Air Force Tuition Assistance
The Air Force presents service-members with several options to support their voluntary education goals including 100% Tuition Assistance for college courses taken while off-duty. (100% people!) TA is an extremely important quality of life program and is cited as one of the most compelling reasons for enlisting and re-enlisting in the USAF.
The maximum amount paid for Tuition Assistance: 100% Tuition and Fees
Not to exceed:
- $250 @ Semester Credit Hour, or
- $166 @ Quarter Credit Hour, and
- $4500 @ Fiscal Year
The Air Force's "Virtual Education Center" Online TA Request
The advantages of this system are that there are no lines, the forms are simple, and you can finish the entire process without a trip to your local education center. Furthermore, it keeps things highly visible and highly manageable (in the cloud) by allowing you to track and manage your TA requests and account directly through your AFVEC logon.
Before you can access the online TA request process, you must create a user name and password on the AFVEC. This can be done through the Air Force Portal at https://www.my.af.mil/.
Application Process (The Six Step System)
You must apply for Tuition Assistance online using the Air Force Virtual Education Center. This must be done through the Air Force Portal at https://www.my.af.mil/. There are six steps to completing the AFVEC online TA process.
To apply for tuition assistance you can either go to the tuition assistance office at your installation or use the Air Force's Virtual Education Center which is an online system to process tuition assistance requests.
If you choose to apply for tuition assistance through the Virtual Education Center you must first create a username and password which can be done through the Air Force Portal at the following site. https://www.my.af.mil/
Applying for tuition assistance through the Air Force virtual education center is a six step process.
- The first step is to choose one of four reasons for you decision to use tuition assistance.
- Next, you must choose your education facility from a list of recognized institutions. If you do not find your school or institution on this list, you must go into the education office to obtain the proper tuition assistance form.
- You must now enter the exact dates of the term you will be attending. This is not necessarily the same as the start date of the class. If these dates are incorrect the tuition assistance could be denied.
- Step four requires you to enter your course information. The information you will need can either be found in your institutions course catalog or on their websites. If, by chance, your institution is one that maintains a current course catalog on the tuition assistance website, when you enter your term dates a list of courses should pop up. If that is the case you can simply select the course you want to take and the information needed will automatically be filled in. If yours is not one that lists its courses, you will have to enter the information in manually.
- Repeat this process until all courses you are taking for that term are entered. If for some reason you will be taking courses at more than one institution, a separate tuition assistance form will need to be filled out for each one. It is recommended to only take one course per 8 or 12 week semester and two courses for a 16 week semester. The next task is entering the fees associated with your course. Tuition assistance only covers fees that are a mandatory requirement for the course.
- The final step is to closely check the accuracy of the information you have entered on the form and then submit the form when finished.
If it is determined, through the Virtual Education Center, that tuition assistance does not cover some of the cost indicated, you will be notified and have the option to use a portion of your GI Bill if you are eligible for GI Bill benefits. At this point you will be required to accept all conditions and certifications before submitting the application.
Be sure the proper email address is noted because this will be your form of communication between you and the tuition assistance program. Do not rely on tuition and fees being paid until you have received final approval from the education center.
Once you have received notification that your tuition assistance form has been approved, send a copy of the approved form to the school you will be attending.
There are a few situations that prevent you from applying online for tuition assistance. They are as follows:
- Missing grades more than 60 days after the course has ended.
- Suspense grades that have expired
- Incomplete personal data in your education record
- TA requested for courses that have a start date of more than 30 days in the future
- TA requested for courses that have already started
- TA requested for lower level courses which are less than your highest level of education awarded
- Your record does not contain a degree plan
Tuition assistance cannot be used to obtain a degree that is at a lateral level or lower level than one you already possess. There are, however, some exceptions made to this statement regarding CCAF:
- You may use tuition assistance to obtain a degree from the Community College of the Air Force regardless of your current level of education
- You may use tuition assistance to obtain an associates degree from a civilian college if you are already in possession of CCAF associates degree as long as you do not already possess a civilian associate degree or higher
Please note that it is no longer a requirement to get a supervisors signature on tuition assistance forms but you are expected to obtain your supervisors support of your participation in the program by discussing your schedule.
Courses may be dropped as long as both the base education center as well as the school is notified and it is within the add/drop period. Outside of that period, you will be required to cover the cost of the course unless a waiver has been obtained. Incomplete grades must be cleared with the required time allotted by the institution or within 12 months, whichever comes first, otherwise you will be responsible for reimbursement of the cost of the course. Tuition assistance may not be used for post-masters degree classes.