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 General Library Program assembles, organizes, and preserves unbiased collections of library materials (print and non-print) 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 Program (MASP) is an on-duty educational (commanders') program designed to improve the competencies of active duty and reserve enlisted personnel/dependents in the academic skills of math and reading.  MASP is for all active duty and reserve military students who are using tuition assistance for the first time, and who have a GT of 99 or below and failed to achieve a grade of 10.2 on the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE). Completion of MASP is required prior to submitting requests for tuition assistance. 

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.

Joint Service Transcripts (JST)

Marine Corps and Navy Personnel have an official document certifying military training and education for recommended college credit called the Joint Service Transcript (JST). The JST is an official transcript endorsing and recommending college credit for military education and training and recognized by the American Council on Education (ACE).

Click here for more information on getting Joint Service 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. The Navy has contracted with Central Texas College (CTC) to administer the NCPACE program, which provides Instructor-Led (IL) and Distance Learning (DL) courses. NCPACE IL is taught by resident instructors. NCPACE DL courses are provided to commands through CD-ROM, PDA or MP4 formats. NCPACE offers academic skills (IL only) and undergraduate/graduate courses. Degree opportunities are available at the associate, bachelor's and master's degree levels. IL courses are provided by CTC. DL courses are provided by a consortium of 10 academic institutions to include:

  • Central Texas College
  • Coastline Community College
  • Dallas Colleges Online
  • ECPI University
  • Governors State University
  • Old Dominion University
  • Saint Leo University
  • Thomas Edison State University
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Vincennes 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 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 Loan Program provides an interest-free loan for education expenses. Loans range from $500 to $3000 per academic year, and they can be used to pay for tuition, books, and fees.

To qualify, you must be a Sailor or Marine participating in one of the following: 

  • Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP)
  • Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program (MECP)

You must also have a demonstrated financial need for assistance. This loan is for full-time students, enrolled for the entire academic year, and pursuing a first undergraduate degree at a qualifying school. Applicants must also maintain 2.0 or better GPA on a 4.0 grade scale.

Click here for more on the Adm. Boorda Education Program

Spouse Tuition Aid Program (STAP)

Spouses who reside with an active duty Sailor or Marine stationed outside the 50 United States can apply for an interest-free loan. Loans can be up to $3000 per 12-month period, and they can be used to pay for tuition, books, and fees.

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a spouse of an active duty Navy or Marine Corps service member, residing with them outside of the 50 United States
  • Be a part-time or full-time undergraduate or graduate student
  • Be enrolled at an institution accredited by a regional/national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education

Click here for more information on STAP

VADM E.P. Travers Scholarship and Loan Program

The Vice Admiral E.P. Travers Loan Program provides an interest-free loan for education expenses. Loans range from $500 to $3000 per academic year. The funds can be used for tuition, books, fees, room, and board.

To qualify, you must be:

  • The child of an active duty or retired Sailor or Marine (includes reservists while serving on active duty over 90 days)
  • The spouse of an active duty or retired Sailor or Marine

To qualify, you must have a demonstrated financial need for assistance. Also, you must be a full-time student, enrolled for the entire academic year, and pursuing your first undergraduate degree at a qualifying school. Applicants must also maintain 2.0 or better GPA on a 4.0 grade scale.

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.

Keep Up With Your Education Benefits

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