When looking to take advantage of military tuition assistance, the first step is always to connect with your education service officer (ESO) from your branch of service and get approval from your command. They will have updated information on the process for your specific branch of service.
The Air Force currently pays 100 percent of tuition, up to $250 per semester hour and $166 quarter hour ($4,500 annually), in off-duty courses with accredited schools who have signed the Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding in pursuit of approved degree programs.
All TA Funding Requests must be approved by supervisors, via the Air Force Virtual Education Center (AFVEC), and fall within the TA application window of 45 calendar days prior to, and no later than 7 calendar days before, the term start date. Any TA not "supervisor" approved by prescribed start dates will be auto-deleted and a notification sent to the prospective student.
AI Portal Link: https://aiportal.us.af.mil/aiportal/Account/ConsentToMonitor
As of Oct. 1, 2014, Airman who have been in-active in pursuing their education for a year or more must receive Follow-Up counseling by their local education office prior to being authorized use of MilTA benefits. Additionally, no more than 124 semester hours (186 quarter hours) for a bachelor's degree and 42 SH (70 QH) for a graduate degree will be funded by MilTA.
A successful course completion is defined as a final grade of "C" or higher for undergraduate courses, and "B" or higher for graduate courses ("Pass" for "Pass/Fail"). Reimbursement is initiated when grades of "D" or "F" in undergraduate courses, and "C","D" or "F" in graduate courses are reported.
There is a mandatory requirement to maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 ("C" average) or above for undergraduate, and 3.0 ("B" average) for graduate level. Grades must be reported within 90 days after term end date or the Central TA Office will initiate reimbursement actions for missing grades (from term end date) via CMS. Once reimbursement actions begin, they cannot be stopped or refunded. Please understand that when signing your MilTA Form 1227, you are authorizing funds to be withdrawn from military pay for unsatisfactory grades, not completing courses or missing grades.
Most recent “changes” to MilTA program:
•Supervisors are required to approve all Military TA requests
•MilTA will automatically be denied for Airmen with UIFs, failed PT tests, referral EPR/OPRs or on a Control Roster
•Foreign language courses are only approved as part of a degree or if on the approved shortage list
•MilTA cannot be used for multiple degrees at the same level
In addition to eligibility changes, there have been multiple administrative changes in how Airmen will apply for MilTA and manage their academic goals. Supervisors will also be notified when airmen have incurred a MilTA debt for unsatisfactory completion of their course(s).
Why were these changes made?
Changes were necessary to ensure the continuation of this valuable benefit for Airmen while still managing a fiscally-balanced approach in a resource-constrained environment.
For what other reasons can supervisors deny MilTA requests?
Supervisors can deny MilTA requests for Airman in any level of upgrade training, if the Airman is TDY or PCSing during the academic term, if the Airman is enrolled in PME, or for other factors the supervisor deems an impediment to successful course completion.
Can I appeal my eligibility if denied or are there any waivers?
Automatic denials for Airmen with unacceptable GPAs, pending reimbursement actions, UIFs, failed PT tests, referral EPR/OPRs or on a Control Roster or Airmen whose supervisors denied their Military TA request or other automatic denials cannot be appealed or waived.
How do overall changes impact students?
Airmen are required to take a more proactive approach to managing their course selections and MilTA toward the achievement of specific academic goals. Airmen need to apply for MilTA in a timely manner and work more closely with institution counselors to ensure the courses they are taking are appropriate for individual degree programs. Airmen will also be held accountable for ensuring the AFVEC has current and accurate contact information for them and their supervisors. Airman students will be required to populate a dynamic e-Degree plan in the AFVEC with the help of counselors. Once the education center has approved the plan and the Airman’s supervisor has approved the MilTA request, Airmen will not have to wait for the education center to give final approval. They will be able to select courses from their plan which will automatically be approved upon supervisor signature.
How do changes impact supervisors?
Supervisors are now a more integral part of the MilTA program. Supervisor involvement provides an opportunity for leaders to become more engaged in the professional development of their Airmen, and provides a chance for mentoring. Supervisors will need to work with Airmen to ensure educational goals are achievable without impacting the mission. Additionally, students will be required to keep supervisor email addresses updated in the AFVEC so supervisors can be notified as necessary of related educational actions.
Who can I contact if I have more questions?
Local installation education offices are available to assist with additional questions or clarification on MilTA benefits and program specifics.
VA Educational Benefits can now be used in conjunction with your Tuition Assistance program. Please visit this link for application and benefit information.