Last year, we addressed an issue with Federal Tuition Assistance that we knew needed to change. The U.S. Air Force was granting Federal Tuition Assistance (TA) to all members of the military, with one exception – the Air National Guard.
Servicemembers of the Air National Guard (ANG) contribute the same amount of time and commitment as their counterparts in any other component of the military. Yet, they were being denied the same level of benefits.
We fought this injustice and pushed for federal education funding to be provided to all Servicemembers in the Air National Guard. Based on our recommendation, they’ve agreed to start a pilot program that will make Federal Tuition Assistance available to all its members. This TA is applicable for both undergraduate and graduate courses and will continue to promote an educated and skilled military workforce.
We are extremely pleased with this change and will continue fighting for all Servicemembers and the benefits that they’ve rightfully earned.
Servicemembers may apply for tuition assistance up to 45 days prior to when their class begins. Any Servicemember who does not get an approved application must wait until the next fiscal year, should funds become exhausted at year end. Applications will be submitted through the Air Force Virtual Education Center online program.
Consult Air Force Instruction 36-2670 Total Force Development and Air Force guidance memorandum 2020-02 for details.
We appreciate and recognize this important yet necessary step for the Air National Guard but this is currently a pilot program and we will continue the fight to make these resources permanent, and ensure that ANG Servicemembers are getting the benefits that they’ve earned and deserve.
Tuition assistance is an essential piece of the spectrum of benefits for Veterans, but just one of several avenues they can use to pursue higher education. Other resources are available to Veterans in order to help minimize out of pocket costs, such as Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Supports (DANTES), pursuing Community College of the Air Force degrees, as well as general public scholarships and grants.
Please contact and consult with your local education and training office or college counselor to explore all your options and pursue any additional opportunities for funding.