Several changes are being made to the Army's Tuition Assistance (TA) Program. Some have already happened, and many are coming in the next few months. TA is an amazing benefit, but it can be hard to keep up with changes. Your education center should be able to help you with the details, but it is good to remain informed because you are ultimately responsible for charges not covered by TA.
Soldier EligibilityEffective 1 January 2014, soldiers must have completed one year of service following graduation from Advanced Individual Training (AIT) to become eligible for undergraduate TA benefits.
Beginning 1 October 2015, soldiers must have completed ten years of service to earn TA benefits for graduate level courses if any portion of their undergraduate studies were paid with TA funds. Soldiers currently pursuing a graduate degree, but who do not have ten years of service, will remain eligible for graduate level TA benefits until 30 September 2014.
Minimum GradesFor any classes that begin after 6 September 2014, reimbursement will be required for any class that is not successfully completely. The definition of successful completion is set at a grade of "C" for undergraduate classes and a grade of "B" for graduate classes.
If a course is not successfully completed, the soldier will be required to reimburse the amount paid by TA within 30 days.
Fees and Extra CostsEffective 1 October 2014, TA will not pay for any extra fees or costs associated with courses. These include laboratory fees or course fees. TA will only paid the costs of the actual tuition.
Course Change DeadlinesAll TA requests must be submitted and approved prior to the course start date, or benefits will not be paid. Soldiers should request TA at least ten days prior to the course start date to ensure that the staff has time to review and approve the request. It has been noted that failing to receive approval prior to the class start date will not be a valid reason to have an exception approved.
Semester LimitsAdditionally, the $4,500 limit per semester has been changed to a 16 semester-hour limit per semester.
Tuition Cost LimitsTA will pay up to $250 per semester hour for tuition costs. Amounts that exceed $250 per semester hour will be the responsibility of the soldier.
School EligibilityEffective 5 September 2014, schools who have not agreed to the new Department of Defense Instruction 1322.25 will not longer be eligible to receive TA payments. Students should check with their education center to ensure that their school has complied with the necessary agreements to remain within the TA system.
These are a lot of changes to happen within the same year. Be informed so you can use your great benefits to keep moving on your education.