Federal Tuition Assistance


Overview
a. Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) provides financial assistance for voluntary off-duty education programs in support of a soldier’s professional and personal development goals. FTA is related directly to retaining quality Soldiers, enhancing their career progression, and increasing the combat readiness of the Army National Guard.
b. All eligible Soldiers must declare an educational goal in terms of a credential (degree or certificate), certification (national or regional), or license. Soldiers have the option of pursuing disciplines related to their professional development or their personal goals.
c. The Soldier’s previous academic history will be examined to determine the likely completion of the courses for which FTA is sought.
d. Soldiers in undergraduate classes receiving F and D grades and Soldiers in graduate classes receiving C, D, and F grades will have their FTA recouped.

Eligibility
a. Soldiers will be eligible upon successfully completing one year of service following graduation from Advanced Individual Training (AIT) or BOLC.
b. Soldiers can use FTA for a second, higher-level degree (post-Bachelor's) once they have 10 years of service, if any portion of the undergraduate degree was funded with FTA. There is not a 10 year requirement if FTA did not fund any portion of the undergraduate work.

FTA Rates
a. 100% of tuition cost up to $250 per semester hour (SH), $167 per quarter hour, or $5.55 per clock hour.
b. Up to sixteen semester hours of credit per Soldier per fiscal year.
c. Soldiers can use FTA for 130 SH for a Bachelor's degree, 39 SH for a Master's degree and 21 SH at the Certificate level for transitioning Soldiers.
d. No fees, to include supporting instructional fees, will be paid using FTA.

Prohibitions
Soldiers are not eligible for FTA if:
a. Soldiers must meet Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) and height/weight standards and not have a DA adverse action flag. If a soldier stops drilling, the unit commander is to contact the Education Services Office in writing via e-mail. The soldier will then be dropped from the program. The soldier is responsible for any tuition costs paid during the current semester.
b. Courses that lead to a lower or lateral postsecondary credential.
c. All courses or labs involving flight training and air time unless they are required as part of a degree.
d. Audited or repeated courses.
e. Additional courses when the soldier has an existing “incomplete” grade.
f. FTA cannot be used concurrently with the New Jersey National Guard Tuition (Waiver) Program at the same institution.
g. FTA cannot be used simultaneously with Chapter 1606 (MGIB-SR) or Chapter 1607 (REAP) for the same course. For more guidance refer to ESO Newsletter.

Service Commitment
a. Commissioned officers and commissioned warrant officers will incur additional service commitments upon the use of FTA:
  • Selected Reserve officers and commissioned warrant officers incur a Reserve Duty Service Obligation (RDSO) and must have at least four years of Selected Reserve service remaining from the date of completion of the course for which TA was provided.
  • Officers and commissioned warrant officers who are in AGR status and receive TA incur a two-year ADSO.

b. Enlisted Soldiers, warrant officers and TPU warrant officers (without commissions) are subject to the following regulations:
  • Enlisted Soldiers, warrant officers and TPU warrant officers must have sufficient time remaining at their current duty station as well as in their term of service to complete courses before PCS/ETS unless involuntarily separated.
  • Enlisted Soldiers and warrant officers (without commissions) must have sufficient time in their term of service to complete their Distance Learning course.

Application Procedures
a. Applications for FTA are executed online at GoArmyEd.
b. Requests must be approved before the start date of the class. To facilitate this requirement, Soldiers can apply for FTA up to 60 days prior to the start of their courses. FTA requests submitted less than 10 days prior to course start date may not get approved by the class start date and will not be considered for a FTA exception to policy.

References
Army Continuing Education System, AR 621-5.

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