor, stationed outside the United States.  STAP no interest loans are available for part-time and full-time undergraduate and graduate studies.

STAP offers loans of up to $3,000 per 12 month period and offers qualified spouses an excellent opportunity to complete an undergraduate or graduate degree when stationed overseas. 

To learn more about this overseas administered program, contact the nearest Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Office.

Contact NMCRS by e-mail at, or call directly to NMCRS HQ at (703) 696-4960 DSN 426-4960.

This page last updated on March 10, 2010



Other Navy Education Benefit Programs

The Navy College Fund

Also known as an MGIB Kicker, the Navy College Fund is available to those who sign up for the MGIB. If you're a high school graduate, score a 50 or better on the ASVAB, and qualify for certain Navy jobs or apprenticeships, upon enlistment, you can get more than $15,000 in addition to your MGIB money for your education.
Click here for more on the Navy College Fund.

Student Loan Repayment Program (LRP)

If you are a college student or graduate who qualifies for the Loan Repayment Program (LRP), the Navy will pay, upon enlistment, up to $65,000 of your student loans for a college level education.

Click here for more information on the Navy Student Loan Repayment Program.

Navy College Assistance/Student Headstart (NAVY-CASH)

You may apply for the Navy CASH program if you are a motivated high school or college student who qualifies for the Nuclear Field. The program will allow you to receive full Navy pay and benefits while attending college for up to 12 months if you are accepted.

Click here for more information Navy CASH Program.

Accelerate to Excellence Pilot Program

Commander, Navy Recruiting Command (CNRC) and Commander, Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) are starting to see interest grow in a pilot program, launched May 1, 2007, that allows enlistees to obtain an associates degree through a community or junior college as part of their initial rate training.

Called "Accelerate to Excellence," the program is expected to sign up 100 people in the first year. The program allows enlistees to enroll in community college while in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) and get paid a monthly stipend by the Navy. The enlistees are expected to eventually earn an associates degree prior to reporting to their first permanent duty station. The initial pilot program will be focused on recruiting from Texas and Florida.

Click here to learn more about the Accelerate to Excellence pilot program.

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Navy Tuition Assistance Education

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