Military Forces Tuition Assistance is an education benefit for eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Each service branch is able to pay up to 100% for the tuition expenses of its members. However, each service has its own criteria for eligibility, obligated service, application process’ and restrictions. In addition, each service has the authority to regulate how much each member can receive and set specific caps of up to $250 a credit and $4,500 a year. For example the Navy currently limits sailors to 16 year semester hour credits per year.
This annual cap is reset each year in October, that means that most servicemembers will have a fresh $4,500 (or 16 credits) in education benefits beginning this month.
However, servicemembers should be aware that this benefit is not safe from the budget axe. During a recent live Q&A with the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Buck McKeon said that although the law protects military pay from sequestration, tuition assistance reductions are within DoD’s authority.