Tuition Assistance Top-Up (TATU)

Regular Army: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet

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Tuition Assistance Top-Up (TATU) is an augmentation to the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) Active Duty (MGIB-AD) or Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. It permits the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to pay a benefit equal to the difference between the total cost of a college course and the amount of Tuition Assistance (TA) that is paid by the Army for the course, up to the Veteran's rate.


Active duty Soldiers are eligible for TATU if the Army has approved them for federal Tuition Assistance. Soldiers must also be eligible for MGIB - AD benefits or Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. To be eligible for MGIB benefits, the Soldier must be a MGIB - AD participant (enrolled upon initial entry to active duty and paid the $1,200 for MGIB enrollment) and must have served at least two full years on active duty.

Benefit Highlights

The Army can pay up to 100% of the tuition and expenses charged by a school up to limits established by the Department of Defense (DoD). However, if the tuition and expenses are more than the amount the Army will pay, a Soldier eligible for MGIB can elect to receive MGIB benefits for all or a part of the remaining expenses. If the Soldier is using the Post-9/11 GI Bill, their school will be paid back the difference between the DoD payment and the authorized (approved) maximum tuition and fees. This add-on payment is" Top-Up." Top-Up is limited to 36 months of payment. The amount of the benefit is limited to the amount that the Soldier would receive for the same course if regular MGIB benefits were being paid. In no case can the amount paid by the Army combined with the amount paid by VA be more than the total cost of the course. If a Soldier receives the Top-Up benefit, their regular MGIB benefits will be reduced. If the Soldier uses the Post-9/11 GI Bill, this benefit will be charged based on training time no matter how much money you are paid back. Half-time training rates reduce your GI Bill benefit by a half-month for each month you are enrolled. The amount of entitlement charged for Top-Up payments is determined by dividing the amount of the payment by the claimant's full-time monthly rate. Top-Up can apply retroactively, but the Soldier must be eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill or Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, and VA can only go back one year from the date the claim is received. The claim must be only for training in terms that began on or after October 30, 2000, which is the effective date of the law.

Additional Information
Document Review Date: 11 July 2023