Tuition Assistance (TA)
Benefit Fact Sheet
The Tuition Assistance (TA) Program provides financial assistance for voluntary off-duty civilian education programs in support of a Soldier's professional and personal self-development goals. TA is a Public Law that is implemented by Department of Defense (DoD) Directive and DoD Instruction, and all Soldiers (officers, warrant officers, enlisted) on active duty, Army National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers on active duty (pursuant to U.S. Code Title 10 or Title 32), and TPU Soldiers are authorized to participate in the TA program.
Army Reserve Soldiers on active duty deployed under U.S. Code Title 10 are eligible for Tuition Assistance.
Effective FY99, the DoD implemented a uniform TA fiscal policy across the military services. Effective 1 Oct 02, the Army agreed to pay all or a portion of the charges of an educational institution for the tuition and expenses of its Soldiers for postsecondary education during off-duty periods, up to the newly established semester hour cap of $250 and annual ceiling of $4,000. When an educational institution's tuition and fees are $250 or less per semester hour (or equivalent), the Army will pay 100 percent of the amount charged by the institution for up to 16 semester hours of TA funded courses per fiscal year. When an institution's tuition and fees exceed $250 per semester hour, the Army will only pay $250 per semester hour (or equivalent) of credit. Effective February 15, 2002, the Services will pay Tuition Assistance for their Service members. This change in policy has been mutually agreed upon by all services. Soldiers assigned to an installation that is host to another Service will be referred by the local education center to the closest servicing center. Before obtaining TA, Soldiers must contact their Education Services Specialist or visit an Education Center to declare an educational goal and create an educational plan.
Current Army policy limits TA to 130 semester hours of undergraduate credit or baccalaureate degree, whichever comes first and 39 semester hours of graduate credit or master's degree whichever comes first. The 39 semester hour limit applies to all credits taken after completion of a baccalaureate degree.
By law, officers who use TA incurs a service obligation. Active Duty officers incur an Active Duty Service Obligation (ADSO) of two years, and Reserve Component officers incur a Reserve Duty Service Obligation (RDSO) of four years. The ADSO/RDSO is calculated from the date of completion of the last course for which TA was used.
Education Programs at a Distance: TA is available for courses that are offered online, by correspondence, or through other non-traditional means. The courses must be offered by colleges that are accredited by accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. There are Education Centers in Djibouti, Germany, Bahrain, Korea, Egypt, Honduras, Belgium, Italy, Afghanistan, Qatar, Japan, Netherlands and Kuwait. Soldiers deployed to those areas should contact the Education Center in their area for assistance. Active duty Soldiers who are deployed to an area with no local Education Center should contact the Education Center at the installation where they were stationed prior to deployment. U.S. Code 2007, Title 10, mandates commissioned officers who use TA incur a two-year Active Duty Service Obligation (ADSO) upon completion of the education program. Only the Army Human Resources Command Commanding General has the authority to waive the TA active duty service obligation (ADSO).
For more information, please visit the Army TA webpage at:
Army Regulation 621-5: