Military Tuition Assistance Programs

Military Tuition Assistance is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Congress has given each service the ability to pay up to 100% for the tuition expenses for semester hours costing $250 or less for its members.

Each service has its own criteria for eligibility, obligated service, application processes and restrictions. The funds are usually paid directly to the institution by the individual services.

Eligibility

All four service branches and the U.S. Coast Guard offer financial assistance for voluntary, off-duty education programs in support of service members’ personal and professional goals. The program is open to officers, warrant officers and enlisted active-duty service personnel. In addition, members of the National Guard and Reserve Components may be eligible for Tuition Assistance (TA) based on their service eligibility.

To be eligible for TA, an enlisted service member must have enough time remaining in service to complete the course for which he or she has applied. After the completion of a course, an officer using TA must fulfill a service obligation that runs parallel with – not in addition to – any existing service obligation.

Coverage amounts and monetary limits

The Tuition Assistance Program may fund up to 100% of your college tuition and certain fees with the following limits:

  • Not to exceed $250 per semester credit hour or $166 per quarter credit hour
  • Not to exceed $4,500 per fiscal year, October 1st through September 30st

Tuition Assistance (TA) versus the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) education benefits

While the TA program is offered by the services, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers a variety of education benefit programs. Some of the VA programs, such as the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008, also known as the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, can work well with the TA program, as it can supplement fees not covered by TA.

In addition, the Post-9/11 GI Bill® funds are available to you after you leave the military. If your service ended before Jan. 1, 2013, you have 15 years to use this benefit. If your service ended on or after Jan. 1, 2013, the benefit won’t expire. The TA program is a benefit that is available only while you’re in the service.

"GI Bill®” is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website."

Tuition Assistance Benefits and Restrictions

Tuition assistance will cover the following expenses:

  • Tuition
  • Course-specific fees such as laboratory fee or online course fee

NOTE: All fees must directly relate to the specific course enrollment of the service member.

Tuition assistance will not cover the following expenses:

  • Books and course materials
  • Flight training fees
  • Taking the same course twice
  • Continuing education units, or CEUs

Keep in mind that TA will not fund your college courses, and you will have to reimburse any funds already paid, if any of the following situations occur:

  • Leaving the service before the course ends
  • Quitting the course for reasons other than personal illness, military transfer or mission requirements
  • Failing the course

Application process

Each military branch has its own TA application form and procedures. To find out how to get started, visit your local installation education center, go online to a virtual education center or click on the following links for each service branch:

Prior to your course enrollment, you may be required to develop an education plan or complete TA orientation. Your service’s education center must approve your military tuition assistance before you enroll in a course. Once approved, please contact the Accounts Receivable Specialist for Curriculum in Financial Services:

Lindsey Parnell at (919) 209-2545 or lnparnell@johnstoncc.edu

Withdrawing from a course when using Tuition Assistance

TA is awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of TA funds originally awarded.

Before dropping or withdrawing from a course, please contact your military education counselor or education services officer to determine how it could impact your Military Tuition Assistance and potential repayment obligations.

To comply with the Department of Defense (DOD) policy, JCC will return any unearned TA funds on a prorated basis through at least 60% portion of the period for which the funds were provided. TA funds are earned proportionally during an enrollment period. Any unearned TA funds — based upon when a student stops attending — will be returned directly to the military service from which the funds were provided, not to the service member.

You may owe a portion of your tuition to JCC for the unearned funds. In cases where some or all of the Tuition Assistance must be returned to the military, you will be responsible for all balances on your JCC student account. Please visit the Curriculum Refund Policy webpage for more information regarding refunds.

Refund Calculation of Unearned TA Funds

Number of days completed/total days of the course (start to end date) = percentage earned

  • Completed up to the 60% mark of the course term.

Johnston Community College is an equal educational and employment opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, disability, age, religion, veteran status, or any other characteristic or status protected by applicable local, state, or federal law in admission, treatment, or access to, or employment in, its programs and activities. All inquiries regarding compliance with access, equal opportunity, Title IX, and/or grievance procedures should be directed to the Director of Human Resources, 245 College Road, Wilson Building, Smithfield, NC 27577 or via telephone at (919) 209-2025 or the Vice President of Student Services, 245 College Road, Wilson, Smithfield, NC 27577 or via telephone at (919) 209-2048.