Last modified Wed., March 04, 2009 - 04:51 PM
Originally created Thursday, March 5, 2009

Navy College offers tuition aid

Up to $4,500 annually to help meet costs of higher education

By MC1 (SW) Joe Sabo, Periscope Staff

Do you want to further your education? Maybe you want to get an advanced degree in business or English literature. Or, maybe an engineering degree is up your alley.

The first step to achieving these goals is to visit the base Navy College Office. The professionals in the office are there to help you meet your educational goals.

The Navy has a tuition assistance program. Students wanting TA need to attend an annual counseling class. The classes are from 11 to 11:30 a.m. every Wednesday in the Navy College Education building, next to the NEX and Fleet and Family Service Center. Reservations are required and the class fills up fast.

The class covers information and forms that students need to know to apply for and be authorized TA.

"I liked the training. It gave me a lot of information I didn't know," said MT1 (SS) Barnaby Robles of Trident Training Facility. "There is a lot more to filling out the forms. This 30-minute counseling session will get your foot in the door and make it a lot easier for Sailors and Marines to get an education."

Navy TA pays the tuition and fees charged by educational institutions for classes that lead to a certificate or degree. Navy TA also pays 100 percent of tuition costs for courses applicable to the completion of a high school diploma or equivalency certificate.

For education certificates and degrees, there is a fiscal year limit on the number of credit hours an individual can take, but this can be waived. Additionally, there are limits TA will pay for each credit hour and a fiscal year maximum of $4,500. This encourages students to be prudent in searching for the best education for the TA spent and encourages institutions to offer cost-effective programs for military members.

"Using TA is the like receiving a $375 pay raise each month for each class you take," said Navy College Director Gregg White. "Two classes equal a $750 monthly, a raise or a jump from E3 to E6."

For those who have not received their annual TA counseling, it must be completed by May 1. Annual TA counseling is mandatory for all Navy personnel who want to receive TA funding.

Chiefs and above can take the counseling for chiefs on the Navy College Web site at Click on the "tuition assistance" link or attend the weekly class.

Marines must have completed College 101 to receive TA funding. Students receiving TA must have an official degree plan signed by their school or a signed SOCNAV/SOCMAR agreement after five classes for Sailors and after 12 credits for the Marines.

"This counseling gives the aspiring student a baseline," said Jim Todd of the Navy College Office. "It will help alleviate some of the common errors that transpire with tuition assistance, such as sending the tuition assistance form to the main office in Pensacola, Fla., or sending in the form after the class started. It will help alleviate those few situations we have where the student makes an error he didn't know he made that prevents him from going to school."

Beginning May 1, TA classes will be held twice a month and those without the annual counseling will have their TA put on hold until training is completed.

For more information, or to register for the class, contact the Navy College Office from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at (912) 573-4574.

Or, visit the Navy College Office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.