Air Force Tuition Assistance: Background & Summary
While the GI Bill assists airmen in attaining a college education after leaving the service, there are military benefits available that can help you earn your degree while you are still serving, including the U.S. Air Force Tuition Assistance Program.
Who is Eligible for Air Force Tuition Assistance?
All members of the active duty U.S. Air Force are eligible for military benefits under the Air Force Tuition Assistance Program. In other words, all ranks and officers are eligible for benefits. In addition, members of the Air Force Reserve who are currently on active duty may apply for Tuition Assistance benefits.
How to Get Air Force Tuition Assistance
When you apply for benefits under the Air Force Tuition Assistance Program, you must first apply and get accepted by a covered, accredited university. Tuition Assistance will then pay for either on-campus, online degree programs, or other types of programs such as high school equivalency, certificate programs, and the Community College of the Air Force. You must apply for Tuition Assistance for each course you take. When you are transferred to a new duty assignment, you can change your university and still use your Tuition Assistance benefits.
What's Covered with Air Force Tuition Assistance?
The U.S. Air Force Tuition Assistance Program covers most costs incurred when taking courses. This includes tuition, any enrollment fees that the school requires, various instructional fees, and laboratory fees for courses that include a laboratory portion. In some cases, books may also be covered.
In undergraduate degree programs, the U.S. Air Force Tuition Assistance Program covers 100 percent of eligible expenses. In master's programs, the program covers 75 percent of eligible expenses. In either case, there is a maximum of $4,500 of tuition benefits per year.
If you are also eligible for Montgomery GI Bill benefits for active duty personnel, you may choose to use both benefits, with the GI Bill covering expenses over and above what Tuition Assistance covers.
Applying for Air Force Tuition Assistance
To find out how to apply for the U.S. Air Force Tuition Assistance Program, speak to your post education office. More information may also be found at the U.S. Air Force Web site.